21 August 2008

UK to Tourism Industry - Fund Your Olympics

So crowing about how single handedly the UK Government won the 2012, 30th Olympiad, those nice people in Whitehall have decided to delegate the responsibility for promoting the Country (UK and London) leading up to the 2012 event. Why? Because the Central Government has determined in its infinite wisdom that since the reward will benefit the tourism industry, then the beneficiaries should contribute by funding the promotion and marketing. The UK Tourism industry is represented by UK Inbound. http://www.ukinbound.org/ . The Mayor's office is found here: http://www.london.gov.uk/

The debate has fired up the UK players but this is not likely to be a simple outcome.


There are more than one set of players here. The Central Government Gnomes in Whitehall believe they have done their job and despite the value to the balance of payments that Tourism brings - they don't feel inclined to contribute more where there will be specific groups of people who will benefit - in this case assumed to be the tourism providers in the London and rest of UK area. There is also a hidden sub message from the Labour Central Government to the (now) Conservative Mayor of London's office is that "don't expect us to finance your political benefits". Remember that the Olympics are not awarded to a Country - they are awarded to a City.

One of the other sub-plots is that the US Government has drip fed the Tourism promotion (TIA http://www.tia.org/index.html ) inadequately for YEARS. So what's good for the US goes the Gnomes logic, is good for the UK.

Of course the implicit message in this pronouncement is "Go take care of the promotion of the tourism since you the industry will benefit, its the right thing to do and the American's do it anyway".

If you follow that then clearly you can see that the London Olympics could be a less than fully successful tourism event, rather like the Beijing Olympics has been less than stellar for the Beijing Tourism and regional economy. Smart? Wise? Let's hope history does not come to judge such a failure.



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