All attention is diverted to Singapore today as members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prepare to announce their choice for which city should host the 2012 Olympics.
The announcement is expected to be made at 12.46pm UK time.
Paris and London are front-runners for the bid. Madrid, Moscow and New York are also still in the running, but it has been revealed by sources that most IOC members have lined up behind the Paris and London.
Tony Blair arrived at the IOC meeting place in Singapore on Monday for a two-day lobbying effort in support of London’s bid.
Celebrities including global sports icon David Beckham and wife Victoria and England Sven Goran Eriksson have also flown to Singapore to support London’s bid.
Amidst the mounting tension, Paris and London are taking shots at one another. According to French Newspaper Liberation, Jacques Chirac labeled British food the worst in Europe apart from that of Finland, commenting: “You can’t trust people who have such lousy cooking.”
Visit Britain believes London has a great chance of winning. A spokesperson commented: “Given the strength of London’s bid, the capital has an excellent chance of winning. Hosting the Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will bring long-lasting benefits to the tourism industry and attract additional leisure and business travellers to all regions of Britain.”
Lord Marshall of Knightsbridge, Chairman, Visit Britain stated: “Should we be successful in bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Britain in 2012, we would attract millions of extra visitors and win dozens of additional international business and sporting events, not just in the year 2012 but in the preceding and following years”.
According to Lord Marshall, “even the very process of bidding has helped to boost tourism, giving added exposure to a world class destination which looks set to attract a record 28 million + visitors this year”.
If London wins the bid, according to Lord Marshall, a dynamic partnership between Government, sport and tourism will be required to maximise the opportunities and deliver the best possible welcome and experience to our visitors.
Eurostar will be celebrating tomorrow, holding parties in its terminals in London and Paris, inviting passengers and staff to watch the decision on widescreen, live from Singapore.