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Olympics26 / ConferenCe & Meetings World / issUe 65Marathon not a sprintBarBara JaMison, Head of BUsiness developMent eUrope at Convention BUreaU london & partners, opens oUr speCial featUre on olyMpiC legaCieshe 'halo' effect around the London 2012 Olympics has seen the city's offer as a business destination change radically. New hotels are opening and new venues are launching each month. The city needs to avoid any sort of white elephant syndrome when the Games finish. London is being reinvented. In the four years to 2012, over £11bn (US$17.4bn) worth of investment will have taken place across the city. During the past two years, hoteliers have viewed London as the European city for new openings. St Pancras Station is now home to a Victorian masterpiece restored - the five-star £150m Renaissance Marriott Hotel, offering 244 rooms alongside the Eurostar terminal. The Strand has seen the return of the Savoy Hotel, following a £200m refurbishment, and the five-star 294-room Corinthia property has opened in Whitehall. Starwood has opened its first UK W Hotel in Leicester Square, while Park Lane has welcomed a192-room Four Seasons. Other openings include London Syon Park, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel, and the rejuvenated St Ermin's Hotel in Westminster. The new destination brand Aloft is due to open at London Excel this year.Improved transport links to the key Olympic sites include an East London line extension, upgrades to the existing Docklands Light Railway (DLR), and a 225km/h above: london is no stranger to the olympic games. Below: tom daley makes a splash to open the new aqua Centrehigh-speed Javelin service to take spectators from St Pancras to the Olympic Park in seven minutes. The 2012 Games will use a mixture of new and existing venues, and temporary facilities, in locations including Hyde Park, Greenwich Park and Horse Guards Parade. Much of the focus however will be on the Olympic Park located in the Lower Lea Valley in East London where up to 180,000 spectators a day will gather. A lasting legacy for this regeneration area is a top priority.There are five main venues in the Olympic Park including the 80,000 seat Olympic Stadium, the VeloPark, an Aquatics Centre, Basketball Arena and Handball Arena. After the greatest show on earth has left town, the area will be transformed into one of the largest urban parks in Europe, while the sports facilities will be opened for use by local sports clubs and societies. The Olympic Village will be converted into 3,600 apartments and the media centre will evolve into a new business and events hub. Post-Games, event organisers will be able to make use of the Olympic venues by booking their next conference in the Velodrome or the Olympic Stadium. The convention bureau will do as much as possible to support the MICE sector coming into London both before and after the Games. But, we do know this is a marathon and not a sprint. TolyMpiCs seCtion Words paul colston / Vikki carley / sarah o'donnell

OlympicsISSUE 65 / ConfErEnCE & MEEtIngS World / 27"The new infrastructure that the Games brought enabled us to attract larger international associations and groups along with an increase in sporting events," added McKenzie.The Winter Olympics included curling, figure skating and sledge hockey. The Vancouver Organising Committee's operating revenues and expenses balanced at US$1,884.1m.The event took place across 17 days with 2,566 athletes taking part from 82 participating countries. Ten thousand media representatives attended the event which was seen by three billion television viewers worldwide.A report from Pricewaterhouse Coopers indicated that the Games generated US$2.3bn in GDP between 2003 and the end of the Games and created over 45,000 jobs. thE 2010 WIntEr olyMpICS gEnEratEd MorE than US$10M In tEntatIvE ConfErEnCE and InCEntIvE bUSInESS Digital OlympicsThe 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver were the first Games to introduce a digital and social media strategy, which generated 13.5bn impressions per month on the website.The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) said the concept and marketing efforts behind the Games generated more than US$10m in tentative conference and incentive business leads for Canada for the years ahead, changing the face of the global meetings and incentives business model and strategy.The CTC's CEO, Michele McKenzie, told CMW of its other activities to promote the games and work to leave a lasting legacy."We are thrilled with the legacy that the Winter Olympics brought to Canada for the conference and incentive market."We worked hard to promote all aspects and corners of Canada as a nation in the afterglow of this important event, by hosting key buyers and media to join us behind the scenes at other large events and festivals that we hosted in that year, such as the G8/G20 summit in Toronto, the Toronto Fim Festival and the Quebec City Winter Wonderland."McKenzie said the Games also brought a redeveloped infrastructure to the country, including a sustainable wing to the Vancouver Convention Centre, a newly-designed highway from Vancouver to Whistler and an airport transporter allowing visitors easy access to downtown. the Winter games generated US$2.3bn in gdpWe are thrilled with the legacy the Winter Olympics brought to the conference and incentive marketceo of canadian tourism commission, michele mcKenZie