The tourism industry needs to provide the right welcome and service if it is to make the most of the massive opportunities provided by the 2012 Olympics, Margaret Hodge, minister of state for culture and tourism, told an audience at Hotelympia, at London's ExCel.
"We have got to make is easy for people to come and when they do we must get the welcome right by not having long queues and ensuring people are polite," said Hodge, who was being being interviewed by Bob Cotton, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association.
"And we've also got to get better at customer service, which we have been putting a lot of money into. The industry needs to grasp the opportunities provided by the colleges and People 1st so that when people come to Britain in 2010 they will go back home talking about the fantastic place they have visited and service they have enjoyed.
"The media - both accredited and non-accredited - will be huge and if they have a good time in the hotels and restaurants, and when visiting the cultural and heritage sites, it will provide a huge boost to inward investment."
By Janet Harmer
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