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BOSCO, Ekhaya and the Saltire start to fly as Olympic Houses open

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Somerset House Countries are keenly vying to win in the London 2012 Olympic hospitality stakes.

Although many of the Olympic Houses are catering primarily for VIP guests, many are also doubling as fan zones, with viewing screens.

Some of the free entry Houses include an Africa Village in Kensington Gardens and Club France at Old Billingsgate Market.

Somerset House becomes Casa Brasil for the Olympic duration, as the hosts of Rio 2016 look to impress. And the House of Switzerland in Glaziers Hall is open until 11pm and is offering a full programme of concerts and free events.

Another free entry House is Czech House at the Business Design Centre in Islington.

The German cruise ship, Deutschland is anchored in Canary Wharf, although entry is for athletes and VIPs only.

The Holland Heineken House is one of the biggest paid-entry hospitality houses up at Alexandra Palace in North London. Entry is ticketed and for over 18s only.

Exclusive sponsor of the Russian Olympic teams, Russian sports brand BOSCO is using (10-11) Carlton House Terrace as its base during the Olympic and Paralympic Games. BOSCO is also the sportswear provider for the Ukrainian and Spanish Olympic teams.

BOSCO House guests to include Spanish royalty, Russian and Ukrainian dignitaries and diplomats, athletes and celebrities. The venue will be open for hospitality from 12 noon to 2am daily.

The venue’s terrace, which overlooks the Mall, has been transformed into a decadent alfresco dining space. Turf has been laid and a gazebo has been built.

BOSCO branded bikes are queued outside the venue for guests to use to cycle around the city. A fleet of branded Audi cars, taxis and buses are also available to transport guests to and from the venue to the stadium.

Carlton House Terrace’s 10 rooms are all being used by BOSCO, which kicks off with a red carpet reception for a host of VIP’s 26 July.

The Southbank Centre hosts South Africa’s National Olympic House. Named ‘Ekhaya’ (the Zulu word for ‘home’), the House will comprise of the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, where there will be an exhibition of crafts, daily free music and dance performances and South African drinks and snacks. There will be a fashion show and a series of private events for VIPs.

VisitScotland’s Business Tourism Unit (BTU) is among the partners joining the Scottish Government in hosting the ‘Scotland House’ facility in London at 26-29 Pall Mall.

Scotland House offers a central location for friends of Scotland to meet and do business in London during the Games. With Scottish sourced food and drink, entertainment and Scottish hospitality, the partners will bring a wee bit of Scotland to the heart of London.

Scotland House will open on 27 July and run until 12 August, and the VisitScotland BTU will host a networking dinner for corporate buyers, agents, and association buyers on 2 August.

Lindsay Brown, UK Marketing Manager for the BTU, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to celebrate the best in Scottish sport, business and culture at a unique London venue.

“Business tourism is a lucrative sector and consequently we are operating on a fiercely competitive global stage.”

Scotland House is a partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, EventScotland, Scottish Enterprise, Creative Scotland, SportScotland, with input from Glasgow 2014, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and Marketing Edinburgh.

Do you have news for CN? Email: pcolston@mashmedia.net

26 July 12

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