Britain pulled off a glorious Games but can London produce another gold-medal performance and beat the Olympic tourism curse? Australians will well remember the slump that followed the Sydney Olympics, while many other host cities have failed to realise the tourism bonanza they expected from the event.
London has many things playing in its favour and operators are reporting strong bookings for coming months. It is impossible to pinpoint what is Olympic-generated interest and what is travel that would have occurred anyway, but London is building on a dream run including the royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee, which have kept the city at the forefront of travellers’ minds. Britain also has a history of quality tourism promotion and has no doubt benefited from the painful lessons of other host cities.
VisitBritain says it has embarked on its biggest ever marketing program, spending about £35 million ($52.7 million) over 18 months to promote Britain in overseas markets. The organisation is working with airlines, hotels and tour operators to convert the Olympic profile into holiday bookings. “We know that the tourism legacy of hosting the Games is not a given and needs to be worked for,” says the chief executive of VisitBritain, Sandie Dawe.
The executive general manager marketing for Flight Centre, Colin Bowman, says the timing is favourable for London to continue the momentum of the Olympic Games, which highlighted a range of venues and attractions from the City of London to the Dorset coastline. ”One thing they have going for them is… (click here to keep reading this article by Jane E. Fraser)