THE 2012 Olympic games are set to boost London and Britain's position in the changing world of global tourism.
VisitLondon and VisitBritain have published new research which found that the games could bring about a steep change in the country's success in attracting visitors from emerging tourist markets such as India, China and Russia.
The research, commissioned from Oxford Economics, concludes that the total potential tourism benefits expected from the Games range could be as high as £2.2 billion for London and £2.9 billion for the UK as a whole, depending on the right strategies and investments.
VisitLondon's CEO, James Bidwell, said: "London is already the number one city destination in the world and drives the UK economy.
"Whilst two thirds of the benefits of the 2012 Games will remain within the capital, this research highlights the crucial role London plays as the gateway to Britain, with almost one third of the benefits of the Games to flow to the rest of the UK."
The research also supports new findings from the Anholt-GMI Brand Index, which shows that potential visitors from emerging markets such as India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Mexico are more likely than more established UK visitor markets to say the London Games would motivate them to visit.
Tom Wright, VisitBritain's CEO, said: "The 2012 Games is a once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase Britain to the emerging giants of tourism and ensure that we remain globally competitive for the next decade and beyond.
"The greatest growth is forecast to come from countries that are least familiar with Britain.
"To create the biggest audience possible around the Games, we must continue to invest in our network overseas and extend our footprint in emerging markets across China, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.
"The research gives cause for optimism, but delivering these benefits will involve insightful planning and strategy, investment and commitment from the private and public sector."