VisitBritain launches 2012 Olympic plan

Tourism organisation VisitBritain has outlined plans to work with secretary of state Jeremy Hunt to deliver the “best marketing strategy ever seen from a host nation” to promote tourism around the 2012 London Olympics.

Pictured: Jeremy Hunt Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport

To facilitate the plan, the secretary for culture, Olympics, media and Sport today announced a new fund aimed at generating £1 billion worth of public relations and marketing activity to create a permanent tourism legacy.

The fund will be financed by the private sector working in conjunction with the government.

New VisitBritian chief executive officer, Sandie Dawe, said: “We are delighted our new Secretary of State has prioritised the delivery of a lasting tourism legacy from our hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

“This is the world’s greatest sporting event and we intend to put on the world’s biggest party to showcase all that is best about our people, arts, culture, heritage and hospitality.”

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The announcement comes as the FIFA 2010 World Cup kicks-off in South Africa, reminding the global industry of the power of such mega-events.

Mr Dawe added: “VisitBritain will rise to the challenge that the secretary of state has set of delivering £1 billion of marketing and PR, showcasing Britain in our top developing and mature markets and to work with our ministers to create a marketing pot match-funded by the industry.

“The Olympic and Paralympics Games present a once-in-a-generation opportunity to raise awareness of Britain across the growth tourism markets of Asia and reinvigorate our appeal in core markets such as the USA where we have lost ground.”

Speaking at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy - the venue for the Olympic sailing events – Mr Hunt will also issued a challenge to boost UK residents’ domestic tourism spend from 36 per cent to 50 per cent.