VL dismisses claim that Olympics will bring no tourism benefits

Visit London
has dismissed claims by the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA)
claiming that the city may not see tourism benefits from staging the London
Games and Paralympics in 2012.

The official visitor organisation for London denied an ETOA report’s
prediction that if London followed the same
pattern as Beijing,
and other recent host cities of the Olympic Games, tourism numbers were likely
to fall significantly. VL chief executive, Sally Chatterjee, says she expects
the London 2012 Games “to deliver nearly £1.5 billion in economic benefit
to the city from increased tourism revenues over 10 years”.

She said comparisons with Beijing were irrelevant, “as they are
completely different cities”.

The agency also notes London has been the
first Olympic host city to introduce a Fair Pricing and Practice Charter to
stop visitors being ripped off during the Olympics and defended also the
transport infrastructure, claiming it would cope with the added tourist numbers.

The ETOA had claimed that, rather
than enjoying any kind of financial boost from the Olympics, London’s tourism trade could even be
damaged.

ETOA
executive director Tom Jenkins said that there had yet to be a Games where
tourism has not been disrupted in a way that causes real harm to the city.

The
London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has kicked off a £700m
procurement process for suppliers, ranging from facilities management and
catering, through to production services for ceremonies and venue logistics.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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