A test event for The London 2012 Olympics featuring more than 150 leading cyclists is taking place today in London.
The bike ride from London to Surrey started at The Mall in Central London at 09:00 BST this morning taking cyclists to Box Hill and back again.
Top riders taking part in the Olympic Road Race dress rehearsal include British Tour de France hero Mark Cavendish.
Roads across London have been closed to facilitate the race. According to Transport for London, access to Heathrow Airport and the M25 is severely affected.
This is the largest in a series of test events that have been taking place across the capital recently, in preparation for the London Olympics.
The Olympic games are set to boost tourism in the UK with 5.5 million visitors expected to descend upon London during the games. VisitLondon has predicted that nearly one million of these visitors will be looking for accommodation.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) is encouraging fans to start booking their journeys to venues across London now to avoid delays and overcrowding come 2012.
The tool is believed to be the first of its kind for an Olympic Games.
The web portal covers the whole of Britain and includes services by rail, coach, bus, river and tube with a link through to purchase ticket from the relevant provider.
It also details routes for cycling and walking, and from early next year will allow users to plan their journeys by car.
In recent years the integration of spectator and participation sport tourism has seen the sector become the industry’s fastest growing and this ‘rising giant’ is now worth in excess of $600 billion, an astonishing 14 per cent of overall travel & tourism receipts.
World Tourism Sport Congress
For the first time this year, alongside the climax of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the World Sport Tourism Congress will take place on the luxury cruise ship – the P&O Pacific Dawn – and will comprise of four days of inspirational panel debates, leading-edge presentations and priceless networking opportunities, all conducted whilst cruising in style around New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands.
The fully-inclusive cruise package departs from Queen’s Wharf, Auckland on October 10th, returning on October 14th in time for the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals.
Themed “Sharing the Sport and Tourism Boom”, WSTC presents an opportunity for network and engage with industry’s elite, gain invaluable insights from the world’s leading experts and meet face-to-face with the key Sport Tourism buyers as deals are brokered for future sporting events.
Confirmed speakers include: Jeanine Pires (Minster Special Advisor, Rio 2016 Olympics & former President, Embratur), Geoffrey Lipman (Advisor to Secretary General UNWTO), Campbell Jamieson (Commercial Director, International Cricket Council) and Darren Mee (COO, TUI Travel PLC, Specialist & Activity Sector).
The delegate rate of £950 will include access to all sessions on the WSTC programme, four nights accommodation on board the P&O Pacific Dawn, as well as exclusive VIP receptions and gala dinners, as the ship cruises around New Zealand’s North Island.