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Finally VisitBritain agrees, Olympics displace tourists

VisitBritain has finally admitted that tourist numbers will fall during the Olympics. VisitBritain Chairman Christopher Rodrigues said: "To maintain visitor numbers across the year would be a quite extraordinary achievement; we are seeking to do just that but I am pragmatic enough to know it would be difficult.' Claims of tourism benefits from the Olympics are now replaced by vague assertions of long term gains although these are not borne out by research by the European Tourism Operators Association.

Mr Rodrigues went on to set out how VB was trying to encourage broadcasters to publicise alternative destinations.

"London is not the only port of entry and there is no reason why, for example, Germans cannot come to Scotland during the Games."

Mr Rodriguez said: "We have been in talks with the American network, NBC, among others, about hosting coverage outside the Olympic village to reinforce the message that the whole of the country is accessible to visitors.

"Japanese broadcasters, for example, might consider some of their coverage from Kew Gardens because gardens are very appealing to Japanese visitors."

Well, if Americans aren't aware that Britain as a whole is accessible, Germans haven't heard of Scotland and keen Japanese gardeners need to be told about Kew VB really has got its work cut out.

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