British tourism board focusing on gay travel for Olympics

VisitBritain, the U.K.'s national tourism agency, has announced plans to boost the number of visitors in the years running up to the 2012 Olympic Games by employing social media tools and focusing on five "themes".

Those themes are:

- Dynamic
- Classic
- Luxury
- Generation Y
- Gay and lesbian travel

The objective appears two-fold - to encourage travelers to visit as much of the U.K. as possible before and during their trip to the Olympic Games and to make them understand and feel part of British society based on their demographic and travel needs.

Along with direct advertising to consumers and traditional media campaigns, marketing will also be done via social networks, micro-blogging platforms and blogs. VisitBritain's aim is to broadcast Britain's culture, history and sporting prowess to the world in attempt to boost the tourism industry's coffers and make visitors feel part of the greater community.

In particular, Britain wants to "outsmart" rather than "outspend" its competitors, creating communities of advocates and spreading the word virally.

"To capitalize on the potential tourism gains of hosting the 2012 Games in Britain we must be smarter," VisitBritain's marketing director, Laurence Bresh, recently told The Independent. "We must be smarter with our communications, utilizing social media and a refreshed brand embracing the Olympics and our welcome to Britain agenda."