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Olympics boosting UK biz limited

12-29-2011 10:49 BJT

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2012 is expected to be a stellar year for Britain, as the country celebrates among other things, the Olympic games.

Millions more international visitors are expected, but analysts say that doesn’t necessarily mean big business. Xia Cheng has more.

All eyes will be on London in 2012, as the host city of the Olympic Games. And the verdict’s out on how sporting fever will translate to cold, hard cash.

Visa predicts Britain will see a 750 million pound, or 1.2 billion U.S. dollar spending spree in the summer of 2012. Over three years, the effects of the Olympics are expected to stimulate the economy by billions more.

According to Visit Britain, the UK’s official tourism bureau, there’s never been a better time to take a holiday in the country.

A visitor to Britain Mark Di-Toro said: "With the Olympics, World Pride, Diamond Jubilee, the Cultural Olympiad, which will see thousands of cultural and touristy events going on across Britain, you know there’s no better time to reach those targets that we’ve set ourselves...Thirty million international tourists come to Britain each year. The total spend is seventeen billion, it’s the fifth largest industry in the UK, it supports nearly three million jobs, so we’ve got some really good numbers here to build on.."

But some organizations warn, the Olympics and major events don’t necessarily increase tourism, let alone translate to business dollars.

Brett Taylor, chief executive of London Business Network said: "It’s expected that a lot of tourists who would not be coming to the games will see London as being too busy, the London transport system too crowded, the hotels will be unavailable and very expensive, the prices get hiked up and they believe that everything just gets too difficult. So you get this anticipated drop off of visitors into London before and after the games and a lot of that is not necessarily offset by the boost during games time."

Some economists say, the biggest winners in the Olympics tend to be the construction industry, because of infrastructure improvements as well as the building of the Olympic sites.

Visit Britain is hoping this crowded social calendar will help deliver an extra four and a half million visitors over the next four years, spending an extra 2.4 billion pounds, or 3.7 billion US dollars, and creating an extra 60 thousand jobs by 2016.

But analysts say, the economic gloom shrouding Europe and other regions worldwide means all the bullish outlook is potentially here to stay.


Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: CNTV.CN

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