The Beijing Olympic Games is being used as a platform to raise awareness about attractions, destinations and experiences in the UK.
On Friday, national tourism agency VisitBritain and London’s tourist board Visit London held a reception to present London and UK as host city and host nation of the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games to the Chinese travel trade and media.
The event saw VisitBritain unveil its ‘Britain for Sport’ film promoting the UK’s sporting heritage. As well as the film, the tourism agency is creating a dedicated, sport and Olympic Games-related section on all 46 versions of its international websites.
Visit London’s chief executive James Bidwell said: “Our ambition is to capture the spirit that is bringing millions of Chinese domestic visitors to Beijing and make London the next obvious choice as a visitor destination. We expect visits to London from China to grow by over 300% by 2012, outpacing the growth rates in many of our traditional markets.”
Meanwhile, VisitBritain has announced a number of new appointments, the latest stage in its restructure which saw 55 redundancies.
Keith Beecham, currently acting regional director for Europe, will return to the UK at the end of 2008 to be overseas network director.
Garry White – acting regional director for Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa – will become regional director for Asia Pacific Middle East & Africa based in Singapore and Alex Mawer will move to Hong Kong to head VisitBritain’s operations in North Asia including China, Japan and Korea.
The appointments follow the announcement earlier this month of the move by Laurence Bresh – currently general manager for England marketing – to the role of regional director for Europe.
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By Helen Gilbert
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Published by: The Caterer