Britain's path to hosting a successful Olympic Games in 2012 moved a step closer last week with the signing of the Tourism Charter, according to hospitality leaders.
Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association and board member of the Tourism Alliance, said the challenge for the industry was to start improving standards now.
"We need to train people through an injection of resources to change the culture and help operators realise just how important strong service skills are."
Sector Skills Council People 1st's chief executive Brian Wisdom said: "We can only take full advantage of the opportunity if the whole industry unites and works together. Industry, Government and education need to create a unified skills strategy."
A spokesman for VisitBritain said: "Together we can further improve the strength of tourism and ensure we are ready to welcome the world in 2012."
Prime Minister Tony Blair called on the sector to seize the opportunity of the Olympics and boost turnover by £25b to £100b.