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Date & time Aug 22 '17
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the results are in

It's almost 12 months since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games took place. The miles of bunting and vibrant pink branding are long gone. The city wide volunteers, in their magenta shirts copy bvlgari ring necklace and straw trilby hats, have been absorbed bvlgari chain necklace imitation back into the city and, away from Stratford at least, there is very little visually left to remind anyone that an event of such magnitude came and went in a matter of weeks. There were winners and losers on the field of play and winners and losers in the tourism industry. A year on, have the losers recouped their loses and did the forecasts come true?

Year on year, both Britain and London predicted flat growth for 2012, knowing that some international visitors would be deterred from visiting while domestic visitors, who made up about 90 per cent of ticket holders, would pour into the city at Games time. Data from the Office of National Statistics' International Passenger Survey (IPS) marry with the prediction showing 31 million overseas visitors to Britain during that time, up just 1 per cent, but with domestic visits to London up 9.5 per cent. In total, domestic visitors spent 16 per cent more in 2012 than 2011.

But has Britain had its moment of glory and is it all downhill from here? Not so, says VisitBritain, who through its 'GREAT' campaign is continuing to promote Britain off the back of the hugely refreshed profile created by the Games. "We're well known for our rich heritage and cultural offer, but now people around the world are more aware of things like our beautiful countryside, vibrant music scene, excellent shopping experience and the warmth of our welcome" said VisitBritain's CEO Sandie Dawe. They predict an increase of 1million visitors this year. An optimistic prediction considering that most of Britain's competitors are outspending VisitBritain in all of its key markets. By 2020, they hope Britain will welcome 40m visitors annually a 3 per cent year on year rise.

London has plenty more to reveal. There are a host of "new" physical legacy projects that were created as a result of the Games. The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will host two events to fake bvlgari zero1 necklace mark the anniversary of imitation bvlgari women necklace the Games Open East Festival and the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games as well as the music festivals Hard Rock Calling and Wireless. Ride London, a new mass participation cycling event, The Orbit, cultural events and other sporting events such as the 2015 Rugby World Cup and World Athletics Championships in 2017 will continue to give visitors further reasons to visit the area.

TFL invested 6.5bn in upgrading the transport infrastructure and concentrated on ensuring ticket holders got to their venues. During the Games, the Tube carried over 101 million passengers up by 28 per cent on normal levels including the most ever carried on a single day, 4.52m. Post Games, the Tube continues to run more reliably and transports more Londoners and visitors than at any time in its history.

The spotlight still seems to be shining on London and Britain, but I predict this window will start to shrink. Complacency can't be allowed to creep in and budgets should be increased, not reduced. Ufi Ibrahim, Chief Executive of the British Hospitality Association said: "Post 2012 the sector is fairing well, but our huge potential for growth is being hampered by Government neglect of the sector". The spectacle of Brazil is also waiting in the wings. With the World Cup in 2014 and the OIympics in 2016, the world's attention will soon head to the southern hemisphere.

Can Britain and London withstand the emergence of a new megastar when it comes to securing global attention? "It's natural and inevitable that the spotlight switches" commented Mike Lee, chairman of Vero Communications, who was communications director for the London 2012 bid and who provided strategic advice to Rio 2016, "but it won't be to the detriment of London, it won't diminish the affection and pride people have for London."

The nation's shock absorbers may be tested to the limit, but, as ever, I think this tiny island's international tourism economy will survive. It might not have a lot of sun, sand and samba, but that's not its offer and never has been. As I was once reminded by an American visitor "it's Britain we always take an umbrella".

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