Britain is looking to China as it aims to "turbo-charge" tourism and harness the good feeling in the wake of the London Olympics.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a speech to industry leaders at Tate Modern , set out how the Government hopes to create a lasting tourism legacy from the Games.
Key to the strategy is an £8m marketing campaign focused on China, in the hope this will triple the number of visitors from the country to 500,000.
The Government claims this has the potential to generate more than £500m in extra tourist spending and create some 14,000 new jobs.
A further £2m will be spent on marketing efforts at home, matched by funding from the tourism industry.
The Olympic success story will also be linked to other big sporting events, including the Champions League Final at Wembley Stadium next year, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014, and the 2017 World Athletics Championships in London.
The Government aims to increase the number of overseas visitors to the UK from just over 30 million today to 40 million by 2020.
China is a huge market but only around 150,000 Chinese tourists came to Britain last year. Chinese visitors to France are up to 50% higher.
The new tourist campaign will increase marketing in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing and look to improve flight links between the two countries.
Mr Hunt said: "The Olympics have been for Britain what Usain Bolt is for athletics - something that grabs the attention of the whole world and refuses to let it go.
"From the wonder of Danny Boyle's opening ceremony to the most incredible sporting achievements, the Games have been a fantastic showcase for our country.
"We must use this extraordinary year to turbo-charge our tourism industry, to create jobs and prosperity on the back of a globally-enhanced reputation."
While hopes for the future are high, Britain actually saw a tourism slump during the Olympics.
UKinbound , the leading trade association for tour operators, said 66% of businesses surveyed said foreign tourism bookings were significantly down year-on-year.
The survey, which included tour operators, hoteliers and visitor attractions, showed that tourist traffic fell across the UK, not just in London.
The group said many travellers side-stepped Britain altogether in order to avoid the capital, the country's biggest gateway.
Mr Hunt insisted rumours of a "ghost town" in the capital are untrue because footfall on major shopping streets had surged, tube traffic was at record levels and hotels were "extremely busy".