London given Etiquette Guide ahead of 2012

Avoid saying “thank you” to a Chinese compliment, and don’t ask a Brazilian personal questions.

Those are among the tips in a new etiquette guide designed to help create a warm welcome for visitors ahead of the 2012 London Olympics.

The list was compiled by VisitBritain, the national tourism agency, and is geared to help everyone from hoteliers to taxi drivers be culturally sensitive.

“Overseas visitors spend more than £16 billion ($25 billion) a year in Britain, contributing massively to our economy and supporting jobs across the country,” said Sandie Dawe, chief executive of VisitBritain.