SPORTS

VisitBritain hopes for post-Olympics boost from Spice Girls, Damien Hirst

08/13/2012 03:17 EDT | Updated 10/13/2012 05:12 EDT
TORONTO - British tourism officials wasted no time in trying to capitalize on the Olympic Games' closing ceremonies, seen by at least 300 million people around the world, according to organizers' estimates.

"If you liked Damien Hirst's Union Jack stage design, admire his artwork close up," VisitBritain said in a press release issued the day after the Sunday night ceremonies in the Olympic stadium.

"Tate Modern's exhibition of the artist's work is on until Sept. 9, or you can dine at Tramshed in London, the restaurant with its own specially commissioned Hirst installation featuring a cow and a cockerel."

The U.K.'s official tourism promoter hopes the post-Olympics payoff will be increased visitor numbers, even though tourists actually spent less money during the Games than local businesses had hoped.

VisitBritain pointed out other ways potential visitors can follow up on the ceremonies, which featured music by top British talent:

— The musical "Viva Forever," with songs by the Spice Girls, opens in London's West End in November.

— "We Will Rock You," based on the songs of Queen, is on at London's Dominion Theatre.

— British dance troupe Stomp is currently touring the U.K. For tour dates, go to www.stomp.co.uk/location/uk.

— DJ Norman Cook from Fatboy Slim is from "party city" Brighton, a great clubbing destination. For clubs in London, check out Fabric, Dalston Superstore or Plastic People.

And for fashionistas, VisitBritain noted that Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Stella Tennant and other models in the show wore outfits by British designers including Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Kane and Paul Smith, all of whom have boutiques in central London.

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