As reported yesterday, Olympic and Paralympic ticket sales added 0.2 percentage points to the GDP figures. The Office of National Statistics said it had no figure for overall Olympic impact, but noted that hotel and restaurant activity in London and employment figures have been boosted.
Britain for Events, however, said the UK events industry is worth £36bn to the economy and is predicted to grow by some £500m as a direct result of the Games. Michael Hirst OBE, from the Britain for Events campaign and chair of the BVEP, added that the industry will also pick up the task of filling the £11bn extended infrastructure built as a result of the Olympics.
"The Olympic Games, the Queens Diamond Jubilee, and other related cultural activities, around Britain underline the awesome power of events in delivering both economic growth and social pride to communities; locally and nationally," he added. "Everyday the UK bids to bring major events to the UK, be they sporting competitions, cultural and live events, or business exhibitions orconferences. Each one of these brings in tourists, businesses, and spend to the economy; but we need help to win them."
Hirst went on to say that the government can do more to capitalise on the Olympics success, and called upon government to increase its support for organisations looking to bring new sporting, cultural and business events to the UK.
"The summer saw the benefit of the Games in bringing people into the UK who invested in our hotels, restaurants, and transport. However, the added benefits of increased commercial spend and activity underline the power of events in stimulating business," continues Hirst. "We also demonstrated that the UK is creative, innovative and drives business; both locally and nationally."