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Cuts affect VisitLondon ahead of 2012 Olympics

Promote London

The mayor of London Boris Johnson has announced that the capital city's tourist board has survived the recent spending cuts. However, VisitLondon is set to be merged with two other bodies: Study London, specialising in marketing the city's universities to international students, and Think London, which aims to attract international investment. All three currently have contracts with the London Development Agency (LDA), which has a £480 million budget. As part of the government's spending review, the LDA is to be shut down and the three marketing bodies will become one, known as Promote London, on 1 April 2011. This umbrella agency will receive an annual budget of £14 million per year for four years, compared to the £11.7 million of funding pledged to VisitLondon alone in the current financial year. In an effort to save money, the new agency will be based in a single office and employ fewer staff than the current trio.

Preparing for the Olympics

The mayor made the official announcement on 21 December 2010, stating the agency would "lead on promoting the capital in the run up to and during the 2012 Games". This is set to include encouraging more hospitality and corporate businesses into the city, increasing media exposure, and securing more major events in the future. These could include the royal wedding and the SportAccord convention in April. The VisitLondon website is already a popular resource for tourists, including a huge database of reputable accommodation in London, from budget to luxury hotels. It also lists London's top restaurants by the type of cuisine on offer, and features special discount offers for restaurants and tourist attractions across the city.

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