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London extends welcome ahead of 2012 Games


The London Development Agency (LDA) is counting down to 2012 and ensuring visitors have the best possible experience in the capital in the lead up to and during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The welcome and assistance people receive at Games time will help shape their views of London and help influence their decision to return to the capital when the event is over. Last night the LDA brought together organisations from across London who will play a key role in that experience and who are responsible for ensuring visitors have access to the information and services they need to enjoy their stay.

Over the next two years leading up to the 2012 Games the LDA will work with these partners to upgrade existing services and develop a consistent approach and stronger working relationships. Discussions with local authorities, Business Improvement Districts and tourism and transport bodies are now underway. These organisations employ many of the people who will be representing the capital and shaping the visitor experience during the Games period. The LDA has invested more than £2 million to date in extending the welcome to visitors through its support for information centres, mobile information points and extra training for ambassadors.

London Development Agency Group Director for Business Support and Promotion Danny Lopez said:

“All eyes will be on the capital during 2012 and it is important that visitors enjoy their stay and want to return after the Games are over. We are pleased to be working with our partners to make sure that London lives up to its reputation as an exciting and rewarding tourist destination and that people in the capital see a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

Tourism is a key driver of London’s economy and supports 253,000 jobs. In 2008, nearly 15 million overseas visitors and more than 11 million UK visitors arrived in the capital, creating £22 billion of expenditure.

Daniel Ritterband, Mayor of London’s Director of Marketing, said:

“London is the world’s most visited city and we are determined to stay in the number one spot in the run up to and after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Through the London Tourism Action Plan, published by the Mayor last year, we are maximising every economic opportunity and will give the millions of visitors to London before, during and after the Games the experience of a lifetime. We aim to make it so good that they will tell their friends and family about our great city - and start planning their next trip to London.”

The London Tourism Action Plan sets out the key requirements for capitalising on the 2012 Games opportunities, delivering the tourism elements necessary to ensure a successful Games-time experience, and laying the foundations for a post-Games tourism legacy. It highlights the importance of the work being done in the lead up to the event and during the Games to create a positive perception of London in the eyes of the world.

Patricia Yates, Director of Strategy and Communications said:

“Letting visitors know that Britain is an open and welcoming destination is a key promotional message. It’s vital that the visitor feels welcomed from the moment that they arrive in the country to the moment they leave. Timely and supportive visitor information plays a key role in that. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games brings a unique opportunity to challenge perceptions of Britain and invite the world to discover London and the rest of the UK after the Games.”


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