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Games’ £2.9bn boost for county
HADLEIGH Farm has attracted £2.9billion to the Essex economy.
The impact of the London 2012 Olympic Mountain Bike event has been revealed in a new study, due to be published early next year.
Essex tourism was up by £65million compared to the previous year, according to the study by Tourism South East.
The number of trips taken in the county increased by 891,737 and tourism-related jobs rose by 1,252.
About 40,000 people flocked to Hadleigh Farm and Country Park to watch the world’s elite mountain bikers take on the Olympic course over two days of the Games in August.
Serdar Gulekoglu opened Cafe Yemek, in Rectory Road, Hadleigh, three weeks before the Games came to Hadleigh.
He said: “The Olympics was amazing, it definitely helped to kick-start our business.
“It was very crazy during the event and for about two weeks afterwards. But we are doing better than last year and we have grown 10 or 20 per cent.
“There is still a lot of interest in Hadleigh, so many people are still coming to use their bikes.”
The Westcliff Hotel, in Westcliff Parade, was fully booked seven months before the Games after attracting the French and Belgian teams.
Manager Roberto Ross said: “It was great. The Olympics definitely helped us to move things forward.
“It’s hard to judge whether it has made us more popular, but the Olympics generated a lot more room sales and we have been trading brilliantly since.”
George Kieffer, chairman of Visit Essex said “These figures show tourism contributes a substantial amount to the local economy and it is heartening to see such positive figures.
“Essex is fantastic for day visits or short breaks. I would recommend people get out and discover new parts of Essex.”
Figures from the Economic Impact of Tourism 2012 report were revealed at Visit Essex’s annual members’ conference.
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