Tourism body VisitBritain has been forced to pull a marketing campaign aimed at encouraging holidaymakers to the country as the UK’s reputation as a safe and law abiding nation goes up in smoke.
Adverts bearing the tagline “You’re invited” have veen pulled from BBC iPlayer programming running overseas as scenes of anarchy on the country’s streets are broadcast around the world.
Governments from Germany to the US have issued travel advisories to their citizens, warning holidaymakers to stay clear of affected areas and comply with the advice of security officials.
Numerous incidents have been reported of tourists getting caught up in the mayhem, including two Americans dining in a London curry house when the window was panned by a passing mob.
Mary Rance, head of trade body UKInbound, which represents businesses in the tourism industry, said: "The riots of the past few days, particularly in London, are most unfortunate for the global image of the UK – and not just ahead of the Olympics but for the country's short term and long term inbound tourism industry.