We Brits certainly know how to party. Sunday's closing ceremony for the London 2012 Games was a truly foot-tapping, arm-waving musical celebration. I was lucky enough to be there and it was not unlike the best of Glastonbury but with seats - and no mud!
The evening was a fitting end to a festive fortnight in the global spotlight: a tribute to the uplifting spirit of the games, to the world's athletes and to our friendly volunteers - the face of the games.
Along with the rest of the country I'm proud and humbled at how Britain delivered what many are saying are the best Games ever. Everyone here at the national tourism agency VisitBritain is revelling in the international coverage, not only of the sport but also of our cultural festival and our diverse and beautiful British landscapes which served as the backdrop to the sport.
This global media storm about the Games has boosted Britain's image around the world. Out goes old-fashioned misconceptions of stuffy and stiff upper lips, in comes fun and friendliness.
In the first six months of this year, before the Olympic flame had finished its tour of the country, VisitBritain had generated £3.3 billion worth of positive coverage of Britain in TV and print media around the world.
Such feel-good, international coverage didn't happen by chance.
Since the 2005 bid, here at VisitBritain we have been planning to use the Games to encourage more people from overseas to holiday here. We worked with international broadcasters to ensure the world sees the best of Britain beyond the sporting fields. We helped generate programmes on countryside, heritage, food, arts and the music scene.
Nearly 9000 non-accredited (i.e. non sports-related) media from 102 countries registered for the London Media Centre which opened in the heart of Westminster for the Games. Here more than 200 events such as media briefings, bespoke hospitality events and interviews with VIP guests including Lady Carnarvon owner Highclere (Downton Abbey), Jamie Oliver, Lennox Lewis, and Boris Becker took place. We also organised media tours around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for more than 500 journalists.
When the Games finally arrived, they got off to a flying start with an opening ceremony that showed Britain's history and heritage, sense of humour and quirkiness, as well as our literature, movies and music - the very themes that bring millions of holidaymakers to these Isles of Wonder every year. Over the last 17 days, millions have watched sports played against a backdrop of tourist sites: Hampton Court Palace, Horse Guard's Parade, Greenwich, Hyde Park and the Jurassic Coast at Weymouth.
Games-time activities led to a huge increase in people around the world 'talking' to us on Facebook and Twitter - a five-fold increase. During the opening ceremony alone while we posted pictures and information more than 100,000 people liked, shared or commented on our LoveUK Facebook site.
Britain has captured the imagination of the world - now we need to capture their holiday bookings!
We want Britain to be included as a holiday choice in more overseas travel packages and brochures around the world.
Legacy is a much over-used word - and the Games are expected to secure legacy benefits on everything from sport participation to social mobility and inward investment. We know that the tourism legacy of hosting the Games is not a given and needs to be worked for. That's why we invited the top travel operators to Britain during the Games and took 20 VIP influential travel company chiefs on tours of Wales, Scotland, England and London.
That's also why we have embarked on our biggest ever marketing programme. In an 18 month period we will have invested around £35 million promoting Britain in our priority markets. We are now launching a major campaign with our industry partners - airlines, hotels and tour operators - offering great deals so that people who have seen Britain on their screens now book their trip.
We have to make sure that we continue to compete internationally. Every year overseas visitors contribute £18 billion to the British economy. This is twice the cost of staging the Games. A gold medal performance by VisitBritain now will produce growth and jobs across all of Britain in the years ahead.
Follow Sandie Dawe on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@SandieDawe