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Olympics to boost UK tourism for years

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Globetrotters look set to make more foreign money transfers into the UK in the future as the Olympics will provide a boom for local tourism, according to Travelsupermarket.com.

The travel deal-finder claims that the high TV profile of the London 2012 Olympics will inspire visitors to come to the UK for years after the games.

"It's quite common for the consumer to see films or television in places that they deem to be aspirational or that other people are going to and then want to go themselves," commented Bob Atkinson, travel expert with the group.

Flight search figures on travel website Cheapflights.co.uk have shown a rise in popularity for destinations highlighted on reality TV shows, such as The X-Factor and Made in Chelsea.

Mykonos in Greece experienced an 89 per cent jump in searches after X-Factor judge Tulisa took her team of contestants there to compete for as position as a finalist in the show.

Travelsupermarket.com's Mr Atkinson said that it is no surprise that films and television programmes influence where people look for holidays.

"We even had a spike in holidays to Ibiza following the release of The Inbetweeners film. It doesn't matter what it is - if it looks fabulous then it has a definite spike," he added.

The expert said that sporting events had a similar effect on tourism, with big tournaments like the World Cup in South Africa showing beautiful images of Cape Town as part of their coverage.

"It also gives the destination the fillip afterwards for renewed and additional interest," he said, describing it as a "halo effect".

He continued: "The Olympics here in the UK will have an impact on people wanting to come to Britain, just as in the past the Sydney Olympics prompted a massive interest in trips to Australia."

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