London gets busy

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London City Airport, the capital's only airport with a London postcode, is preparing for its busiest year yet in 2012 as London continues to move east and puts the airport on the doorstep of the city's newest developments.

In order to facilitate the needs and demands of increasing numbers of passengers, the airport will be introducing a 2012 information pod in the terminal throughout the duration of the Olympics and Paralympic Games to assist visitors to London. Passengers flying into and from London City Airport will benefit from the Docklands Light Rail direct service to Stratford, providing a time–saving option and minimal ground transportation costs. Manned by 'London Ambassadors', passengers will receive real time travel advice plus information on the many sights and sounds that London has to offer. Supported by the Greater London Authority (GLA), the Ambassadors will encourage short–haul visitors to enjoy all attractions in the capital including museums, parks, sights and shows, as well as sporting events. London City Airport is located just three miles from the main Olympic Park and even closer to ExCel and the North Greenwich Arena, home to select Olympic and Paralympics' events. In addition, it has Westfield Stratford City with the imminent Siemens Pavilion and 'Tech City', (new headquarters for Google UK), on its' doorstep. Offering a check–in time of just 20 minutes and a 10 minute transfer time from plan to surface transport on arrival, London City is ideally placed to play a key role in the transport provision for arriving visitors in 2012. Jeff Minnithorpe, Olympics project manager, London City Airport, said: " We are proud to have been approached by the GLA and chosen as a host for this facility. The information booth will be a welcome addition to London City Airport and we look forward to helping visitors to London in 2012 make the most of their time in this vibrant city. London City Airport is a vital entry point to London and the UK and this service will enhance our existing services and improve the customer experience for everyone travelling through the airport. " Meanwhile, London has been named as the sporting destination guaranteed to provide the highest return and media profile for sponsors following a survey conducted by IFM Sports Marketing. More than half of the global industry leaders polled believe London offers the best opportunity to increase new commercial revenues. The bid team working to bring the IAAF World Athletics Championships to London in 2017 believes that 2, 000 athletes, 450, 000 spectators and 14, 000 personnel from over 200 countries in London for nine days would mean that the economic benefit of hosting the Championships to the UK is in excess of £100m. Industry leaders ranked London as the world's top destination for providing an excellent return on investment – 20% more popular than its closest rival, Sydney. 84% of those polled cited strength of brand presence as one of the reasons why investing in events in London is attractive. Associated media platforms (84%) and the city's diverse population (74%) were also key drivers for event sponsors. The impact of London as a sporting host extends to a range of commercial benefits and more than 50% of the 110 global industry leaders polled believed London offered a gateway to new brand markets. Niels de Vos, chief executive of UKA, said: " This survey echoes the conversations I've had with global sports sponsors and the message is loud and clear; London is the preferred destination for major brands. But this isn't just about attracting the sponsor dollar for London 2017. A strong sponsorship programme combined with full stadium and record TV audiences could provide our sport with a significant legacy and a real foundation on which to build a global commercial platform. " The London 2017 bid has been put together by UKA, DCMS, the Mayor of London, London & Partners and UK Sport.

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