On your marks for an Olympian summer

The London Games, which open tomorrow, offer a great opportunity to boost trade, says CCE Scotland boss Alan Halliday

WE’VE seen the stunning reception given to the Olympic flame as part of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

07_260712The reaction from crowds across the UK, including here in Scotland where support was outstanding, has exceeded many people’s expectations.
As we stand on the eve of the opening ceremony, there are still no definitive numbers on the visitors expected during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. But one thing is for sure, as we’ve seen with the torch relay, those visitors will not just descend on London, they’ll experience the magic of London 2012 everywhere in the UK.
That’s why it’s essential the ‘collective we’ working in British hospitality use the Olympic and Paralympic Games as a platform to secure business, not just for this summer, but well beyond 2012.
With more Britons staying home to celebrate, and foreign visitors extending their visits to other popular UK destinations, the entire hospitality economy will benefit from the London Games.
As an industry, never has there been a more significant time to extend our warmest welcome, to deliver excellent service and to offer the best products served perfectly.

Licensees should consider how they can maximise trade over this period and beyond by working with suppliers to realise this potential.

We must seize the opportunity to promote our businesses before, during and after those few weeks to reach new visiting customers and also to re-engage existing customers.
For the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games I believe Coca-Cola’s activation plan can be easily and broadly implemented by pubs too.
Our approach is to drive excitement and awareness to urge people to see and participate in all the Olympic and Paralympic events.
We’re working hard with pubs to help bring this to life, and if pubs can successfully maximise the opportunities at a local level, they will not just benefit from an immediate increase in business, but also drive future custom and leave a great legacy for the whole of the UK hospitality industry.
Of course this golden opportunity isn’t just for this summer or exclusively for London.
The next few weeks could shape the next few years of hospitality and tourism in the whole of the UK.
Licensees should consider how they can maximise their trade over this period and beyond by working with the suppliers that will help them realise this potential.

Image: Halliday: industry must seize “golden opportunity”.