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Olympic Tourism Needs Good Intelligence

An interesting News Release passed by recently which warrants being used as a case study by students of Tourism Marketing;

London can win Olympic Gold medal in tourism, says 2012 Games chief

Tourism to London could be one of the most important beneficiaries of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012, the Deputy Chairman of the London 2012 Organising Committee, Keith Mills, told industry representatives today.

Speaking at Visit London's Annual General Meeting, Mr Mills said that Olympic-related tourism had emerged as one of the key economic legacies for host cities and countries that have staged the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

"The experience of other cities indicates that London's visitor economy could benefit from as much as £2bn as a result of the Games. It's vital that we maximise opportunities by working closely with Visit London, Visit Britain and the tourism industry throughout the UK. The promotional strategies for both the Games and the city should be developed in close co-operation," Mr Mills said.

Mr Mills said London's passion for sport in combination with its famous landmarks and other tourism attractions, will help to benefit the tourism industry in significant ways.

"The Olympic Games in London will showcase the capital's people, places, cultures and capabilities to the world like never before," Mr Mills said.

He added that between 50-75% of the net benefit of staging the Games is likely to accrue through tourism over a seven to ten year period.

James Bidwell, CEO of Visit London, said:

"Although 2012 is seven years away, we need to maximise the benefits before, during and after the Games take place. We're looking forward to working closely with the London 2012 Organising Committee to develop a promotional strategy that makes the most of the opportunities to encourage visits to London."

Keith Mills, who helped to lead the successful London 2012 Bid along with chairman, Sebastian Coe, addressed over 100 representatives from London's tourism sector, including attractions, hotels and restaurants during Visit London's Annual General Meeting at One Canada Square, Canary Wharf.

 The meeting also heard that opportunities to showcase London internationally as a new destination for tourism, business investment, and conferencing as well as for major sporting and cultural events were already emerging, linked to London's staging of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Mr Mills warned however that a co-ordinated, long-term strategy was vital in order to realise Olympic-related tourism opportunities.

"Thoughtful planning and the careful building and nurturing of effective, mutually beneficially partnerships between public and private sector agencies, international partners, and the Olympic organisers will be needed to maximise this once in a generation opportunity," Mr Mills said.

 - Ends -

For further information please contact the London 2012 Press office on + 44 (0) 20 7093 5100 or visit our website at www.london2012.com

Firstly I agree with Mr Mills and congratulate him on not pontificating in flowery rhetoric as do politicians. In particular I like the last two sentences:

Mr Mills warned however that a co-ordinated, long-term strategy was vital in order to realise Olympic-related tourism opportunities. "Thoughtful planning and the careful building and nurturing of effective, mutually beneficially partnerships between public and private sector agencies, international partners, and the Olympic organisers will be needed to maximise this once in a generation opportunity," Mr Mills said

The facts are that "Olympic" cities have not always benefited from staging the games, and in fact there are as many negatives as there are positives for London, if not more. Of course if the planning is done right, then these will be minimized. The ability of London to handle much more traffic and tourists is somewhat doubtful, unless massive infrastructure changes are made.

But then it would be so shortsighted to believe that these are London's Games instead of Britain's Games for just as the taxes are spread around Britain, so should the benefits. The excellent rail links allows hotels and restaurants over a wide area to benefit.

Don't forget the millions of British Expatriates living overseas. Get them on board as cheerleaders and supporters. In most cases that means don't leave it to the British Embassies. Rarely can they get out of their own way, and here in Washington they seem to only be interested in Defense Contractors and all things military.

Just remember Mr. Mills the final scene from The Candidate with Robert Redford. I've won, now what?

 

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