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Tourism chiefs' Olympic hopes

PUBLISHED: 11:04 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 17:14 30 June 2010

The region's tourism leaders and accommodation providers have been given advice on how to cash in on the 2012 Olympics.

At a conference in Duxford, Cambridgshire, organised by East of England Tourism, 200 delegates were told how the games were likely to generate an extra 250,000 international visitors.

The region's tourism leaders and accommodation providers have been given advice on how to cash in on the 2012 Olympics.

At a conference in Duxford, Cambridgshire, organised by East of England Tourism, 200 delegates were told how the games were likely to generate an extra 250,000 international visitors.

And the value of Britain hosting the Olympics to national tourism has been estimated as much as £2.3bn over the decade from 2007-2017.

Business were given a presentation on a new Fair Price Charter, to be launched in the region next month, and warned how overpricing during the games had been shown to tarnish the reputation of a country's tourist industry in the long-term.

They were also given advice on identifying target audiences, creating programmes for the games and exploiting marketing opportunities.

Caroline Jarrold, chairman of VisitNorwich, said their focus on the importance of the games was shown by the days and hours counter already on their website stating: Visit Norwich - closer than you think to London 2012.

She said: “The slogan highlights the fact we are closer to the games in more than one sense. Evidence from the Commonwealth Games in Manchester showed that even places two-and-a-half hours travelling time from the city benefited from a spill out effect.

“Norwich is well placed as an attractive place to be based during the games. It is bound to create a tremendous buzz and the big screen in Chapelfield is sure to be popular.

“Even people with tickets for some of the events won't go into London every day, and we're hoping there will be improved rail links to Stratford in place ahead of the games.”

After the games, Norwich would be well placed to engage in the Cultural Olympiad, a showcase of the host city's arts and culture, especially if it has been chosen as City of Culture for 2013.

She said they would be working with partners such as the local council and city businesses to make the most of the varied opportunities.

Alan Carr, head of tourism in Great Yarmouth, said: “The games will raise the media profile of the UK on a worldwide level and we will be mindful of the need to make visiting international journalists very welcome.”

He said in the weeks leading up to the games, the resort could benefit from its central beach being designated an official beach volleyball training venue for the Olympics.

“We have hosted the English beach volleyball tour for the past three years and that has generated considerable spectator interest,” he said.

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