THE WORLD INSPIRED BY LONDON 2012: London & Partners launches new SMG Insight / YouGov research which shows London fever has spread around the world

London is set to inspire the world over the next 4 months in the run up to London 2012 according to new research launched by London & Partners which shows the extent of international excitement about the Olympics and the host city, London.

cycling past buckingham palace

In central London, outside the Olympic Park, a celebration of cultures will be hitting the streets, with National Olympic Committees creating a festival atmosphere by offering opportunities for fans from around the world to show their support for their athletes. Over 40 nations will be represented through official NOC Houses situated around London. The NOC houses will offer fans an opportunity to experience the national entertainment and culture, watch sports on big screens and join in celebrations during athlete appearances.

London 2012 is also creating a lasting global sporting legacy with over one-in-four people from sampled nations inspired to take up swimming and one-in-five considering taking up cycling this year. To capitalise on this interest plans are already in place to launch a new world-class cycling event in the city following the Games – cycling’s equivalent of the London Marathon.

Such is the excitement about the Games in China that two-thirds of the Chinese population, the hosts of the 2008 Olympics, are inspired to participate in Badminton during 2012 and over half intend to take up table tennis.

Music, culture and outdoor spaces are also important for international visitors to London. London’s river, squares and parks are an important attraction for visitors with almost 6-in-10 stating that they intend to visit London’s famous outdoor spaces. In these spaces, BT will be hosting BT London Live sites where medal events will be shown on the big screen and a daily schedule of cultural and arts showcases from around the world will be shown.

Retail will also experience a significant boost with over 40% of visitors planning to go to world famous shopping locations such as Harrods, Selfridges and Oxford Street.

Iain Edmondson, Head of the Major Events team at London & Partners said: “During the Games, there will be a festival atmosphere filling the streets of London with numerous opportunities for the public to experience the spirit of the Games even if they don’t have tickets. After 2012 people will be able to turn the inspiration of the Games into participation, by entering London’s world-class mass-participation events such as the London Marathon, London Triathlon and new road cycling event.”

Key results from the London Sport Global Inspiration Survey show that:

  • 28% of adults are inspired to take up swimming during 2012. 20% inspired to take up cycling.
  • Both modern and historic sporting locations are the most inspiring Olympic venues. 23% want to see the Olympic Stadium, 18% Olympic Aquatic Centre and 18% Wimbledon
  • 23% of those surveyed favour watching Rafael Nadal and Michael Phelps. Rising stars such as basketball player Jeremy Lin (20%) and cyclist Mark Cavendish (13%) also feature as inspirational figures around the world. Usain Bolt is the most popular athletes for UK residents, with 28% stating that they are inspired to watch him.
  • 69% of the Chinese population are inspired to watch basketball during 2012. Nearly a third (30%) of the international survey is inspired to watch athletics/running.
  • Half of visitors to London are inspired to visit a museum or historic building. Slightly more (53%) will visit a tourist attraction such as Madame Tussauds and 57% will visit a park, river or public space.

The full report can be viewed and downloaded from here:

London Sport Global Inspiration Survey

An Infographic Map of London displaying detail from the Inspiration Survey can be viewed and downloaded from here:

Infographic Map

For the full list of NOC houses available to the public and what’s going on in London throughout 2012 go to

Notes to Editors

About London & Partners

London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London. Our company attracts and delivers value to business, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners.

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About London Sport Global Inspiration Survey

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from SMG Insight / YouGov.  Total sample size was 4614 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 12th – 21st March 2012.  The survey was carried out online and respondents were from the following nations: UK, China, USA and France. The figures have been weighted to represent all 18+ adults from these nations.

About the new London World-Class Cycling Event

In January 2012, the Mayor announced plans to host an annual weekend festival of cycling from August 2013. The first day of the festival would involve a family fun ride for up to 70,000 cyclists on a loop of closed roads around London’s iconic landmarks. The following day up to 35,000 amateur, club and world class elite cyclists will tackle a 100 mile course that will begin in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and be based on much of the route of the 2012 Games cycle road race.


Chloe Couchman –

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