Don’t miss a piece of Olympics business actionBy Alan Bunce
June 14, 2012
The Olympic Games can be used as the launchpad for long-term international business relationships.
Translation services provider Prestige Network in Thatcham has already been helping tourism, hospitality and hotel providers by translating their websites into various languages.
Chief executive Shawn Khorassani says there are wide-ranging spin-off opportunities for businesses to exploit, not just in the run-up to the Games, but once the tourists arrive.
He said: “Once they are here for the Games there may be business opportunities.
“They may have come over for a specific event, but they will keep their eyes and ears open and maybe other things will come of this.
“The Chinese might want to send their children to study in England and they might do that in Reading.
“We are seeing a lot of that happening. Education is very famous in this country and the Olympics is an excuse for more people to come to see this country.
“China is one of the biggest sources of tourism, they are very significant.”
Mr Khorassani said as well as businesses, universities want foreign students bringing their money here – and those tourists may not all be at events.
Some may have come without tickets to simply watch the Games in Hyde Park and may spend much of their time socialising.
Hotels in Reading, offering lower rates than in London, are likely to be full and Mr Khorassani says some of the tourists will be weighing up the UK and be open to opportunities.
He said: “If people come here to visit, they can get a flavour of the country if they want to do something later for their children or for themselves.
“It means we can work together and promote the country at the same time.
“You never know, they might come here [for the Games] then they might send their children here to do a job.
“Millions of people will be coming here and relationships will be established.
“The groups who want to go to sporting events are not the usual tourists who go on holiday. And they are not just from China and Russia, the far-flung parts of the world. Many are from Europe.”
Prestige Network has already completed thousands of pounds of Olympic-related work, although Mr Khorassani could not say exactly how much.
He said: “It’s hard to say really. I imagine it will be six figures. It only happens once in a lifetime. I don’t think I will see it happen again.”