With the opening event of the London 2012 Olympics being staged today, the country’s 200,000 tourism businesses stand ready to show the world the warm welcome and high quality products and services that only the UK can provide.
Michael Hirst OBE, Chairman of the Tourism Alliance, the body representing over 50 Tourism Industry bodies, including RDO, noted that the UK tourism industry was poised to make these Olympics the best ever for both overseas and domestic visitors.
“These Olympics will showcase the very best that Britain has to offer across the whole nation– we have some of the world’s most prestigious hotels alongside accommodation at every price level, the world’s best art and history museums, more historic, cultural and leisure attractions than almost anywhere else, event venues of every description, great holiday destinations and our restaurants and pubs provide the best eating and drinking experiences anywhere in the world.”
Estimates indicate that the value to the UK Tourism Industry of hosting the Olympics could be in the region of £2 billion. Already, despite the current tough trading environment, overseas visitor numbers are up by 5% and domestic spend is up 7%. The industry generates £125bn p.a. for the UK economy (8.9% of GDP), directly supports 2.7m jobs (9% of the total workforce) and is the UK’s third largest export earner.
The Games are particularly important in presenting the UK as a destination to emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Russia and India, but they will also impress upon existing markets the wealth of tourism products that exist throughout the UK.
New data produced by Amadeus and ForwardKeys shows that the top nations heading to the Olympics are: USA 19%, Germany 8.2%, Australia 6%, Italy 4.3%, Canada 3.7%, Russia 3.4%, France 2.9%, Netherlands 2.9%, Great Britain 2.6% and Brazil 2.4%.