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Government lack of support for tourism approaching the London Olympics

It is common knowledge among those of us who have investigated the track record of previous Olympic Games that the headline hype about the games 'boost for tourism' is an empty daydream.

Despite all the evidence of the social costs of such mega-events local Olympic boosters have preferred to focus on the supposed popularity which will accrue to leading politicians in addition to the corporate welfare benefitting property interests and the owners and shareholders of construction firms.

Having decided to proceed with this greedy folly they have been warned that:

"..the social legacies of an Olympic Games will be critically dependent on the ways in which it is embedded into a wider set of strategic, well resourced policy agendas. Its ambitions must be couched in modest terms if it is not to disappoint and organisers need to think laterally about the multiple impacts that can result from such events. At the same time it must not draw investment away from bottom-up, grassroots sporting and community organisations and it needs to build on existing strengths and capacities in the surrounding areas."

Whose Gold Rush? The social legacy of a London Olympics, Mike Raco, After the Gold Rush, IPPR

However the UK tourist industry are becoming alarmed at the lackadaisical behaviour of government ministers.

With the Government providing little to no help, or financial support, it is becoming clear that the hospitality industry itself is going to have to lead the way on tourism for the 2012 London Olympics.

...the bigger picture for the industry is looking ahead to the 2012 Olympics, now that the baton has been passed from Beijing. Funding is quite clearly the industry's main bugbear. As Kurt Janson, policy director at the Tourism Alliance points out, not only has Visit Britain's funding been cut by 18%, but the DCMS has not yet committed any dedicated funding to implement its own tourism strategy.


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