May 9 - British, Brazilian and Australian tourist authorities have signed a cooperation deal to maximise the benefits of hosting the Olympics. 

Delegations from the three countries met in Rio de Janeiro - which is due to follow London in 2012 and host the 2016 Olympics - to share their experiences and discussed ways to increase tourism during the Games.

While London and Rio are both looking forward to hosting the Olympics, Sydney staged them in 2000 and Australian officials will provide advice on how to maximise the opportunity.  

Brazil's Tourism Minister, Luiz Barretto Filho, said: "We will only organise a great Olympics if we give continuity to policies - not to people, but to public policies which are linked to the state and not to specific Governments.

"I'm certain that we are walking in that direction and we have a lot to learn, not only in terms of infrastructure, in professional qualification, but also in terms of coordinating governance, which is crucial for the success of an Olympic Games campaign."

Sandie Dawe, the chief executive of Visit Britain, said that the agreement opens a path for cooperation in other areas besides tourism.
She said: "We feel that this sets the stage for much greater engagement between our two countries and how we can work together - yes, on the tourism dimension, but on many more dimensions as well. We both share the challenge and the privilege of hosting this huge event, so we can think about not only what it can do for us but what we can do for the Olympic Movement."