Olympic%20logo.gifThe Coolbrands Council published its annual list of the UK’s coolest brands last week. Hospitality was well represented, with the likes of Malmaison, the Lowry Hotel, 42 The Calls, Smiths of Smithfield and Le Manoir aux Quatr’Saisons all earning a ranking.
Also listed were cool global brand destinations such as Cambodia, Croatia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
With the launch of Winning: A tourism strategy for 2012 and beyond, this week, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport hopes to ensure that Brand UK rates highly on similar lists across the world in the coming decade.
The DCMS forecasts that, by capitalising upon the opportunity the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide to showcase all we have to offer as a nation, we could generate £2.1bn from additional tourism between now and 2017.
The strategy provides a blueprint for improving international perceptions of Britain, delivering a first-class welcome to all visitors, improving tourist infrastructure and facilities, boosting the skills of the workforce and driving up accommodation quality by increasing the number of places that are accredited under the national star-grading scheme.
But the document fails to detail exactly how all these improvements will be paid for. Substantial investment will be required to realise an extra £2.1bn increase in tourism revenue; you have to speculate to accumulate.
We will have to wait until the announcement of the Comprehensive Spending Review in October to see if the government is prepared to put its money where its mouth is, by committing an adequate funding strategy to capitalising on the Olympics. Fair words alone will not spark significant growth in in-bound and domestic tourism off the back of the Games.