Games 'can turbo-charge UK tourism'
The success of the Olympics can "turbo-charge" the UK's tourism industry, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said as the Government prepared to launch a major push to attract visitors.
Chinese tourists will be targeted under a new strategy, with ministers hopeful the number of holidaymakers from the country will treble.
The Government hopes that other major sporting events, including the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, will also act as a draw for overseas visitors.
Mr Hunt is determined to make the most of the global spotlight being on the UK and will set out his new strategy in a speech to tourism industry leaders.
He said: "The Olympics have been for Britain what Usain Bolt is for athletics - something that grabs the attention of the whole world and refuses to let it go.
"From the wonder of Danny Boyle's opening ceremony to the most incredible sporting achievements, the Games have been a fantastic showcase for our country. We must use this extraordinary year to turbo-charge our tourism industry, to create jobs and prosperity on the back of a globally-enhanced reputation."
The new strategy will involve an £8 million extension of the "Great" marketing campaign, including within China.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport believes this has the potential to triple the number of Chinese tourists, generate more than £500 million in extra spending and create more than 14,000 new jobs.
The Government will also encourage Britons to take a break in the UK, investing £2 million in marketing domestic tourism, a figure which will be matched by the industry.
As well as the Commonwealth Games, tourism should benefit from football's Champions League final at Wembley Stadium next year and when top flight athletics returns to London in 2017 for the world championship. The strategy will also attempt to maximise the impact of cultural tourism.