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The London Olympics 2012 - A Golden Opportunity for Hoteliers

Sep 3, 2008
The 2012 Olympics is to be hosted by London, and poses a great opportunity for hotels and hoteliers, both in the Olympic year and several either side of the event. It is estimated by the government that the Olympics will boost the UK's tourism industry by two billion pounds, although many think it will be more like three billion.

Since the bidding ended and London beat Paris to host the 2012 Olympics, experts have been speculating about the games boosting house prices, the construction industry and tourism. One of the best opportunities is for hoteliers. China's visitors are forecast to grow 20-fold because of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing(100 million by 2020).

The Games is a unique marketing opportunity to re-position Britain as a 'must see' destination. It will also attract other iconic cultural and sporting events to the city, which will further boost various economies.

Lloyds TSB is an official sponsor of the London Olympics and has speculated that the games will boost the British economy by 21b. But a survey conducted by Lloyds TSB of businesses with a turnover of under 500 million has indicated that 66% of hotel and catering firms had not looked into the opportunities provided by the 2012 games.

Businesses are encouraged to market towards emerging tourism markets like China and India to properly capitalise on the potential benefits to be reaped from the Games, and not just for London but also the surrounding areas as visitors are likely to extend their stays and visit other parts of the UK.

Training experts have warned that hospitality and tourist businesses must improve their customer service skills to achieve significant growth during the Olympics. They are urging employers to outline quality standards, provide programmes on ethnic diversity and encourage staff to learn new international languages.

Customer service qualifications are available for committed employers, as Britain is well known as having poor customer service ethic. Others, such as the Jameirah hotel group fear skills shortages as hotels poach top talent from other hotels, and retaining high quality staff.

So plan now and fully capitalise on this great business opportunity. Although the London Games are four years away, Beijing 2008 is bound to galvanise enthusiasm for the next games, and many will book early to avoid disappointment or the possibility of having to find accommodation on the outskirts of London. Advertise to Chinese and Indian holiday makers, and improve your customer service standards!
About the Author
The Hotel Solutions Partnership is a hand-picked network of experts in asset management, human resources and strategic planning for hotels and hoteliers.
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