Wednesday 27 July 2011

As celebrations to mark the one year countdown to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games kick off across the UK, VisitBritain, the national tourism agency has again emphasised how tourism can contribute to the economic legacy of the Games.

With a potential global television audience of around 4 billion people expected to tune in to the coverage of the Games, London 2012 will be an ideal opportunity to help put Britain on the destination wish list for visitors around the world.

Sandie Dawe, Chief Executive of VisitBritain said:

“With just one year to go, the world spotlight is already on Britain and what we have to offer. London 2012 is an event with global reach that will allow us to highlight the diversity of what visitors can experience across Britain – our history and heritage, our countryside and natural beauty, our culture, fashion, sports, food and drink, and of course the warmth of our welcome.

“This is going to be a unique Games, juxtaposing old and new. Some of our best known sporting venues such as Wimbledon, Wembley, Hampden Park and the Millennium Stadium will host events while iconic landscapes, buildings and parks – the Jurassic Coast at Weymouth, Greenwich, Windsor and Eton, Hyde Park and Horse Guards Parade will form the backdrop to the sporting competition.

"We believe that hosting the 2012 Games will have a positive impact on how we are perceived by overseas visitors and VisitBritain is committed to ensuring the tourism benefits are felt right across the country - before, during and after the main event.”

VisitBritain has recently launched its biggest, most ambitious tourism marketing programme for 10 years with the first phase of "Great Britain You're Invited". Globally renowned British celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Twiggy, Rupert Everett and Jamie Oliver are inviting the world to visit Britain and join in the mood of celebration. Tourism businesses including airlines and hotel companies have joined forces with us to mount a major campaign in 21 key markets to attract an additional 4 million visitors over 4 years.

Figures show that three million foreign visitors spent over £2 billion in the UK watching and playing sport1. With the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014, the Rugby World Cup kicking off across the country in 2015 and the Cricket World Cup due in 2019, we have a decade of opportunity to draw overseas visitors to these shores – creating jobs and economic growth.

For more information contact:

VisitBritain Media Team

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Stonehenge Weightlifter
Footballer at Tower Bridge, London
Gymnast, Angel of the North, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, England
Cyclist on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Fencing in front of Dolbadarn Castle, Llanberis, Gwynedd, Wales
Athlete throwing a discus on Giants Causeway