London 2012: 93 per cent of people satisfied with their Olympic experience

A majority of people who visited London for the Olympic Games had a positive experience, according to research.

The survey also found that a high percentage of people plan to participate in the sports they watched, but researchers have warned that people were speaking in the “positive afterglow” of the event, and may not follow through on intentions to play more sport.

Overall, 93 per cent of those surveyed were satisfied with their Olympic experience. Of the first time visitors to London surveyed, 72 per cent said they would visit the city again in the next 12 months.

The research was carried out at three places, each representing a different type of venue: the Aquatics Centre, a permanent venue built for the 2012 Games; Greenwich Park, a temporary venue for equestrian and pentathlon events; and Wimbledon, already an established sports venue.

Of those questioned 95 per cent were satisfied with their experience at the Aquatics Centre, 92 per cent at Greenwich Park and 88 per cent at Wimbledon.

Of those at the swimming events, 36 per cent were regular swimmers but after the event, 56 per cent stated that they would swim regularly for fun over the next 12 months.

At the equestrian events, 49 per cent were regular horse riders but after the event 57 per cent stated they would ride regularly for fun over the next 12 months.

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And at the tennis, 29 per cent were regular players, but after the event 44 per cent stated they would play regularly for fun over the next 12 months.

The results are from the preliminary findings of the research led by Graham Brown, professor of tourism at the University of South Australia and Dr Andrew Smith, city tourism expert at the University of Westminster, who were granted permission to do the work by the Independent Olympic Committee (IOC) and the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Dr Smith said: “It will be some time before we have a full understanding of the findings, however, our preliminary analysis suggests positive outcomes for London 2012 organisers.

“Those attending the events were very satisfied with their experiences and impressed with the venues. Attending the 2012 Olympic Games may have changed future tourism and leisure intentions, indicating an inspiring effect of the Games.

“However, we should remember that these results were derived from research undertaken in the positive afterglow of an event; and what people say they will do is often very different from what they actually do.”