Travel trade in Dubai attend the Olympics forum Travel trade in Dubai attend the Olympics forum

Visit Britain, the UK’s tourism board has embarked on a major marketing drive to promote the upcoming London Olympics in 2012 to travel trade in the GCC, as well as to educate the trade on ways to “sustain business” to London during the event.

“We believe that it is in everyone’s interest that we sustain business during 2012 and ensure people don’t lose visitors to the ‘stay away’ factor,” explained Carol Maddison, manager UAE, Visit Britain.

At a recent Olympics roundtable forum in Dubai, headed live from London by Chris Foy, head of the 2012 Games Unit; members of the trade were briefed on “how they can get their businesses ready for the years ahead prior to the big event.”

Story continues below

A number of issues were raised related to the Olympics, which Visit Britain will be looking to investigate said Maddison: “Hoteliers anticipate that traffic from the UAE to UK in 2012 will decline as Ramadan will hit on 20 July and UAE Nationals like to stay at home during this period,” she said, adding, “the UAE is a very late booking market so we will have to send out consistent PR messages to persuade travellers to book early so as not to avoid disappointment especially with accommodation.”

Visit Britain said it has plans to introduce ‘early bird’ prices through the trade in due course.