Increased leisure traffic has driven a rise in quarterly sales growth at Eurostar.

The high speed Channel tunnel passenger rail service saw sales revenues rise by 7% to £211 million and passenger numbers up by 4% to 2.24 million in the first three months of the year.

But business travel in the period remained “broadly flat” compared with the same period in 2011.

Despite this, passengers looking to travel further afield by high speed rail have been taking advantage of competitive fares to Amsterdam travelling via Brussels.

Eurostar is expecting a further hike in numbers during the June Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday and the London Olympic Games.

Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “The year got off to a strong start with sales revenues and passenger numbers on the up.

“Our core destinations continue to be a big draw for passengers but we have also seen particularly good take-up of our Amsterdam fares as passengers are increasingly keen to try out new leisure destinations by high speed rail.”

He added: “We are gearing up for an exciting summer as the nation counts down to the London 2012 celebrations.

“Bookings for the June bank holiday weekend are looking strong with thousands of visitors coming to London to enjoy the unique pageantry of the Queen’s Jubilee.

“There is no doubt that London is set to have one of its most memorable years on record and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from around the world to share in the experience.”