Government must tap into legacy of the London Olympic Games

31 August 2012 by
Government must tap into legacy of the London Olympic Games

There is no doubting that the execution of the London 2012 Olympic Games exceeded the expectations of so many of us, with the smooth running of the transport system, the fabulous welcome provided by the volunteers and the awe-inspiring venues enjoyed by home and overseas visitors alike.

Combined with the exceptional tally of medals achieved by Team GB - expected to be surpassed by the British Paralympians - hosting the games has created an unprecedented feel-good factor which has been enjoyed across the entire country.

The hospitality industry's take on the Olympics, however, is somewhat mixed. There are those establishments, such as Oakley Court, near Windsor, who accommodated Team GB's rowing and canoeing crews, and the London Hilton on Park Lane, host venue for the International Olympic Committee (see page 24), which benefited hugely, and will continue to profit for many years to come.

But others were disappointed not to enjoy the bonanza that had been promised to them seven years ago, when London was awarded the games.

However, while the short-term financial benefits may not have been as great as everyone hoped for, there is a lot to look forward to, so long as the industry and Government work together to tap into the legacy of the games.

Essentially, finance is required to promote tourism, both home and overseas. While a start has been made with the announcement that VisitEngland has launched a £41m marketing campaign, a whole lot more needs to be done by the Government. In particular, urgent action needs to be taken to bring the UK's restrictive visa application process in line with the rest of Europe.

The world has seen that the UK can provide a marvellous welcome - now work needs to begin on capturing those people who have been inspired by what this country has to offer.

By Janet Harmer Hotels editor, Caterer and Hotelkeeper

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