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'Tough' Tourist Time Ahead Despite Olympics

Wednesday 7th March 2012

The head of Visit England has admitted to LBC 97.3 it could be a 'tough' year for London tourist trade despite the London Olympics and Diamond Jubilee.

It comes as the biggest ever UK based tourism campaign's been put together by them and the Government costing 5 million pounds.

It includes a massive campaign with an advert featuring actor Stephen Fry, actress Julie Walters, Harry Potter star Rupert Grint and actress Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary in Downton Abbey plus a new website with offers and discounts just for the summer of 2012 at hotels, attractions, restaurants and events across the country.

Chief exec of Visit England, the National Tourist Board, James Beresford has told our Olympic correspondent John Cushing London may have to adapt. "I'm not saying its not going to be a tough year that's in part why we've mounted this campaign. I think they'll be a different market here that comes to London quite clearly and there are concerns of people who feel displacement will take place which is why we're mounting this campaign so people think about staying at home."

"Tourism is worth 115 billion pounds per annum to the economy it supports 2 million jobs so its big business and our duty to protect the domestic market which is worth 80% of that total. I'm not saying don't go oversees, they will, but I am saying think about the options the convenient options on your doorstep."

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt agreed telling LBC 97.3's Nick Ferrari "its not just Olympic Games its the Diamond Jubilee, the London Festival 2012 the biggest cultural festival we've ever had in our history, the Torch Relay going to every corner of the country, if ever there was a year to really find out the treasures we've got at home its this year."

www.great2012offers.com has thousands of offers to choose from including more than three million hotel rooms with 20.12% discount backed by a range of companies including Butlins. Attractions, such as the London Eye and Alton Towers, are also taking part in the campaign that runs till the end of the Paralympics on September 9 to make bookings for this year and 2013.

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