Olympics sparks fresh tourism push

Visit London is planning a new communications drive, using the 2012 Olympics to attract more tourists to London.

London: 2012 plan
London: 2012 plan

The tourism body is keen to capitalise on what it is calling 'the single biggest opportunity to promote the city'.

Former British Olympic Association press and PR director Mark Howell will join the organisation as senior project manager for the Games, starting on Monday.

Howell has worked on four previous Games and led Transport for London's marcoms activity for 2007's Tour de France, which set off from London.

In his new role he will target key and emerging tourism markets, promoting London as a destination as well as the Olympic host city. Howell's outreach starts in Beijing this summer, where he will approach print and broadcast journalists covering this summer's Games.

'He will be identifying and prioritising media: making contacts, talking about providing them with stock footage and building relationships early on,' said Ken Kelling, comms director at Visit London. 'The focus is on Beijing in the first instance, but we expect the attention to shift towards London at the end, especially on the official handover on 24 August.'

Howell is also responsible for reaching out to the thousands of unaccredited press expected to descend on the city who are not the responsibility of LOCOG.

'There will be many people reporting on the Games who will not have access to the Olympic Village,' said Kelling. 'Mark will educate them on broadcast strategy and make sure they have access to good filmic sites such as Tower Bridge so they don't broadcast from in front of a car park.'

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Already registered?
Sign in