Fears that UK tourism won't be funded well enough to take advantage of the 2012 Olympics were broached today in a report from the Parliamentary Committee on Culture, Media and Sport with the £9m cut to Visit Britain's budget coming in for criticism.
The report tells us that tourist trade isn't anticipating a major influx for the Games itself but the presence of 20,000 journalists in town to cover the event certainly provides an awesome, albeit risky given our service reputation, opportunity for changing global perceptions of Britain as the 'bowler hat and brolly', 'gawd it's a right pea-souper' country (although, as this snapshot from Annie Mole shows, they're not entirely cliches, all.)
Tourism's hopes are set on a post-Games legacy based on positive coverage of Britain during the Olympics and improved standards of quality and customer service across the board, to which end, DCMS itself is investing half a million a year into the hospitality trade.
Rebranding is in the pipeline from Visit London, to reflect,
the values that underpinned London’s successful Olympic bid - diversity, inspiration, sustainability and youth.
Let's hope they're also working on 'values' that will make the tourist's reception at Heathrow even a little more friendly, efficient and less bewildering.