Britain tourism aims for Olympic boost and an Olympic-sized Vegas buffet
The Games are over. Canada still has only one gold medal from the London Olympics. Michael Phelps is still a great swimmer but incredibly boring to watch in an interview. And Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen are still awaiting a reunion where someone won't pull the plug.
So, what's next for Britain? Why a marketing/advertising campaign to capitalize on the Games in the capital, of course.
Travelmole.com says VisitBritain has launched a new campaign following the release of disappointing tourism figures.
The British Airport Authority said traffic through its five UK airports in August was down 2 per cent from last year, including a fall of 1.9 per cent at Heathrow to 6.5 million passengers. The reduction was more pronounced in the first two weeks of August, when traffic was down 4.6 per cent. In the rest of the month traffic was up 0.3 per cent.
It's quite common for tourism to drop during an Olympics as folks naturally think the host city will be too busy and too expensive. The secret to making the Games work in the long run from a tourism standpoint is to capitalize on the feeling and to give folks places to tour about.
I wasn't in London for the Olympics this summer, but I suspect this could be a little tricky. Games organizers rightly tried to keep costs down, which means they didn't go crazy building monuments and didn't spend gazillions to give London new parks and such, the way Barcelona did.
I think folks will continue to want to visit London, of course. It's a great, great city. And some likely will wander to East London to see the Olympic village and check out emerging neighourhoods. But I have a feeling they won't get an enormous tourism boost from the Games. A moderate increase, perhaps, but I suspect it won't be much more than that. And given the economy in much of the world, a moderate jump would be pretty sensational.
According to today's travelmole report, VisitBritain said the UK's image around the world was "riding high" and the tourism body is aiming to convert worldwide interest in the the UK into visitor numbers. A new 'Memories are GREAT' TV ad will include footage from the Olympics opening ceremony.
NEW BACCHANAL BUFFET IN VEGAS
This sounds truly awful to me, but here we go. USA Today today (I love writing that) has a good piece on the truly massive Bacchanal buffet at Caesar's, which apparently will serve up 500 dishes a day.
The USA Today story says Bacchanal's executive chef, Scott Green, "has worked on high-end cruise ships as well as in top restaurants." He gave the newspaper a tasting tour on Monday, showing off the "traditional Vegas buffet staples: prime rib (fine, not great Monday), shrimp (firm and tasty), bread pudding (scrumptious)" and more.
"But what sets this spread apart," the newspaper said, "are the sheer number of quality dishes and the half-dozen chefs presiding over their areas, with staffers doing much of the preparation in front of customers and trained to interact with guests." There are guacamole experts and tortillas being made in front of the guests, plus sushi cones and 22 types of gelato. And here you thought Vegas was going to do something to excess again.
FREE BOOZE PROGRAM EXPANDS ON CARNIVAL
Speaking of excess, USA Today also reports on how new Carnival Cruise lines is expanding its "all you can drink" alcohol package to a second ship.
"The Long Beach, Calif.-based Carnival Splendor has joined the Carnival Victory in offering the nearly $50 per day package, which gives buyers access to unlimited wine, beer and spirits as well as sodas and non-alcoholic frozen cocktails."
The package only includes spirits under $10, so you're probably getting Absolut instead of Grey Goose. Full bottles of wine and champagne, as well as wines by the glass, beers and individual cocktails priced above $10, are available at a 25% discount.
Celebrity and Royal Caribbean have similar packages, USA Today reports.