VisitBritain focuses on sports tourism as part of Olympic strategy

VisitBritain will be focusing on sports tourism and in the run up to the London 2012 Olympics.

Chief executive Tom Wright said currently 14% of all visitors, around 4.7 million, to the UK either participate in or watch a sporting event while they are in the UK.

He said  Britain’s hosting of the Olympics will allow it to successfully bid for other sporting events and also help the national tourism agency further develop regional tourism as competing teams arriving for the games set up training camps around the country.

Wright said: “We know there are literally about 1,000 other events out there that we can win for Britain; the Olympics and the Para-Olympics are great in helping that.”

He added the sporting theme will particularly appeal to emerging markets such as Brazil, Malaysia and Russia, which are all showing double digit growth, as well as the youth market which views the UK as slightly staid due to the amount of history the country has.

He said VisitBritain was also working with more than 600 UK regions to highlight their availability as destinations for team training camps in the run up to the Olympics.

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