Emerging destinations threaten 2012 visitor numbers – 22 Mar 2007

British Travel Trade Fair 2007

Plans to attract visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games are already under threat from competition by emerging destinations.

Speaking about how Britain should brand itself for 2012, VisitBritain 2012 strategy and communications officer Jo Leslie admitted the tourist board is already struggling in a market close to saturation point.

She added Britain needs to be rebranded if it is to remain relevant in the current market, in which consumers are looking for more than the traditional cultural and historical experiences that the UK is associated with.

Leslie said: “We’re really struggling, as is the rest of the world. There are so many more destinations competing to attract the same people now.

“We need to reach out to the visitors of tomorrow. We want the UK to be perceived as somewhere that’s really happening, really vibrant and where people must come and visit now.”

Leslie added there are 1,000 global sporting events in the run-up to the 2012 Olympics that the UK could bid to host to attract a younger audience. They would also act as dress rehearsals for the main event.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will also be publishing its 2012 Tourism Strategy report in June or July, which is expected to give some insight into Government thinking on Britain’s strategy.

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