Try ‘down dog’ with Up at The O2

The O2 in Greenwich is developing new experiences for visitors climbing over the famous dome, including yoga classes and guided history trips.

Tom Littlechild, marketing and communications director at The O2, said the attraction is tapping into the trend for ‘experiential’ travel and new opportunities.

He was speaking at the Tourism Society’s Tourism Symposium, held in Greenwich on June 4-5, in a session about changes in destination development.

Littlechild told delegates that 70 million people had been to The O2 over the past 10 years but most were visiting for shows and concerts.

Five years ago, the attraction began offering the chance to climb over the dome, with the 90-minute Up at The O2 experience.

More than 500,000 people have now taken the walk across the roof of The O2, which was originally built as the Millennium Dome.

“It is going incredibly well, and we are getting great feedback, as people have a sense of achievement,” he told delegates.

“People are looking for more experiential opportunities so we are augmenting it with yoga, and the Museum of London is doing guided tours on the climb.”

Climbers can also toast their achievement with champagne, or book a climb with hot chocolate drinks in the winter.

Furthermore, a designer outlet retail village will open at the site in the autumn; the cinema will expand from 11 to 19 screen; and a trampolining park will also open, making The O2 much more of a day trip destination for visitors.

A group of Tourism Symposium delegates did The O2 climb as part of a discovery tour – one of three trips aimed at showcasing Greenwich and Woolwich.

As well as The O2 climb, the delegates crossed the Thames on the Emirates Air Line cable car and travelled along the Thames with MBNA Thames Clippers.