Posts Tagged London 2012

2012 Round up

Happy new year from all at Holiday Cottages! 2012 was an eventful and special year, with a successful Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee; it all came up roses for Britain. Before we start on news in 2013, here’s a round up of the main stories we covered on this blog last year.

January started positively for holiday cottage owners, as research showed that an increased number of people were planning self-catering holidays. The future of rail travel got a boost as new high speed lines got the go ahead from the government, and quicker and easier searches were made possible by thetrainline.com and Google Maps. However, train companies did not fare very well in a customer satisfaction survey.

February started with a cold snap and the government warned that parents could be fined if they were found to be taking their children on holiday during term time.

In April we posted about some brilliantholiday properties and also gave you a list of top things to do over Easter, many of which are also applicable at other times of the year!

The Olympic torch relay began in May, as a precursor to London 2012. We also ran two great competitions, tickets to Oakwood Theme Park and to Chessington World of Adventures.

Much speculation arose regarding the impact the Olympics would have on the UK in June. Brits changed their holiday plans to fit around the Games, no one knew if the Tube would cope with the extra visitors (by and large it did), and British Airways even launched a campaign to get people to stay at home and support Team GB.

July saw record rainfall over the space of 24 hours. In August the number of ‘nightcations’ were found to be on the rise, and the Lake District got some Hollywood visitors.

Yorkshire was branded ‘not a destination’, by Visit England in September, something which has been proved otherwise after it was named best for holidays at the World Travel Awards the following month, and most recently been made the starting point for the Tour de France 2014.

A rise in demand for wi-fi in holiday cottages was revealed by a survey in December, and we gave you a list of some beautiful festive getaways, great for all year, not just for Christmas!

 

So, that was the year on this blog. What will 2013 bring? Bookmark us and find out! You can also keep track of us on our Facebook page.

For a rundown of travel news in and outside of the UK, see our sister site blog, Villaseek.

 

 

 

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Government urged to relax tourism visas after poor August visitor figures

Last week we reported that that VisitBritain is in consultation over aims to increase inbound UK travel up to 40 million visitors by 2020. Since then, tourism bosses are reported to be urging the Government to relax tourist visas after a 5% drop in UK visitors in August.

Figures for UK travel and tourism during August have just been released by the Office for National Statistics. Visitor spend was up 9% but compared to 2011, arrivals were down by 5%, leaving the total visits for the year to date at the same level as last year.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games were a huge draw, as 590,000 overseas visitors indicated that they had come to attend ticked events, or were participating or working at the Games themselves. Visitors spent an average of £1,290 (total £760 million), which is almost double the usual amount they would normally be expected to spend.

Sandie Dawe, chief executive at VisitBritain said: “The first six months of the year saw a record in terms of both the number of holiday arrivals and the amount of spend, and with August’s figures we are now at the same level as we were in 2011.

“The extraordinary exposure Britain received during the Games has provided us with an ideal platform to remind people around the world why a visit to Britain is a must, and we are working hard to deliver a strong finish to the year.”

 

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Riding on the success of London 2012

London 2012 logo made by school children. Photo by Flickr user surreynews

London 2012 logo made by school children. Photo by Flickr user surreynews

 

Riding on the success of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, VisitBritain is to launch a new campaign to attract visitors to the UK.

Official figures show a drop in visitors to the UK during the Olympics compared to a normal year. However, according to BAA, this is the ‘Olympic effect’, as UK passengers chose to stay at home to watch the Games, and non-Olympic visitors decided to defer their journeys.

A new advert with the slogan ‘Memories are GREAT’ will be launched by VisitBritain. It will include footage of the opening ceremony, and a print version will run for several months in National Geographic and Time Out magazines. It is hoped that this promotion will extend the good press and image the UK has received worldwide throughout the Games.

In addition, VisitBritain has partnered with STA Travel to promote Britain to the youth market on university campuses. Together with British Airways, £5 million will be invested in the US, Japan, China, and the Middle East to encourage visitors to the UK for Christmas shopping and January sales. BA will also offer discounted flights to help push the campaign.

Laurence Bresh, director of marketing at VisitBritain said: “The main event may be over, but the hard work begins now.

“Britain’s image and reputation around the world is riding high, this next stage of our GREAT campaign aims to convert worldwide interest into increased bookings. We’ve captured the world’s imagination on TV screens over the last few weeks, and now is the time to inspire them to come to Britain.”

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Eurotunnel increases capacity over Olympics

Speed down the Eurotunnel, picture by Flickr user Bitman

Speed down the Eurotunnel, picture by Flickr user Bitman

 

Visitors to the London 2012 from across the Channel will be happy to hear that Eurotunnel has increased both the capacity and speed of its passenger trains to cope with the higher demand of visitors during the Games.

An extra half shuttle for passenger vehicle transport has been added, plus the speed of passenger trains has been increased from 140kph to 160kph which knocks an extra five minutes off the journey time. Additional service booths have also been put into service to cope with the extra capacity and keep the flow of traffic consistent.

In addition, the timetable for the Olympics coach transport provider, Eurolines, has been intensified to allow for more coaches to cross early in the morning so visitors can arrive in good time to watch morning events.

This is not just good news for passengers, but also for Eurotunnel, which has just revealed a 14% rise in revenues for the six months to June compared to the same period last year. Eurostar passenger numbers have also seen a 3% increase.

 

 

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The Olympics are coming home – to Shropshire

Picturesque Wenlock by Michael Maggs

Picturesque Wenlock by Michael Maggs, Wikimedia

While gold will be handed out in London in 2012 for being ‘swifter, higher, stronger’, there is a need to look to the history books – and to the picturesque Shropshire market town of Much Wenlock, 150-miles away – to see who won the very first modern Olympian medals.

Shropshire may appear an unlikely place to find the origins of the modern international Olympic Games, yet it was here, in 1850, that Dr William Penny Brookes first thought of reviving the ancient games and founded the Wenlock Olympian Society. Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the acknowledged founder of the modern Olympic Games, later wrote “and of the Olympic Games, which modern Greece has not yet revived, it is not a Greek to whom one is indebted, but rather Dr W. P. Brookes”.


The town’s role in the Olympic revival has been recognised in the choice of ‘Wenlock’ as the official London 2012 Olympic Games mascot, to the surprise of townspeople.


The Wenlock Olympian Games are still held in July each year, attracting athletes from all across the UK.

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