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Athletes, tourists get Olympic tattoos in London
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥٦ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

LONDON — The British capital is awash in Olympic ink — tattoo ink, that is.

At Olympic venues around London, competitors flaunt marks of blood, sweat, tears — and hopefully glory — on toned arms, hips and torsos.

But tattoos of the iconic Olympic logo — the five interlocked rings — aren't just for the world's top athletes. Amateurs, performers at the opening ceremony and tourists as well have been inspired to get the Olympic spirit under their skin.

And it's not just in London: Thousands of miles away in Chicago, freelance writer Arika Kaosa says she is planning to ink the Olympic rings on the back of her left ankle next week.

"I love how the colors of the rings represent colors in flags of all the national teams originally in Olympic competition," said the 25-year-old, who has been following the games on television at home.

"I will use this tattoo as a positive motivator to get back into the level of performing I was previously at," said the keen tennis player.

In the Olympic host city, tattoo parlors say they have been getting some extra business from athletes and people who are involved in the games.

One potential customer they should look out for: 17-year-old American swimmer Missy Franklin, who has already won four golds and one bronze, has told reporters she wants to get an Olympic rings tattoo once the games are over.

Many Olympians like to record their achievements or tell their life story through body art — and tattoos of the five rings are so common sometimes it seems that non-inked bodies are the minority.

The art is most visible on swimmers — Michael Phelps has the rings on his hip, and fellow Americans Ryan Lochte and Matthew Grevers both sport them on their biceps. British diver Nicholas Robinson-Baker has a large colored one on his chest, while Canada's Brent Hayden complements large tattoos on his torso and arms with the rings — adorned with a maple leaf — on his back.

British gymnast Louis Smith wears a quote, "What I deserve I earn," on his back, a canvas that also features a winged cross and two large angels. Also spotted on bodies across London this week: Butterflies, a mammoth, tattoo sleeves, a Bible verse, crosses and roses.

But the plain Olympic rings are the most popular choice for tourists and fans who want a permanent souvenir of their trip.

"They're mainly Americans — there's a hell of a lot of Americans in town," said Darryl Gates, owner of Diamond Jacks, a tattoo parlor in London's Soho area.

"A few years ago Led Zeppelin played here and we did Led Zeppelin tattoos for two weeks. That's kind of what this is like," he added.

Supporters of the British home team are getting something more patriotic.

"We did the Team GB lion logo on two athletes who came in on opening ceremony day," said Scott Maclaren at the Fulham Tattoo Center, referring to a stylized head of the animal with streaks of color resembling the Union Jack.

Those considering getting an Olympic tattoo may want to stick to the simpler designs. One American visitor picked a more elaborate one and it will make her remember the London games — but for all the wrong reasons.

Jerri Peterson wanted to commemorate her moment as an Olympic torchbearer, but her tattoo artist, based in Georgia, misspelt Olympic. Her body art reads "Oylmpic Torch Bearer" instead.

"I looked at it and I was so disappointed. I called my husband and he giggled a little bit," Peterson, from Atlanta, told the BBC after she carried the torch through the English town of Derby. "Then I started laughing about it and I've laughed ever since."

 


 
 
London 2012 unveils £700m deals
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥٥ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

By Bill Wilson

Business reporter, BBC News

 Hundreds of firms have already secured contracts for the 2012 Games

The organisers of the 2012 Olympic Games in London are putting £700m of contracts related to goods and services for the event out to tender.

There will be eight categories of goods and services for firms to win work.

The chairman of the London Olympics' organising committee, Sebastian Coe, said the scale of the contracts on offer was "potentially massive".

"The organising committee is now at a stage where we move from planning to delivery," he said.

 "With less than three years to go, we're starting the procurement process for everything we need to stage a memorable Games.

"The scope of this is potentially massive - from sporting equipment to catering services and beyond."

He added that the games should be as much about a triumph for the "bottom line" as it was about the sports "finishing line".

'Opportunities'

Firms seeking to win contracts will have to abide by the rules set out by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog).

The vast majority of Locog's procurement will go through the website Compete For, an online service for matching potential suppliers with games-related business opportunities.

"There are many opportunities for companies of all sizes to get involved with London 2012 - whether it's directly through Locog or through one of our sponsors, stakeholders or suppliers further down the supply chain," said Locog procurement director Gerry Walsh.

"The opportunities are out there and I would urge anyone who is interested to sign up to our procurement portal Compete For."

'Opens the door'

Meanwhile, although the majority of contracts have now been granted by the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) - responsible for the games' infrastructure, there is still up to £1bn of goods and services work still to be awarded.

Contracts available through the ODA include facilities management, design and temporary construction.

             With host countries like, Russia, Brazil and South Africa needing to develop their infrastructure beyond just the sports events there is huge potential for UK businesses to get involved and London 2012 opens the door for them

 

Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell

And it is also hoped that UK firms can use experience gained in seeking London 2012 work to enable them to win contracts on offer from other host major sporting events.

Forthcoming global events include the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games, the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Russia's hosting of the Sochi 2014 Winter Games and Brazil's hosting of both the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

"There are still plenty of opportunities for British businesses to benefit from the Olympics," said Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell.

"With host countries like, Russia, Brazil and South Africa needing to develop their infrastructure beyond just the sports events there is huge potential for UK businesses to get involved and London 2012 opens the door for them."            

 


 
 
London Olympics (and the power of propaganda)
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥٤ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

For several months before the Olympics, Londoners were effectively brainwashed with messages of how our beloved city will be overrun with hundreds of thousands of tourists and spectators which will heavily affect the roads and disrupt the public transport system. Restrictions were put in place on certain underground stations, express Olympic lanes were painted on to roads and motorways, and we were told to “get ahead of the games” by setting off much earlier than usual to travel, or better still, avoid travelling at all during this season.

It’s now two weeks into the Olympics and I, like a few others who have dared to venture out, have found myself travelling seamlessly through London - the roads are clearer, there are less people on the trains and buses, and London, outside of the immediate Olympic areas, is generally moving faster than usual!

Now this may well be a glowing testament to the organisational skills of TFL and everyone else involved in the Olympics, but (without meaning to be political), there’s also something to be said here about the power of propaganda. The constant messages over radio, TV, newspapers, internet, billboards, and even Mayor Boris Johnson’s personally recorded announcements over public transport networks, were enough to convince people to stay away from London in masses – so much so that the Mayor has been accused of turning London into a ghost town!

 

Olympic traffic – much quieter than expected on most roads

In very much a similar way, we’ve experienced mass media bombardment over the past few years, detailing the “historically high” unemployment rates in Britain and the general competition that exists in the few jobs that are out there.

While it certainly is true that the job market is harder today than it’s been previously, it is also true that there are some employers and organisations who are posting vacancies and receiving very few applications from jobseekers (I had a conversation with one such employer recently).

There are of course many reasons why this could be happening (job not desirable, pay too low, location, where advertised etc), but one factor that can’t be ignored is the propaganda factor – some jobseekers have been so sold by the negative media messages surrounding employment that they’re now afraid to venture out and apply for certain jobs for fear of competition from other jobseekers.

If this is you, be encouraged by the Olympics! While it’s always good to prepare for the worst, try your very best to not to allow propaganda to seep into your job search because sometimes the only way you’ll ever know whether your journey will be disrupted by additional traffic is to get in your car and drive. In the process you may find yourself making more progress than you’ve ever done at any other time in your life!


Are you a Londoner? Have you had the same travelling experience so far during the Olympics or have I just been lucky? Let me know your thoughts in the comments…

 


 
 
London Olympics haven't brought the gold merchants hoped for
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥٤ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

Tourism is way down in parts of London where businesses had counted on a boost. Olympic visitors tend to stay near their venues and Brits are staying home to avoid the promised traffic nightmares.

 

LONDON — All that gold, silver and bronze coursing through this Olympic city was supposed to equal the color of money for establishments like Tuttons, a popular restaurant in tourist-magnet Covent Garden. But with business down 40% from this time last year, the only color that manager Pedro Nunes is seeing is red.

"It's very frustrating. Normally we have a very good August crowd … but people have been put off by the supposed crowds and transport problems," Nunes said. "I can't wait for the Olympics to finish."

The 2012 Games are only a few days old, but complaints are already piling up over the absence, so far anyway, of the windfall that merchants in central London eagerly expected from hosting the world's biggest sporting extravaganza. Parts of the city usually jammed with summer visitors, such as the West End theater district, are strangely quiet, and department stores and major attractions are asking where all the customers are.

The answer, it appears, is on the eastern side of town, where many of the premier Olympic events are taking place, and also at home, where Londoners frightened by months of warnings of apocalyptic traffic have remained in order to telecommute or just enjoy a few days off to watch the Games on the telly.

The unexpected lull in the heart of London could spell trouble for the British economy, which shrank by 0.7% in the last quarter. Officials had promised a badly needed Olympic fillip to help lift the country out of its double-dip recession; if the boost doesn't materialize,Britain'sfunk could be longer and deeper than feared.

"Olympics would earn billions, we were told. Some hope!" the Daily Mail tabloid harrumphed Wednesday.

Usual tourist must-sees such as St. Paul's Cathedral and the British Museum reported a 35% drop in visitors last week compared with the same period last year, said Bernard Donoghue of the Assn. of Leading Visitor Attractions.

"The Olympic tourist doesn't act like a normal tourist would," Donoghue said. "They tend not to go to theater and other attractions. Their Olympic-based itineraries are usually so prescriptive they have to be at venues at specific times."

These days, tickets for popular West End productions are readily available, lines outside tourist sites are uncharacteristically short, and booking a table at a trendy restaurant presents little trouble.

Many merchants blame Olympic organizers and city officials for scaring away business through an overzealous campaign that essentially warned people to stay away from central London during the Games, which conclude Aug. 12.

For days before the opening ceremony, the stentorian tones of Mayor Boris Johnson boomed out over loudspeakers on the Underground system advising Londoners to change their travel patterns to avoid getting stuck. Government departments put civil servants in rotations to work from home.

Thus far, save for a few stumbles, London's aging transit network of buses, trams, subways and trains has held up unexpectedly well, delivering workers as well as Olympic event-goers to their destinations fairly smoothly. The situation is reminiscent of that in Los Angeles in 1984, when a projected traffic meltdown from the Olympic Games never came to pass, after enough commuters found alternate routes to work or stayed home.

Johnson's recorded warning on the Underground was discontinued this week. The mayor's office said it had served its purpose of getting Londoners to plan.

But some business owners complain that it succeeded too well. Though some news media descriptions of London as a ghost town are exaggerated, many merchants are facing steep losses where they had anticipated robust profits.

"We are all suffering," said Harriet Cameron, who sells scarves in the plaza at Covent Garden. "We were expecting it to be crowded here, but for the last two weeks about half the number of normal tourist customers have been coming here."

To a certain degree, central London's loss has been East London's gain. The huge new mall abutting Olympic Park, billed as Europe's largest urban shopping complex, is now seething with people.

"It's only usually like this on Saturdays," said Oyin Johnson, who works at a shoe store.


 
 
OLYMPICS IS DETERRING HOLIDAYMAKERS FROM WALES, TOURISM OPERATORS SAY
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥۳ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

Welsh tourism operators say the London Olympics have left their attractions deserted as would-be holidaymakers are flocking to the Games.

Ashford Price, the managing director of Swansea’s National Showcaves Centre, last week said a “deadly cocktail” of rain and recession is making this the worst summer season since the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001.

But other operators say the Olympics has also played a part in stifling trade at the most critical point of the season during the school holidays.

Businesses in central London say their trade took a big knock around the start of the Games, with West End theatres saying demand fell by 40%.

But near the Olympic Park in east London retail analysts Experian say footfall rose by 7%.

Some operators believe a similar result has been played out here.

While firms in Cardiff say they have seen trade boosted by Olympic football at the Millennium Stadium, out in the nation’s tourism heartland of West Wales some suggest the Games have blighted business.

Geoff Haden, who runs the Clyne Farm Centre, in Mayals, Swansea, said after a succession of poor summers his firm has learnt to cope with rain and recession in recent years.

But he believes the Games has turned many would-be holidaymakers into “couch potatoes” and made this the most difficult time his self-catering cottages have faced in more than 20 years.

Mr Haden, 68, said: “Outside of Cardiff the Olympics have not brought any benefit to Wales. In fact, I think when the season is analysed it will have a negative effect as more of the population turn into couch potatoes.

“I have been running Clyne Farm for over twenty years and this year is the one with the most uncertainty – at least with Foot and Mouth you knew with what you were dealing.”

Mr Haden, who with son, Stuart, 39, and daughter Sarah , 34 – both former Welsh international hockey players – journeyed to London to see the men’s triathlon as well as group-stage hockey matches, believes his business has been about 20% down.

“Hopefully it won’t be a long-term effect, but you can never tell with these things.”

Before the games a study by the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) argued the benefits the Olympics could bring to tourism had been overstated.

Evidence suggests that the Games in Barcelona, Sydney and Athens had no real long-term benefits for tourism.

The ETOA’s Olympic Report said there was “no strong link” between sporting events and increased tourism.

Nigel and Emily Clark, the owners of Amroth Bay Holidays, in Narberth, Pembrokeshire, say many families are sacrificing breaks for the chance to experience a ‘home Games’.

Ticket prices for athletics finals at the game vary between £50 and £725.

The couple say a family break in even the ‘highest specification’ caravan on their holiday park could cost less than Games tickets for a family of four.

Mr Clark said: “It does not take much fathoming to realise that the Olympics are drawing money from many Welsh small businesses in the tourist trade as people are forced to choose between a holiday and the Olympics.

“And of course the Olympics is not just one sporting event like a rugby international. It is many sports and therefore attracts many more people over the same period, which coincides with the one period in the year tourism business rely on to earn enough money to keep them through the autumn and winter.”

But Visit Cardiff say the Olympic football matches held at the Millennium Stadium have “struck a chord”.

Bookings through Cardiff & Co, the company set up to promote the city, are up by more than a third for July, compared with 2011.

Visit Cardiff spokesman Ed Townsend said: “Hoteliers are telling us they are doing well this summer compared with last year and the evidence from our bookings is that it is certainly the case.

“You’ve really only got to look around the city to tell – the place has had a buzz about it even with the bad weather.”

Chair of the Wales Tourism Alliance Chris Osborne, who owns the Fourcroft Hotel, in Tenby, Pembrokeshire, believes the Olympics has not helped Welsh tourism, but the rain and recession have had a much greater impact.

Mr Osborne, who recently said he’s seen a 25% downturn in visitors to his hotel, said: “I have no doubts that it’s not helping. If there are any keen Olympic spectators that can’t get there the chances are they’ll be watching on television and they’re going to be disinclined to take a holiday at this time.

“But if there are people who have had enough already they may choose this period exactly to take a holiday.”


 
 
When It Comes to the Money, Are the Olympics Worth It?
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٩:٥٢ ‎ق.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٧
 

In 2003, nine cities submitted their bids to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. As you know by now, London won that race, breaking the hearts of city officials in Madrid, Paris, New York City and Moscow, all of which made the shortlist of contenders.

But now that the price tag for the London Olympics appears to be well over $15 billion, much of which is funded by the British government, it bears asking: Why would a city volunteer for this type of expense?

The obvious answer is tourism: Economists estimate that 5.5 million foreign visitors would pour into the city, with nearly half a million staying in London. But does that temporary surge in tourism cover the large Olympics bill? And what happens to those huge athletic venues after the fact?

To find out whether it makes economic sense for a city to host the Olympics—and what we could predict for post-Olympics London—we took a closer look at the fate of previous Olympic host cities.

How the Olympics Can Help Cities

1. Infrastructure Improvements

Hosting the Olympics gives the city a great excuse to improve infrastructure and revitalize neighborhoods—projects that might not have gotten a lot of public support before become necessary in the face of the Olympics. As Forbes reports, the London Tube has needed improvements for the past forty years, and was finally updated in time for the Olympics. Additionally, roads in London have been repaired, and apartments built for athletes in the East End of London (formerly a downtrodden area of town) have been pre-sold at a profit.

2. More High-Profile Sporting Events

The arenas and sporting venues erected for the Olympics can be used to attract other major sporting events, which help bring in city revenue. Since the ’02 Olympics, Salt Lake City amped up its presence as a sports city, hosting 62 large sporting events, seven world championships, 90 Olympics related events and dozens of youth events. All told, these events have brought in over $1 billion in revenue to the city.

After the ’96 Olympics, Atlanta hosted the Super Bowl, and its Olympic stadium became home to the Atlanta Braves. Additionally, Georgia Tech University took over the aquatics center, and has since adapted it to include an indoor track and basketball courts.

3. Job Creation

Hosting the Olympics can lead to job creation, especially in the construction industry. In Beijing, 1.8 million jobs were created before the 2008 games, nearly half a million of which were in the construction industry.

And in Salt Lake City, 35,000 jobs were created, resulting in $1.5 billion in earnings for Salt Lake City workers in 2002.

4. Great Advertising

The Olympics can put smaller cities on the map and bring international attention. Since the ’96 Olympics, Atlanta—previously, a major city but not a world-renowned cosmopolitan center—has become the home to the world’s busiest international airport. Additionally, the Olympics revitalized Atlanta’s downtown: More than $1.8 billion has been spent on hotels, offices and apartment buildings in that area since the Olympics.

And in the case of Salt Lake City, an international survey showed that one in five people knew about Salt Lake City before the ‘02 Olympics, while one in three were familiar with the city after the fact. Additionally, four major companies producing winter sports goods moved their headquarters to Utah after the Olympics.

Lastly, the ’92 Olympics in Barcelona spurred an increase in tourism over the last two decades, and rebranded the city as a world-class tourist destination, says The New York Times.

5. Good Will, Spirit and City Pride

Hosting the Olympics energizes a city’s residents and is seen as a huge source of pride. Billy Payne, the Atlanta businessman who helped bring the Olympics to his city, told The Chicago Tribune: “Winning the games is the most uplifting, prideful, beat-on-your-chest moment Atlantans ever experienced.” And, as we’ve told you before, optimism can actually help a city recover more quickly from a recession.

How Hosting the Olympics Can Hurt Cities

Positive points aside, it’s not all shiny new trains and boutique hotels. Here’s how hosting the Olympics can hurt a city economically:

1. Creates Debt

Hosting the Olympics—and the infrastructure repairs, construction projects and additional security costs that hosting entails—can create an enormous amount of debt if a city is funding the Olympics through taxpayer money. Montreal’s ’76 Olympics was publicly funded and created $2.7 billion in debt, which wasn’t paid off until 2005.

In comparison, Atlanta was funded primarily through private sponsorships (like from Coca-Cola, which is headquartered in the city), which helped protect the city from sinking into debt.

2. Causes Cities to Build Unused Sporting Venues

Many of the facilities erected for the Athens Olympics have gone unused, becoming so-called “white elephants” in the cityscape. Athens’ Olympic Park has been abandoned and is closed to the public. The softball field has dried out. In fact, 21 of the 22 stadiums built were unoccupied in 2010, and their huge expense helped contributed to Greece’s sizable national debt.

3. High Ongoing Maintenance Costs

If countries do plan to continue using the facilities built for the Olympics, the maintenance costs can be prohibitive: Costs on the Athens’ facilities for upkeep in 2005 rang in at $124 million. And Sydney, which hosted the 2000 summer games, spends $30 million a year to keep the Olympic stadium running.

4. Surprising Drops in Tourism and Consumer Spending

In their book “Soccernomics,” sports economist Stefan Szymanski and writer Simon Kuper researched the economic effect of hosting major sports events. They wrote: “Big sports tournaments attract some visitors and deter many others.” In fact, many cities experience a decrease in normal consumer spending, as residents avoid heavily trafficked areas and tourists who might normally plan a visit to the city stay away. Reports from London have said that hotel, restaurant, theater and other tourist venues are seeing decreases of 30% in traffic. And in Barcelona, one-sixth of the city’s residents planned to travel away from the city during the ’92 games.

How Will London Fare in the Long Run?

It’s clear that hosting the Olympics can have both positive and negative effects on a city. Though the exact math gets a little hazy when calculating all of the onetime and ongoing expenses, and adding all the increases in revenue attributed to the Olympics, popular opinion seems to hold that Atlanta and Salt Lake City had a net positive experience, while Montreal and Athens were negatively affected. So how will London pan out?

While it’s too soon to say for sure, London’s situation differs from more “successful” cities like Atlanta and Salt Lake City in that the city did not need the promotional boost. As Szymanski said to Sports Illustrated: “After London got the Games, there were people running around saying, ‘This’ll put London on the map!’ … Show me a map that London isn’t on!”

One plus is that London was in need of infrastructure and transit improvements, which are undoubtedly a positive result of the games.

But relying a lot on public funding for the games (see: Montreal) has led cities into considerable debt. In the case of London, £9 billion of the funding for the games has come from the government, with only £2 billion coming from LOCOG (the London Organizing Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games), which is privately funded.

Of course, given the UK’s current $1.04 trillion national debt, the debts incurred by the Olympics are little more than a drop in an already sizeable bucket.

There’s one last promising sign, though: Nearly £300 million has been earmarked for “legacy funding,” which will help transition the Olympic park into a usable asset for the city once the games are over. Given that the most successful Olympic host cities have turned their Olympic venues into frequently used arenas after the games have ended, this is especially encouraging.

When all is said and done, though, given that London is the second-largest financial center in the world and the most visited international tourist destination, London will probably be just fine and dandy once the torch is passed on to another city, despite the fact that the city just threw so much money down the Tube.


 
 
Central London suffering business drought during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٧ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 The Olympics have turned London into a tale of two cities, with shops, hotels, theatres and restaurants in the centre suffering a tourist drought while crowds throng to the Games a few miles to the east.

The huge Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, smack beside the Olympic Park, is bustling with people visiting the Games or simply catching some of the Olympic buzz while they shop. Cheerful London volunteers in pink and purple have been using megaphones to help marshal the crowds at Europe’s largest mall.

But across town at the West End – London’s main shopping and entertainment district – it’s eerily quiet. There’s plenty of space at restaurant patio tables, no need to elbow others out of the way on the sidewalks, and unusually attentive staff in the stores.

“It’s a fiasco,” said Peter Forrest, a street performer in Covent Garden, an area of shops, pubs and restaurants around a piazza that’s normally teeming with tourists.

Mr. Forrest, painting whiskers to his face for his role as Doggie Man, said it’s been “the worst two weeks ever for business.”

“It’s because of Boris,” he added grumpily. “Boris told everybody not to come.”

Many businesses blame London mayor Boris Johnson, along with London transit bosses and Games organizers, for scaring people away from central London.

Anticipating a huge strain on the city’s transit network from a predicted extra million travellers a day, they have been warning Londoners for months to plan ahead, seek alternative routes or work from home.

The message has gotten through – but too well, tourism chiefs say.

Tom Jenkins, chief executive of the European Tour Operators Association, said London normally sees 300,000 foreign visitors and 800,000 domestic ones a day in August.

“These people have been told implicitly that they should stay away, and they have done so,” he said.

In Leicester Square – usually so chock-a-block with tourists that locals give it a wide berth – a few families sat enjoying urban picnics on Wednesday, while sales people tried to drum up business for theatre ticket booths from a trickle of passers-by. Olympic volunteers, deployed to give directions, did not find themselves in huge demand.

One American college student from Topeka, Kansas, who was traveling around Europe for the summer, was surprised at London’s tame atmosphere.

“We thought it would be more crazy, with people everywhere, clubs packed and a frenetic sort of vibe like other cities we’ve been to in Europe,” said Jenny Logan as she walked near the Houses of Parliament. “But so far, the night life has been pretty tame and the little restaurants we wanted to explore in the cobblestone alleys have been deserted. What’s going on?”

The gloom is repeated across London’s major tourist attractions. The London Zoo said it had 40 per cent fewer visitors last week than during the same period a year earlier. The Natural History Museum said its galleries were unusually quiet.

Theatre producer Nica Burns told the Evening Standard newspaper that her venues were “bleeding.”

“For my six theatres, last week was the worst this year,” she said. “I think the Olympics are great – but I feel like I’ve been the bulls-eye for the archery competition.”

And there’s even evidence people are postponing their nuptials until after the Games. Christopher Woodward, director of London’s Garden Museum, said there had been a steep drop in the number of wedding receptions being booked during the Olympic and Paralympic games. That period runs from July 27 to Sept. 9.

“No one is getting married in London in August,” he said.

The ghost town effect is all the more galling to businesses because the predicted transit chaos has not materialized.

Subway operator Transport for London says passenger numbers are up a modest 7.5 per cent. On Wednesday it discontinued much-mocked loudspeaker announcements in subway stations featuring the mayor warning travellers that the network would be unusually busy.

Olympic organizers say road traffic is lighter than usual, and many of the controversial “Games Lanes” reserved for official Olympic traffic have been handed back to regular use.

The slump is not confined to the West End. Greenwich in southeast London, home to the Olympic equestrian competition, usually draws hordes of tourists to its lovely riverside park and historic sites including the Royal Observatory and the tea clipper Cutty Sark.

Peter Vlachos, a marketing expert at the University of Greenwich, has been surveying local businesses about the impact of the Games. “One word came back: Disaster,” he said.

“There are 23,000 people walking past (local shops) in the morning to get to the grounds, and at the end of the day the same 23,000 people rushing back to their hotels,” he said.

“The Olympics were sold to the business community as if it was going to be a huge windfall, and it hasn’t materialized.”

The government insists the situation is less bleak than businesses are making it sound.

“We are getting record numbers of people coming to London and overall the picture in the East End of London is very encouraging,” said Olympics secretary Jeremy Hunt.

And he insisted West End numbers also were holding up.

“It may not be quite as high as they hoped for, but there are businesses that are marketed really effectively around the Games that are seeing a big boost and actually the West End is doing very well in the evening as well,” Mr. Hunt said.

Mr. Johnson, the mayor, was similarly defiant, insisting that “many, many thousands of people are flowing into London, the hotels are busy, the Olympic venues are attracting huge numbers.”

“These games are a one-off, an opportunity like no other to show London to the world,” Mr. Johnson said.

If the world shows up, that is. But for Londoners, at least, there’s an upside.

“It’s a bit relaxed,” said teacher Sonya McCullough, standing in a short line at the half-price theatre ticket booth in Leicester Square. “It’s brilliant.”

 


 
 
Positive Effects of the Olympic Games
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٦ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

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Businesses in New South Wales won A$1bn worth of contracts from the Sydney games and an additional A$300mn was generated by local business. Over 55,000 people received employment related training. If London hosted the Olympic games, thousands of UK firms could be involved in supplying everything from construction to manufacturing, catering to merchandise.
(http://www.sportengland.org/2012_uk.htm)

Boost to tourism
The tourist industry won't just boom during the four weeks that the Olympic and Paralympic games actually take place, but for months and years before and after the event.
Price Waterhouse Coopers believe the Sydney games gave Brand Australia A$6.1bn worth of additional publicity and over A$6bn worth of spending from 1.6m visitors between 1997 and 2001. Between 1993 and 1996, after Sydney had been named as the host city for 2000, its convention and exhibition sector grew with the number of international visitors increasing by 78%.

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(http://www.sportengland.org/2012_uk.htm)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Olympic Villages, will provide market and affordable housing units after the Games are complete.
(http://www.wastebuster.gov.bc.ca/popt/olympic_benefits_bg.pdf)

INCREMENTAL PUBLIC REVENUES
An economic study of the financial impact of the 2010 Olympic projects in combination with the expanded Convention Centre reports incremental tax contributions − largely from tourism, hospitality and conventions − of nearly $2.5 billion over 20 years.
(http://www.wastebuster.gov.bc.ca/popt/olympic_benefits_bg.pdf)

GLOBAL PROMOTIONAL EXPOSURE
Analysts have concluded that, as host of the 2000 Olympics, Sydney received $6 billion in free publicity − essentially a $6 billion global advertising campaign for Australia tourism, at no cost. Vancouver and British Columbia tourism, small business and companies in emerging industries would receive similar world-wide exposure....

 


 
 
How many tourists are coming to London for the Olympics?
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٥ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

Travel agents' booking data reveals number of visitors coming to London for the Games

LONDON will see a significant increase in overseas visitors during the Olympic Games, and this, coupled with Britons postponing holiday plans to stay home for the games, suggests a very crowded capital in late July and early August.

The number of tourists arriving in London from abroad in late July and early August is expected to be 13 per cent higher than last summer, with a quarter of visitors coming from North America, research by market research company Forward Data shows.

While there will be more visitors from the US, tourists from other nations seem less keen: numbers from Australia are down 25 per cent on 2011, perhaps their memories of Olympic overcrowding in Sydney 12 years ago putting them off London.

The number of Britons flying abroad in the three weeks before the Opening Ceremony on July 27 is expected to be five per cent down on the same period last year, which contradicts previous suggestions that Londoners will be fleeing the capital before the Olympics. Or if they are they won't do so by plane.

In terms of actual numbers, the Department of Transport has said it expects 500,000 tourists in London between July 17 and August 18, with an additional 70,000 athletes and officials. That means an extra 260,000 visitors to the capital compared to the same period last year.

Anyone wishing to avoid any Olympic-related disruption should certainly leave the capital on July 26, which is the peak arrival day for travellers coming into London. On this day – the day before the Opening Ceremony - over 14,000 people who have booked through a travel agent are expected to arrive at a London airport – an increase of 72 per cent on last year.

It is perhaps worth keeping in mind that Forward Data's figures are based on global air reservations through travel agencies - but not direct bookings, which make up 50 percent of bookings, suggesting actual numbers arriving in the capital for the games could be considerably higher.

There is good news for those hoping to enjoy a less frantic capital in the run up to the Olympics: flight bookings into London are down eight per cent in the three-week period leading up to July 22, suggesting a period of calm in London before the storm.

The 2012 Olympic Games run from July 27 until August 12. ·


 
 
Is London really empty during the Olympic Games?
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٤ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

With all the tourists distracted by sport, is now the perfect time to book into a fancy restaurant or take in a West End show?

 

There are no queues outside Madame Tussauds – at least for now. Photograph: Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features

Apparently it's not just stadium seats that are empty at London 2012. Shop owners and restaurateurs have complained that their businesses are suffering as tourists and locals abandon the West End.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, says visitor numbers at its flagship London venues had fallen by 30-35% last week.

But hold on. If London is empty, isn't this the perfect time to get into the best restaurants and shows? Martine Ainsworth-Wells from Visit London says we should take advantage and "enjoy London's world-class restaurants". Perhaps she's right.

Since its opening in January, Dabbous has become the most booked-out restaurant in London. Clearly now is the time to sneak in and enjoy the £54-a-head, seven-course tasting menu. Sadly, the Olympics doesn't seem to have put gourmets off a trek to Fitzrovia. The receptionist says that there is no table until May 2013. A call to the three-starred Michelin restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea is equally unsuccessful – no table until January. Luckily the two Michelin-starred eateries Le Gavroche in Mayfair and The Ledbury in Notting Hill aren't quite as busy. They can squeeze me in in October. At Noma at Claridges, the pop-up restaurant that chef René Redzepi is running during the Olympics, seats sold out months ago, and there won't be any cancellations as the £195-a-head tickets are non-refundable I'm told, rather firmly.

But just as I am about to give up, Pollen Street Social, Jason Atherton's venture that opened to great fanfare last year, says it can give me something at 7.30pm, while The Wolseley has space at 9pm. Result.

Perhaps I'll take in a West End show beforehand. The hottest ticket in town is the musical Matilda. My hopes are initially raised when the sales assistant tells me there are two seats left. But by the time I've said I'll take them, they have been sold to someone else. There are two tickets left for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National, but they're not together. "The run is almost entirely sold out," apologises the guy on the other end of the phone. "Unfortunately we haven't had many cancellations from the Olympics."

Standing-room-only seems to be the most likely option if I want to see Mark Rylance in Richard III at the Globe too. But Chariots of Fire, the ultimate sporting choice, has tickets left for the rest of the week. I fear that might be more to do with the reviews than the lack of tourists though.

And then at last, unlike much of Team GB, I strike gold. Madame Tussauds, notorious for its year-round, hours-long queues, tells me that because the Olympics have "significantly impacted normal visitation patterns", it is putting together a two-for-one offer until 12 August. With Jessica Ennis as one of the star attractions, it's one way to see an Olympian.


 
 
Jeremy Hunt admits Olympic Games have put off London's tourists
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠۳ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Tourists are steering clear of London because of the Olympic "upheaval", the Culture Secretary has admitted. But the Government is refusing to downgrade David Cameron's prediction that the Games will provide a £13bn boost for the UK economy.

West End retailers, theatres and restaurants say warnings of transport chaos have deterred tourists and locals, turning London into a "ghost town". Jeremy Hunt said he was now expecting "just under 750,000 additional visitors" during the six weeks spanning the Olympics and Paralympics.

Some potential visitors have been put off, the minister responsible for tourism acknowledged. "There are [far] fewer European tour groups, probably accentuated by the Euro crisis," Mr Hunt said. "Some tourist groups stay away from an Olympic host city because the logistics are so much harder. On the other hand we get a lot of new visitors who come to spend money in different ways."

Mr Hunt's department has put together what he calls "the biggest ever tourism marketing campaign". "Our target is an additional 4.5 million visitors in four years," he said.

He said he was not disappointed by reports of empty streets and a dramatic fall in trade since the Games began. "It is very difficult to predict what will actually happen to consumer spending in one part of London during something like an Olympic games because the upheaval is so huge. We are hoping to come away net positive in terms of the overall period of the Games but we don't know."

The warnings on trains and buses, urging travellers to take care during the Games, may have reduced the numbers on the streets. Figures released yesterday by Locog suggested that nearly one in five motorists had abandoned the roads, with the overall flow of vehicles falling by 17 per cent since the Games began. Record numbers of travellers are now using the Docklands Light Railway, which services Games sites including the Olympic Park in Stratford and Greenwich Park, which is hosting the equestrian events.

Mr Hunt said: "We have been putting a strong message out to Londoners to try and ease the pressure on the transport system. There's a lot of people working from home. The result is, contrary to expectations, the transport system has held up extremely well and we are able to get people to and from the Olympic venues."

He urged critics to "take a bigger view on this. What the Olympics is doing is cementing London's reputation as one of the great cities. What we are confident of is that following the Games, as a result of the large boost to Britain's reputation, there will be huge benefit to West End retailers, theatres, London's restaurants and hotels. It will be as brilliant for London's reputation as Barcelona and Sydney were for their cities."

Speaking during a business summit, held at Lancaster House in St James's, designed to drum up business for Britain's creative industries, Mr Hunt said the Government was determined to maximise the economic potential of the Games. UKTI [the UK Trade & Investment quango] is hoping for £1bn of deals signed during the Olympics," he said. "We're still at the start so it's too early to point to any individual deals. We are very confident that on the back of the Games we will sign a significant number of new contracts."

 


 
 
Olympic Games Tourism Brings Prostitution, Human Trafficking Concerns to London
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٢ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

"Major sporting events can be a magnet for the global sex and trafficking industry," said Shadow Minister for the Olympics Dame Tessa Jane Jowell. "This is wholly unacceptable. I am determined that traffickers will not exploit London 2012."

The UK Metropolitan Police Service's Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command (SCD9) was established in 2010 to tackle vice and human trafficking crime in the five Olympic host boroughs of Newham, Hackney, Waltham Forest, Tower Hamlets, and Greenwich.

Prostitution is considered legal in the United Kingdom, although as of Apr. 1, 2010 it is illegal to "persistently loiter or solicit" for prostitution in a street or public place (defined as two or more occasions in any three month period); cause, incite, or control prostitution for gain (pimping); keep a brothel; pay for the sexual services of a prostitute subjected to force; or advertise prostitution services on a public telephone.

There is no specific law against placing prostitution advertisements in newspapers, however newspapers that print advertisements for brothels "under the guise of massage parlours and saunas" may be liable for prosecution for money laundering offenses, according to the UK's Crown Prosecution Service.

 

 

 


 
 
London 2012: Olympic boost to retailers and tourism new figures show
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠۱ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

The Olympics is proving a boost to retailing and tourism, it was announced today.

There had been reports of theatres, restaurants and tourist areas of London being affected by people avoiding the capital due to Olympic crowds.

But today London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed figures showing that busy tourism and shopping areas had seen an increase in numbers during the Games.

Retailers across London's Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street said there had been an increase in sales and a higher footfall - the number of people going into a shop - over the past few days.

This uplift was reflected in increased footfall across the London areas of Piccadilly, Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue and St James's.

Heart of London, the business improvement district representing these areas, said that between Monday and Thursday of last week, footfall was up 11.6% on the previous week and 16.2% up on the same week in 2011.

Mr Johnson announced London Underground carried more passengers last Friday than on any other day in its history with 4.4 million customers.

These figures break the record set the previous day, last Thursday, when 4.31 million customers used the Tube.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of passengers using Tube stations in the capital's West End, with an increase of 27% last Saturday night (August 4).

In the same week last year, daily Tube passenger numbers were around 3.7 to 3.8 million.

The Docklands Light Railway carried more than half a million passengers in one day for the first time last Friday August 3.

Also, London Overground passenger numbers are up 27%, week on week.

Mr Johnson said: "This jaw-dropping weekend of outstanding sporting success for Team GB has seen many hundreds of thousands of people travelling to 2012 venues and crowds several deep lining the streets to cheer on Triathlon and Marathon competitors.

Now London's transport network is continuing to put in some record-breaking performances of its own as it moves people into and across the city.

"This is testimony to years of meticulous planning and billions of pounds in investment which combined has ensured that athletes, spectators, officials and media are being ferried smoothly to their events."

He went on: "Not only this, but these indicators show that across London we are helping millions of people head into town to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy all that our fantastic city has to offer during this momentous period."

PA

 


 
 
London 2012 Olympics: Tourist Visa card spending totals £450 million in fir
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ٢:٠٠ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

International visitors to the UK spent more than £450 million on their Visa cards during the first week of the Olympic Games, up by 8% on the same time last year.

The electronic payments company said restaurants, nightclubs, theatres and tourist attractions all benefited from the increase.

Around £12.7 million was spent on Visa cards in restaurants last week, an increase of almost 20% on a year ago, while the amount spent in nightclubs was up by 24% to £2.1 million.

Visa card spending on theatres and other ticket sales more than doubled to £5.3 million, possibly driven by last-minute deals following reports of a quieter period for the theatre industry and also spending on tickets for the Olympics as additional tickets went on sale.

Visa is the only credit or debit card accepted at any London 2012 venues.

Steve Perry, commercial director at Visa Europe, said: "The Games are building a massive feel-good factor, not just for the host nation but for all those visitors currently enjoying all the UK has to offer.

"There was plenty to cheer about in the first full week of the Games as total spending on Visa cards by international visitors reached £457 million.

"It would appear that visitors are out celebrating the success of their athletes in some style, with restaurant spending up by almost a fifth and nightclub spending by almost a quarter on this time last year."

Visa, a major sponsor of the Olympic Games, said visitors from the United States accounted for 12.7% of total international spend.

 


 
 
London Olympic Games to have big impact on county's tourism
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٩ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

AFTER opening on Friday, the greatest show on earth will generate millions of pounds for the Essex economy.

With Stratford's Olympic stadium fewer than 30 minutes away by train, Chelmsford and its neighbouring towns are gearing up for an influx of tourists.

ring tone: town crier Tony Appleton will greet visitors at Heathrow and be in the closing ceremony

Stratford was part of Essex until 1964 and the county could make £14m from the Games.

The world's media have been writing about Essex's countryside, coastline and heritage in the build-up, because of our proximity to London, and it is hoped people will return, generating millions in the years to come.

Elli Constantatou, tourism manager at Visit Essex, says while hotels hope to cash-in on tourists who cannot afford London prices, the main focus is putting Essex in a 'shop window'.

"We are really promoting Essex as the ideal location because of our proximity to the best show on earth and have even had mentions in the New York Times," she told the Chronicle.

"The Games are really putting Essex on the map. We are on the doorstep of the Olympic park and the transport links are great; they are probably better than some parts of London."

Some hotels in Mid Essex are reporting a rise in bookings, with lower prices than London.

Sarah Kerley, 23, Marketing Executive of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Tolleshunt Knights, said: "We have seen a rise in customers year on year. We have even had the Belarus Olympic team staying and training here, using our pitches and swimming pool."

But with some people renting their homes out to tourists, some hotels are reporting a drop in sales. Manager of the County Hotel, Graham McGregor said: "It's been an absolute disaster and we are not the only hotel feeling this. We have put a lot of money into promoting the hotel but we just haven't had the take-up we were expecting.

"Our normal corporate customers are staying away, so we are losing out at the moment. I am really stressed about it. I don't even know if people are going to visit the country for the Olympics, I don't know where they are all going. Unless visitors arrive on the first day, it's not going to be good for us."

But there are other benefits. Hundreds of local people have been chosen to take on important roles in the two-month Olympic and Paralympic period. Chelmsford's Town Crier for 20 years, Tony Appleton, 72, of Great Baddow, has been recruited to greet tourists at Heathrow and will perform at the closing ceremony.

The 75-year-old, who also appeared on BBC's The One Show on Wednesday for his role in London 2012, said: "It's such an honour and I'm really enjoying the rehearsals for the closing ceremony. I've been going to Heathrow every day and expect I have been in thousands of pictures.

"I went to auditions to perform at the closing ceremony and danced for three hours at one in my town crier's uniform. It was tough but I've got through, although what I will be performing has to be a surprise.

"I will also be at the opening ceremony, outside performing my duties. It's been great to be a part of the Olympics."

 


 
 
London Olympics: Good for sport, bad for tourism
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

British athletes may be picking up gold at the London Olympics, but takings are down at the capital’s main tourist attractions.

The sporting event is said to be putting off regular visitors. There had been fears that London would struggle to cope with the crowds.

“We are seeing at least a 30 percent decline in attendance at attractions,” said Tom Jenkins, from the European Tour Operators Association.

“We are seeing sharp falls in usage of restaurants, we are seeing a big fall in the use of sightseeing companies. You can come in here and you can get individual attention from a Beefeater at the Tower of London and the British Museum is comparatively empty.”

One London hotel manager put the disappointment down to too much hype ahead of the Games.

“The projections were very high, the buzz around the Olympics in London was great,” said Robin Chadha, from CitizenM Hotels.

“There were a lot of warnings also to stay out of the city because of traffic, so it may have scared people off. Maybe people said ‘we are going to leave London’, especially the locals. Maybe some people did not want to deal with the hassle of coming into a city which is at full capacity,” he continued.

euronews correspondent Ali Sheikholeslami, in the capital, added: “This is an exceptionally quiet August for London. So, if the London 2012 Olympics are not for you, the city’s many attractions are much less crowded and ready to welcome you.”

 


 
 
London tourism rates 'plunge' during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٧ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

The London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms, according to key industry figures.

Many businesses complain they are being sidelined as tourists make a beeline for the Olympic Games and avoid the capital's other attractions and shopping destinations, while non-sports fans opt to stay at home or delay their trips.

In the run-up to the Olympics, commuters and tourists alike were warned to avoid central London, with millions of athletes, support staff, media and spectators descending on the capital for the greatest show on earth.

The Games have long been heralded as a key boost to the recession-hit British economy. But tourist numbers have fallen "dramatically" since the Games began, according to industry body the European Tour Operators Association.

"London has approximately 300,000 foreign and 800,000 domestic visitors every day in August. These people have been told implicitly that they should stay away and they have done so," said ETOA chief executive Tom Jenkins.

He argued that many were simply following official travel advice from Transport for London, which runs the capital's roads and railways.

 

Passengers walk past a welcome desk for Olympic Games delegates at Paddington Station in London. The London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms, according to key industry figures.

"The numbers are currently dramatically down on last year. How far down will be determined by how long Transport for London maintains the 'don't come into London' campaign," added Jenkins.

"But they have been replaced by approximately 500,000 Games ticket holders, many of whom are Londoners, all of whom are here because they've come to watch sport.

"They are not necessarily interested in London as a tourist destination. They are not here to shop, sightsee or dine out," he said.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, agreed that too many tourists have heeded the official warnings, leading him to compare central London streets to a "ghost town".

"Our business is down by about 20-40 percent depending on the time of day," McNamara said.

"Normally about 90 percent of our customers are Londoners but they've all left the city and haven't been replaced by tourists.

"I don't know where all these tourists are or how they're getting about, but London is like a ghost town."

 

A sign warns drivers that Olympic lanes are now in operation in central London. The London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms, according to key industry figures.

Many holidaymakers are meanwhile delaying their trips to London until September, following the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.

"Compared with the same period last year, bookings for London are very substantially down, whereas bookings for all other European cities are significantly up -- as is London in September," said Angela Skelly, head of hotel room provider JacTravel.

Despite the poor anecdotal evidence, tourism chiefs remain upbeat that London can prosper from the Olympics.

"We have always recognised that the London 2012 Games would present challenges as well as opportunities," said Mark Di-Toro, spokesman for tourism body VisitBritain.

"Host cities and countries usually experience a dip in tourism in the year of the Olympics and it is our ambition to buck that trend."

He added: "Indications are that hotels in London are around 80-percent full during Games time."

The British government hopes to generate deals worth more than £1.0 billion ($1.54 billion, 1.2 billion euros) over the Olympics, with £13 billion more over the next two or three years. The Games are costing £9.3 billion to stage.

 


 
 
London tourism struggles during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٦ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

In a landmark case for the state versus privacy, Simon Walsh, former aide to Boris Johnson, was this...

 London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the Olympic Games, which has left the host city a “ghost town”, businesses said today.

Many traditional tourist hotspots have reported a fall in ticket sales as visitors flock to Olympic venues across the capital.

Theatre companies said they were seeing a “mixed picture” with many companies struggling due to the lack of footfall in the West End.

Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: “Normally tourists will visit central London but they are mostly here to see the Games.

”The message about travel problems also seems to have kept people away. My experience is things are running smoothly and people should not be put off.

“There is a great opportunity to get out there to see some fantastic shows.”

Sri Balay, online sales manager at Leicester Square Box Office, said: “Theatre in general is pretty quiet. We have a lot of visitors going past but they are going to Olympic events or spending a lot on hotels.

”We would usually be busy at this time of year because it's the summer holidays and lots of families enjoy going to the theatre. But at the moment it's very quiet.“

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said cab drivers had been hit hard and described London as a ”ghost town“.

Mr McNamara added: ”Anecdotally our business is down by about 20-40 per cent depending on the time of day.

“Normally about 90 per cent of our customers are Londoners but they've all left the city and haven't been replaced by tourists.

”I don't know where all these tourists are or how they're getting about but London is like a ghost town.

“Some drivers are working longer hours just to stand still, others have taken a conscious decision not to pay certain bills while others have just given up and gone away.”

A spokeswoman for the British Museum said there had been a fall in the number of visitors.

“Anecdotally at the moment, it is looking like we are about 25-30 per cent down on the same time last year,” she said.

“The positive thing from the museum's perspective and something we would be keen to get across is that we are open and ready to take visitors and so it is an extremely good time to come to the British Museum and we would encourage everyone to do that.”

Christopher Woodward, director of the Garden Museum, next door to Lambeth Palace in London, said an exhibition at the museum charting the history of foreign flora in British gardens had proved popular.

But he said the museum had suffered a drop in the number of people booking wedding receptions over August because of the Olympics and the Paralympics.

“The positive has been that visitors have been very happy but the negative has been that we have been hit by the loss of wedding receptions which is a major source of income to the museum,” he said.

“No one is getting married in London in August.

“We have also scheduled the opening of our exhibition to September because of London being semi-deserted.”

He added that the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations had brought a boost to the museum.

“The Queen's Jubilee was wonderful, we were packed to the rafters with a really happy, nice bunch of people,” he said.

“The Jubilee was a big plus this year.”

Bernard Donoghue, chief executive of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which represents venues ranging from London Zoo to St Paul's Cathedral, said visitor numbers were down by between 30 per cent and 35 per cent.

He added: “There are two groups of people missing. The first are general visitors to London who are staying clear because of the perception that London will be busy.

“The second are Londoners and Brits who have been warned there will be a transport nightmare.

“Our message to them is that, while it may be sensible to avoid certain peak times and locations, transport is running very smoothly.

“Ironically there has never been a better time to visit our attractions because the queues are shorter and opening times have been extended.”

PA

 


 
 
London tourists down during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٥ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

CNC report from London

Added On August 4, 2012

The London 2012 Olympics has long been heralded as a key boost to the recession-hit British economy.

But according to key industry figures, tourist numbers have fallen "dramatically" since the Games began, leading to consumption volume drop.

Take a look.

According to key industry figures, the London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms.

Many businesses complain they are being sidelined as tourists make a beeline for the Olympic Games and avoid the capital's other attractions and shopping destinations.

SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) BRITISH STOREOWNER:
"Last year (at the same month) very busy, very very busy, at this time of the last year I can't talk to you like this. Now in Olympic time, no too much traffic, no business, business is 25 percent less. Of course, without business, I have to pay the rental from my pocket, which means this year I don't (earn) that much money. And this shop's rental is very high in the central London."

According to industry body the European Tour Operators Association, London has approximately 300,000 foreign and 800,000 domestic visitors every day in August.

These people have been told that they should stay away from the capital's centre and they have done so.

The body argued that many were simply following official travel advice from Transport for London, which runs the capital's roads and railways.

Many holidaymakers are meanwhile delaying their trips to London until September, following the end of the Olympics and Paralympics.

Hotel room provider Jactravel said "compared with the same period last year, bookings for London are very substantially down, whereas bookings for all other European cities are significantly up."

Despite the evidence, London officials remain upbeat that London can prosper from the Olympics.

The British government hopes to generate deals worth more than 1.54 billion U.S. dollars over the Olympics, with 20.3 billion dollars more over the next two or three years.

The Games are costing 14.5 billion dollars to stage.

 


 
 
Olympic Games giving boost to retailing, tourism in London
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥۳ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

London, Aug.6 (ANI): The London Olympics has given a boost to retailing and tourism in the country, it has been revealed.

London Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the figures showing that tourism and shopping places have seen an increase in number of visitors during the Games.

"This jaw-dropping weekend of outstanding sporting success for Team GB has seen many hundreds of thousands of people travelling to 2012 venues and crowds several deep lining the streets to cheer on Triathlon and Marathon competitors," the Daily Express quoted Johnson, as saying.

People who are avoiding the capital due to the Olympic crowd are visiting the theatres, restaurants and tourist places of London, the paper said.

Retailers across London's Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street said that there has been an increase in sales as there is an increase in the number of people going for shopping over the past few days.

Johnson also announced that London Underground carried more passengers last Friday than on any other day in its history with 4.4 million customers.

There has also been a significant increase in the number of passengers using Tube stations in the capital's West End, with an increase of 27 percent last Saturday night.

"This is testimony to years of meticulous planning and billions of pounds in investment which combined has ensured that athletes, spectators, officials and media are being ferried smoothly to their events," Johnson said. (ANI)

 


 
 
Olympic Games hits London tourist spots
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٢ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

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London's tourism industry is finding it hard to compete with the Olympic Games, according to local businesses.

The Press Association reports that many of London’s top tourist spots have reported a dramatic reduction in visitors since the Games began over the weekend.

One of the areas noticing the reduction in business are the West End Theatres with the President of the Society of London Theatre Mark Rubinstein saying "Normally tourists will visit central London but they are mostly here to see the Games.

"The message about travel problems also seems to have kept people away. My experience is things are running smoothly and people should not be put off.

"There is a great opportunity to get out there to see some fantastic shows."

The general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, Steve McNamara, said drivers had noticed a sharp fall in business and described London as a "ghost town". He said "Anecdotally our business is down by about 20-40% depending on the time of day. Normally about 90% of our customers are Londoners but they've all left the city and haven't been replaced by tourists.

"I don't know where all these tourists are or how they're getting about but London is like a ghost town.

"Some drivers are working longer hours just to stand still, others have taken a conscious decision not to pay certain bills while others have just given up and gone away."


 
 
Olympic Games will boost UK economy, predicts Bank of England
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٥٠ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

London 2012 will bring tourist boom and extra public spending that may see off double-dip recession, says Threadneedle Street

 The Olympic and Paralympic Games's likely impact, says the Bank of England, is an 0.2% higher output in the third quarter than it otherwise would have been. Photograph: John Giles/PA

Britain's struggling economy will receive a much-needed boost from the Olympic Games this summer as more tourism and extra public spending lead to increased activity that could spell the end of the double dip recession, the Bank of England said.

In its assessment of the likely impact of hosting the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games, Threadneedle Street said it expected output to be around 0.2% higher in the third quarter than it otherwise would have been.

After the dampening effect of an extra day off for the Queen's diamond jubilee, the Olympics are expected to cause a spike in demand between July and September that may spare the UK a fourth successive quarter of negative growth and bring the double-dip recession to an end.

Construction work is all but complete, so much of the spending associated with the Games had already occurred, the Bank said, but there was likely to be a further concentration of expenditure in the immediate run-up to and during the Games.

"The London organising committee of the Olympic Games (Locog), the body responsible for staging the Games, estimates it is likely to spend around £2bn in total, equivalent to around 0.5% of quarterly GDP. But by this March, Locog had spent only around £500m of that."

But economists are already warning that any benefit to the economy from an influx of foreign sports fans or Britons stocking up on cold beer and souvenir mascots is likely to be shortlived.

Staging the Olympics has little lasting impact on host countries' economic performance over the past 50 years, analysis shows. Research by Citigroup suggested an upturn in GDP in the six months before each Games tended to be swiftly followed by a downturn in the following six.

Professor Stefan Szymanski, an expert in the economics of sport at the University of Michigan, said: "In terms of an identifiable macroeconomic impact, I think it's hard to think of any good examples where it's shown up in the GDP figures. As economic events, they're not a big deal. Economics is about more mundane things like producing steel and cars and working in offices – we have Olympics to take our minds off the dull things that make the money."

Much of the spending on infrastructure, such as new sports facilities, tends to happen months or years before the Olympic flame arrives in the host country.

Other economic benefits are likely to come either from foreign tourists coming to see the Games and spending lavishly while they are here; or from local people splashing out as they watch.

But the domestic spending only represents a genuine economic boost if it would not be spent otherwise, on something else, as the consultancy Capital Economics points out in a report to be published on Thursday.

"Someone buying food and drink to consume at home while watching the Olympics might have otherwise gone to the cinema or furniture shopping. Or someone buying an Olympics T-shirt might otherwise have bought a normal T-shirt," says Samuel Tombs, of Capital.

He reckons Olympic ticket sales will add 0.1% to consumer spending in the third quarter of the year, with all Olympics-related spending amounting to 0.3%; but that if spending does pick up, it might just be followed by weaker than otherwise spending in the final quarter of the year, or in 2013.

As to foreign tourists, economists point out that many of the extra visitors might have come to Britain at a future date anyway, and will have merely brought their visits forward; while a large number of non-sports fans may be deterred from travelling to the UK this summer because of the Games.

As the Bank put it: "It is not clear to what extent tourism associated with the Games will displace some tourism that would have otherwise occurred."

Meanwhile, part of the boost may be offset by disruption to the day-to-day running of other business, as London's transport network suffers delays, and workers take extra leave to watch events.

The impact of the Olympics will be particularly difficult to disentangle, because it will follow a second quarter in which an extra bank holiday for the Queen's diamond jubilee will depress output.

The Bank of England said the evidence from the Queen's golden jubilee in 2002 and last year's royal wedding suggested the extra bank holiday in June would lead to lower growth, but the loss of output would be more than made up by September.

"The monetary policy committee's central judgment is that the Office for National Statistics measure of growth is likely to be around half a percentage point weaker than underlying growth excluding these factors in the second quarter, but could be stronger by a little more than that in the third quarter.. Growth will then be a little weaker in the fourth quarter as the ONS measure of output returns to its underlying level."

The Bank said it had studied the impact of the Sydney Olympics in 2000 on the Australian economy. The Reserve Bank of Australia estimated the boost to GDP growth that quarter at about 0.75 percentage points.

"A similar size and pattern of spending in the UK related to the Olympics would provide a boost of around 0.2 percentage points," the Bank of England said.

Little gold at games

Sydney 2000 The Bank of England drew on research by the Reserve Bank of Australia, suggesting the Sydney games in 2000 added a total of 0.75 percentage points to GDP – a fairly modest boost.

There is also detailed data from Australia showing the impact on different sectors: clothes shops fared well, presumably as buyers stocked up on souvenir T-shirts, and cafes and restaurants also saw a boost. However, the benefit was heavily concentrated in New South Wales, the region where the games were held, rather than spread across Australia; and retail sales fell back sharply in the months after the Olympics. As for visitors, Australia saw the number of foreign tourists decline in the three years following the games.

Athens 2004 The Greek government's all-out approach to completing facilities in time before it hosted the Games in 2004 has since been regarded as one of the factors contributing to the country's deep debt crisis – though there is no official estimate of how much the tournament cost.

In the event, not only was the bill high but fears of overcrowding helped deter many potential visitors from attending. The number of tourists travelling to Greece in 2004 was actually 10% lower than a year earlier; and many of the country's smart sports facilities have since become very dilapidated.

Beijing 2008 Emerging economic powers have often used the hosting of a great sporting event to signal that they are open for business and part of the global club. Beijing's turn in 2008 sent a strong message that China was a major international player.

The impressive display was not cheap – it is thought to have cost more than £20bn. If the Chinese authorities had hoped to attract a rush of curious visitors, they failed: the number of tourists travelling to China fell in 2008. However, Beijing may have been more interested in the more nebulous public relations impact of putting on a lavish show, as pictures were beamed around the world of the impressive opening ceremony.

Olympic Games will boost UK economy, predicts Bank of England

This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 19.45 BST on Wednesday 16 May 2012. A version appeared on p10 of the Main section section of the Guardian on Thursday 17 May 2012. It was last modified at 00.07 BST on Thursday 17 May 2012.

Sir Roger Carr, the president of the CBI, intensifies the war of words between business and the government


 
 
Olympics-London tourist trade suffers from Olympic effect
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٤٩ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

By Paul Casciato and James Davey

LONDON, July 31 | Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:40pm EDT

LONDON, July 31 (Reuters) - Tube trips are surprisingly easy, shopping on the high street is down in central London, hotel bookings and prices are off their peak, while theatres and London cafes suffer the Olympic effect.

Economists have long warned that the Olympics may not provide much of a boost at this stage for Britain's recession-hit economy as most of the construction work and investment has been done in the run-up to the Games. Now, early evidence appears to be bearing this out.

Warned repeatedly for months about the strain London's transport system would experience with the expected arrival of 11 million visitors to the Games, Londoners and the usual non-Olympic seasonal visitors appear to have vanished from the underground train system, the shopping districts, theatres, hotels and abandoned other traders who benefit from tourism.

The British government's budget watchdog OBR pointed out in March that some visitors may cancel or delay trips to London in order to avoid the crowds and potential travel disruptions.

"Given the uncertainties and the relatively small size of any possible effects, we assume that, apart from the ticket sales effects, the Olympics will not have a material effect on the quarterly path of GDP," the OBR said.

Britain's government is trying to boost foreign investment and stimulate the private sector, while keeping to a strict austerity budget, and hopes the Olympic Games - the first to be held in Britain since 1948 - will showcase Britain as a business destination.

Prime Minister David Cameron hopes that will help assuage critics who see the 9.3 billion pound (14.5 billion) cost of hosting the Olympics as too expensive given Britain's strained finances.

London's much criticised public transport system, the busiest in Europe, won early gold for easily carrying a million spectators through an unusually quiet early rush hour on the first full working day of the Olympics on Monday.

Travellers said buses and trains were working surprisingly smoothly with only a few hiccups, confounding dire forecasts of a transport meltdown in a city once notorious for slow trains, late buses and incoherent delay announcements.

London's transport bosses expect an extra 3 million journeys per day during the Games on top of the usual 12 million, an Olympian test for an underground train network whose infrastructure in parts dates back to 1863.

"I've noticed how easy it has been to travel. With the influx of one million people for the Games, it's made me wonder, where are they?" Paul Richardson, a 37-year-old photographer, told Reuters on Monday at London Bridge, which the authorities had warned commuters to avoid.

WORKING FROM HOME

Part of the lighter load has come from those office workers who have been instructed or allowed to work from home while the Olympics are on.

Consultancy firm KPMG told Reuters that it expected some 50 percent of its 5,500 staff in London to work flexibly at some point during the Games.

"That could mean working from home, or a different office, or varying hours," a KPMG spokesman said.

Most theatres in London's West End have not seen traffic increase or fall for advanced August bookings and shut down last Friday to avoid clashing with an opening Olympic ceremony, which starred Britain's Queen Elizabeth, Society of London Theatre President Mark Rubinstein told Reuters on Tuesday.

He said the anecdotal evidence was that there seemed to be a lot of people on the streets of London, but much of the seasonal London tourist traffic seems missing from the West End.

"There's been fewer people buying tickets on the day," Rubinstein said.

Britain's two biggest airports said they had seen no significant increase in the number of passengers flying abroad while Eurotunnel said outward bound bookings on Channel Tunnel trains were slower than usual.

More than 10 million people braved torrential rain and then scorching summer temperatures to see the Olympic flame on its 8,000 mile (12,870 km) journey across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom, according to Games organiser LOCOG.

Only one in 10 travellers is leaving London to avoid the Games, according to a survey by the Association of British Travel Agents. Seven out of 10 Londoners were even looking forward to the Games, the survey showed.

"Numbers taking holidays at this time are fairly consistent with past years," said ABTA spokeswoman Victoria Bacon.

"While some have chosen to forgo a summer holiday during the Games, these have been balanced by those wanting to get away," she said.

That statistical and anecdotal evidence contrasts with the doomsday predictions by some of the British media that Londoners would flock to foreign shores to avoid the security checks, crowds and chaos of the Olympics.

DISAPPOINTED RETAILERS

Retailers in central London have also reported disappointment with the Olympic effect so far.

Jace Tyrrell, spokesman for New West End Company, which represents more than 600 retailers, property owners and businesses in central London, said they expected a change in trading patterns, but that advice from Transport for London (TfL) warning commuters may be working better than intended.

"TfL's advice in terms of capacity on the network has almost been too successful," Tyrrel told Reuters, adding that shopper numbers were down but there were more high-spenders in the British capital.

"We need to change the messaging there, in terms of there aren't the difficulties on the network that we thought there would be."

However, retail areas near the Olympic Park such as the vast Westfield shopping centre at the entrance were booming.

John Lewis, Britain's biggest department store group, said its store at Westfield Stratford, which borders the Olympic Park, saw sales double in the week to July 28.

Other London tourist attractions also complained that there has been a 30 to 35 percent drop in visitor numbers at the height of their summer high season, when schools are out and many people take their vacations.

Bernard Donoghue, chief executive of The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the body representing London's top tourist attractions such as the London Zoo, St Paul's Cathedral and Westminster Abbey said the statistics apply to overseas and domestic visitors.

"We and all of our members are incredibly positive about London and Britain hosting the Olympics not least because the tourism legacy of hosting the Olympics and having that global TV advertisement for Britain to the world's largest TV audience will be brilliant for British tourism in the long term."

HOTELS AND CAFES

Hotel wholesaler JacTravel said room rates are back to normal levels, as an early peak in prices has faded as LOCOG returns previously booked rooms to the market and as the Olympic Games deters normal London tourists.

Restaurants and other hospitality business owners such as cafes have also been bemoaning the quiet streets of London.

"It is very quiet," said Duli Konjuhi, who runs a coffee stall right at the exit of Aldgate tube station in London's City, the old banking district, where usually bankers and office workers line up for their after-lunch shot of caffeine.

"For us the Olympics are negative," he said. "One of my friends, who runs a car wash near-by, said he made just 60 quid yesterday."

An elderly British man, finishing a meal at a near-empty restaurant in the central Russell Square area where hordes of media catch coaches to Olympic venues every day asked the head waiter: "Where are all your customers?"

The waiter explained that many Londoners were working at home or avoiding the city for the duration of the Games.

"It's a disaster for us," he said. (Additional reporting by Avril Ormsby, Sven Egenter, William Maclean and Brenda Goh)

 


 
 
Tourists to London are following official warnings to avoid the city as a touri
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٤۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Tourism rates in London have dramatically dropped during the 2012 Olympics due to warnings of chaotic travelling and overpriced hotel rooms across the city.

Many tourists have found alternative routes to the Olympic Games, resulting in the avoidance of other attractions and shopping centres, which has caused many businesses to complain.

Non-sports fans have opted to remain at home or delay trips after commuters and tourists were warned during the run-up to the Olympics to avoid central London.

Millions of athletes, support staff, media and spectators arrived to the capital for the greatest show on earth which was hoped to boost Britain’s recession-hit economy.

Despite these expectations, tourist figures have decreased according to the European Tour Operators Association.

Around 300,000 foreign and 800,000 domestic visitors on average every day in August but these have dropped after simply following advice released by Transport for London.

These have been replaced by some 500,000 Olympic Games ticket holders, many themselves Londoners, and the remaining are not necessarily interested in visiting London as a tourist destination.

 


 
 
Slovenia at the Olympic Games in London
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٤٦ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

July 2012

A Slovenian team of sixty-five men and women is competing at this year’s Olympic Games in London. The achievements of our Olympic participants - we are hoping they achieve their best results - can greatly contribute to the recognisability of Slovenia and its tourist offer, not only in Britain, but also in the global market.

Team Slovenia London Laško Pub

 

During the Olympic Games, Slovenia is thus opening an Olympic meeting place for competitors, representatives of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia and their sponsors, the media, fans and visitors from Slovenia and other parts of the world - a place for musical events, gatherings and celebrations of the achievements of Slovenian sport in this year's Olympic capital. Pivovarna Laško has hired a London pub called The Forge & Foundry Bar and Restaurant for the duration of the Games.

Slovenia is aware of the importance and role of the Olympic Games for promotion. Close cooperation during the presentation of our country will take place in the pub throughout the Games, where the Olympic Committee of Slovenia , the Slovenian Tourist Board , the Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia and Pivovarna Laško will participate as partners.

The pub is located in Camden Town, which is known for its musical events and 24-hour hustle and bustle. It is near King’s Cross, a traffic hub, which is only one stop from Camden Town railway station. The Olympic Park is connected to Camden Road Station, from where there is a 10-minute walk to the pub.

‘Slovenia – green, active, healthy’

 As a tourist destination, Slovenia on this occasion is being presented as a green, active and healthy country with the motto or theme ‘Slovenia - green, active, healthy’. The theme of ‘green, active, healthy Slovenia’ is a result of cooperation with the Slovenian team and, hence corresponds to the presentation of Slovenia in the Olympic Games. The furnishings of the Team Slovenia London pub will be in accordance with the theme and the ‘I feel Slovenia’ national and tourist trademark.

The Team Slovenia London pub will also welcome other visitors who will be able to ‘feel Slovenia’, as it will be decorated and equipped with promotional material communicating the ‘I feel Slovenia’ trademark.

If you are staying in London during the Games, you are cordially invited to our pub.

Events

The Government Communication Office of the Republic of Slovenia, the Slovenian Tourist Board and the Olympic Committee of Slovenia in the partnership with Pivovarna Laško agreed to organise several events for the foreign media at the Olympic Games, who do not report only about sporting events. We will be inviting travel journalists and London media, foreign Olympic Committees, important British people, Slovenians living in London and Slovenians who are in London during the Games.

The pub will be furnished in the spirit of the Slovenian trademark ‘I feel Slovenia’, Slovenian sport and tourism. There will also be a mini information counter with promotional material and Slovenian souvenirs.

28 July at 20:00 local time: a gathering of Slovenians, their foreign partners and friends on the occasion of the opening of the Games and the pub. The music duo Janez Dovč and Boštjan Gombač with a music guest from London are performing at the event, which is expected to be attended by about 100 invited guests. The event will be organised in the form of a reception and friendly gathering, with Slovenian refreshments.

29 July at 11:00 in cooperation with the Slovenian Tourist Board: the Slovenian Tourist Board is hosting a morning meeting for the foreign press. The meeting is expected to be attended by 30 foreign travel and other leisure journalists. A musical performance by the duo Dovč and Gombač will add to the atmosphere of this informal gathering.

6 August at 20:00: a gathering of Slovenians, their foreign colleagues, business partners and friends while celebrating Slovenian sports achievements at the Games. Aleksander Mežek, a Slovenian singer living in London, will be providing the music. The event will also be organised in the form of an informal gathering, with Slovenian refreshments.


Contacts:
Pub: Tomaž Ambrožič, S.V - RSA;
phone: 040 677 039
e-mail: tomaz.ambrozic[@]sv-rsa.com

Events: Polona Prešeren;
phone: 051 391 173
e-mail: polona.preseren[@]gov.si

Team Slovenia at the Olympic Games

 A team of sixty-five Slovenian competitors travelled to the British capital, twenty-eight men and thirty-seven women. The Slovenian team also includes fifty-four coaches, six doctors, five physiotherapists or masseurs and two sports psychologists, with a management team of six people. Bogdan Gabrovec, the head of the Olympic team and Vice-President of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia, expects the Slovenian team to be very successful. A few days ago, jokingly and also somewhat seriously, he said that he expects as many as seven medals.

This year, the team will be competing in a total of seventeen disciplines which for Slovenia is the largest number so far. This will be the sixth Olympic Games for rower Iztok Čop, who is competing along with Luka Špik in the double sculls. The London Olympic Games will be the eighth Games in the career of the shooter Rajmond Debevec, who is thus the most experienced Slovenian competitor at the Games.

Peter Kauzer, the world champion in canoe-kayaking, is to be Slovenia’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the Games. The Slovenian flag at the Summer Olympic Games has also been carried by Rajmond Debevec (Barcelona, 1992), Brigita Bukovec (Atlanta, 1996), Iztok Čop (Sydney, 2000), Beno Lapajne (Athens, 2004) and Urška Žolnir (Beijing, 2008).

Slovenian Paralympic Team

The Slovenian Paralympic Team will be participating in the Paralympic Games for disabled athletes, which will take place at the Olympic venues of London from 29 August to 9 September. 22 athletes will participate in six disciplines (track and field, table tennis, sitting volleyball, cycling, swimming and shooting) and they will be accompanied by ten coaches and assistants, a physician, two physiotherapists and a care worker.

 


 
 
The Olympics Will Lose London Tourism Money
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٤٤ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

The Olympics Will Lose London Tourism Money

It has long been a staple of the economics profession that large sporting events do not, or at least very rarely do, make money for the places that host them. This is true of just about the entire economics profession and all economic reports: except those written by economists to provide an economic justification for the holding of a large sporting event.

We can run through all sorts of points that are made by those economists not writing the applications. Most obviously, for something like the Olympics there has to be considerable investment in new facilities and these almost always go near unused at the end of the festivities. For example, a new velodrome might be a lovely thing for London to have: but there’s not actually all that much of such track cycling in the country, however good the Olympic team itself is so how often is it going to get used?

But over and above this there is the point that the extra activity of the sporting event is just displacement of activity in either time or space. People do not have higher incomes because the Olympics are taking place and therefore cannot spend more in total than they would in the absence of the sports fest. They might spend more in London, this is true, but in the case of London itself this almost certainly isn’t true. As we’re finding out:

The boom to the economy that the Government hoped the Games would bring to the capital appears to become a bust with tens of thousands to tourists spurning the hiked prices, congestion and heightened security.

While bookings for July and August are down by 35 per cent on last year other European capitals appear to be prospering from London’s gloom.

This should have been obvious to the organisers but apparently it escaped them:

Mr Williamson added that “normal tourism” in other Olympic capitals such had Sydney, Beijing and Barcelona had dropped significantly during the Games and “took some time to recover”.The Olympics are normally held in places that have a good tourist trade anyway. This is especially true of London: there’s rarely that many empty hotel rooms in the place in any given summer, great sporting event or not.

What is happening is what most economists would have said would happen. The normal tourism that turns up for what we English laughingly call a summer isn’t appearing this year (nor is the summer) and the number of people turning up for the Olympics is smaller than the number we would have normally seen.

The only economists who consider this a boost to the economy are the ones who wrote the erroneous report stating that the Games would be a pretty good idea in the first place.

Sadly, it’s probably too late to ask if Paris are still interested.

 


 
 
Third of London hotel rooms empty for Olympics as 'normal' tourists stay
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٤٠ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

London’s hotels are facing a dramatic loss in profits with a third of rooms unsold over the summer after tourists have been put off by the Olympics, a survey has found.

 An aerial view of the Olympic Park in London showing the Olympic Stadium, the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, the Aquatics Centre and Water Polo Arena Photo: Anthony Charlton/LOCOG/PA

The boom to the economy that the Government hoped the Games would bring to the capital appears to become a bust with tens of thousands to tourists spurning the hiked prices, congestion and heightened security.

While bookings for July and August are down by 35 per cent on last year other European capitals appear to be prospering from London’s gloom.

French ministers, who lost the Olympic bid to Britain, might be quietly rubbing their hands with glee not only for dodging the £10 billion Games bill but also with a 50 per cent rise in tourism bookings. Similarly Barcelona and Berlin have seen their tourist numbers soar by 100 per cent over the summer.

Part of London’s problems have been caused by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) block booking 40,000 rooms over the period for officials and their families. Hotels then increased prices for remaining rooms only for Locog to return a fifth of the rooms earlier this year.

This has distorted the market place said Terry Williamson, chief operating officer of JacTravel, whose customers include travel agents and hotel websites.

He told BBC Radio Four Today programme that Locog had said the “prices are going to stand up and people are going to come” but this has not happened.

“If you lose a third of your availability and believe that that’s sold for you in the market place then that’s probably going to change your approach to how your price your remaining stock. The fact is that that stock did not sell when you look at our data with seven weeks left to go in market.”

JacTravel found that four-star London hotels were charging up to £415 per night which was nearly four times normal prices.

A survey by Hotel.com found that prices in London have increased by 104 per cent with the average room costing £213 this summer.

Mr Williamson added that “normal tourism” in other Olympic capitals such had Sydney, Beijing and Barcelona had dropped significantly during the Games and “took some time to recover”.

 


 
 
TOURISM FIGURES DRAMATICALLY DROP IN LONDON DURING OLYMPICS
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳٩ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Following warnings issued by transport authorities for tourists and commuters to avoid London, tourism figures drop affecting business and tourist attractions.

Tourism rates in London have dramatically dropped during the 2012 Olympics due to warnings of chaotic travelling and overpriced hotel rooms across the city.

Many tourists have found alternative routes to the Olympic Games, resulting in the avoidance of other attractions and shopping centres, which has caused many businesses to complain.

Non-sports fans have opted to remain at home or delay trips after commuters and tourists were warned during the run-up to the Olympics to avoid central London.

Millions of athletes, support staff, media and spectators arrived to the capital for the greatest show on earth which was hoped to boost Britain’s recession-hit economy.

Despite these expectations, tourist figures have decreased according to the European Tour Operators Association.

Around 300,000 foreign and 800,000 domestic visitors on average every day in August but these have dropped after simply following advice released by Transport for London.

These have been replaced by some 500,000 Olympic Games ticket holders, many themselves Londoners, and the remaining are not necessarily interested in visiting London as a tourist destination.


 
 
Tourists stay away from London during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Hotels, Museums, and theatres all report a fall in business, with visitors put off by fears over security and overcrowding

 Tourists from Japan take photographs outside the Houses of Parliament in London, England.

Hotels in London have been forced to cut their prices dramatically after businessmen and tourists were put off staying in the City by the Olympics.

Museums and theatres are also struggling to compete with the Games, with attendances falling by up to a third.

Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said cab drivers had been hit hard by the lack of trade and described London as a "ghost town". Transport for London confirmed that traffic was down by a fifth.

The hotel price cuts mean that many rooms in London are now cheaper than they were this time last summer, according to Lastminute.com.

The website said the average room in London booked on a last-minute deal was available for 112 pouonds a night compared with 133 pounds last year.

West End traders said business had slumped by as much as 70 per cent, with tourists and Londoners steering clear because of fears about overcrowding.

The Earl of Bradford, the owner of Porters restaurant in Covent Garden, said takings were "disastrous". "Covent Garden is so quiet when it is normally humming with activity," he said.

Nica Burns, the chief executive of Nimax Theatres, which owns half a dozen London venues, forecast that ticket sales would be down by 30 per cent over the summer. "For my six theatres, last week was the worst this year. I think the Olympics are great, but I feel like I've been the bull's eye for the archery competition," she said.

The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which represents tourist attractions in London, said attendances over the past two weeks had fallen by about a third.

A spokesman for the British Museum said there had been a fall in the number of visitors of between 25 and 30 per cent.

 


 
 
WHERE DID ALL THE TOURISTS GO?
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳٦ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

FOX Sports MARK TALKINGTON

LONDON

 This West End Vietnamese restaurant sits empty despite an influx of tourists into London for the 2012 Olympics.

Mark Talkington

Evening rush hour in Central London and the main streets are bustling. All along Charing Cross and Oxford Street residents and visitors alike pour into the Tube stations, off to destinations unknown during the busiest summer London has had in recent memory.

But it’s not supposed to be like this. Crowds were expected to be streaming out of the Tube stations and into Soho, the heart of the entertainment district, where shopkeepers and their employees were anxious to welcome their money into waiting cash registers.

“Ever since the Olympics, tourists aren’t being very touristy,” said Hilary, a bartender at the Spice of Life pub on Moor Street who didn’t want to give her last name. “We were supposed to have something like 10 million more people in town this summer. You’d think it would be tough to be getting around here.”

It’s not. In fact, it’s mostly just business as usual for shopkeepers, restaurant owners and others who were told to expect the worst by officials for months leading up to the Olympics.

At the historic Palace Theatre, where you can catch “Singin’ in the Rain” for about $80, there are plenty of seats available. “We have the occasional sellout,” a ticket seller replied when asked about availability on a Friday night. “Things are pretty much normal right now.”

 

A normally bustling street in London’s West End is nearly vacant during rush hour. Business owners are asking local and UK officials: Where are my customers?

Mark Talkington

The same story can be told at Cards Galore. The shopkeeper pushed the cards to the back for the summer, offering instead an array of Union Jack-plastered mugs, plastic double decker buses, and official Olympic merchandise, ready to cash in on heavy demand.

“We had more devoted to the Jubilee (celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s 60 years as Britain’s ruling monarch) than the Olympics,” explained Akran Alkassan as he waited for somebody to bring a purchase to his cash register. “It’s about the same as any other year. There are as many tourists this year as there were last year.”

So what gives? There are two theories making the rounds, especially after local papers dubbed Soho a “ghost town.” The first is that too many locals heeded the advice of officials, who warned that London would be a madhouse of tourists when the games came to town. The other is that so much money and attention was focused on revitalizing the East End (where the Olympic Village is entered by what is now Europe’s largest mall in total size, Westfield Stratford City) that the West End was sure to lose out.

“A lot of Londoners went out into England or into Europe this summer,” Hilary said. “I think five million people disappeared. And they’ve been replaced by five million Olympics people, who are all out at Olympics venues.”

For their part, UK and city officials, the same ones who warned of an impending crush, acknowledge that some parts of the city are hurting during the Olympics. Still, they claim business owners who planned properly are reaping the benefits now. And they counter that increased business in the East End (reportedly 40,000 more daily visits) has offset reports of foot traffic being down in the West End by five percent, giving London a boost overall.

“Some West End businesses have done extremely well because they’ve marketed on the back of the Olympics,” Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the London Evening Standard last week. He bristled at the thought the West End had turned into a ghost town, labeling the talk “absolute nonsense.”

Olympics Minister Hugh Robert told BBC TV: “The games were won seven years ago. There’s been ample time to plan for it, to put in place marketing strategies.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson, whose voice could be heard in the Tube warning commuters of busy days ahead, has a marketing strategy of his own in mind. The mayor and business leaders are said to be planning a “charm offensive” to lure Londoners and visitors back to the West End. And on Friday and Saturday, the Stratford mall was closed to visitors who didn’t have tickets to Olympic events.

The mayor’s warnings have also gone silent in the Tube.

“I think everybody blames my kind of Hiroshima Tube announcement,” he told the Evening Standard Friday. “But actually if you look at what really happened, there was a massive amount of media, and every time I was asked about the Olympics on TV they said, ‘It’s going to be a meltdown, it will never work.’

“That fear proved groundless. We have a city that is running brilliantly, and it’s incredibly, powerfully positive for London.”

Officials expect any beef West End businesses have with them now will be a non-issue eventually.

“All this publicity in every corner of the planet can only help our restaurants and hotels, and I think this is going to be a massive boost,” Hunt said.

 


 
 
£3m from Olympic budget to boost domestic tourism in 2012 and beyond
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳٤ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Jeremy Hunt announces new investment that will ensure an economic legacy for the whole country.

 Three million pounds from the Olympic budget is to be used to boost domestic tourism to maximise the economic legacy of the London’s Games for the whole country.

The investment, announced today by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, will kick start a new tourism campaign to make the most of the Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad to showcase the whole nation.

Over the next three years it is expected to deliver:

  • 12,000 new jobs
  • £500 million extra tourist spending
  • 5.4 million more hotel rooms occupied
  • a 10% increase in overnight short breaks

National tourism legacy

“London’s Olympic Games are a part of the Government’s drive to boost the country’s economy and have already delivered a huge economic legacy,” said Mr Hunt. “Businesses up and down the country have already benefited from the 75,000 Olympic contracts awarded, but we need to do more. The whole country is paying for the Games, and I want to make sure that the whole country benefits.”

“The UK has a wealth of stunning destinations on offer, whether it’s a weekend in Yorkshire, or a night in the Norfolk Broads, and I want us all to re-discover the wonderful attractions on our doorstep. The Olympic Torch Relay and the Cultural Olympiad will shine the spotlight on some of the most amazing parts of our country. It will be a fantastic opportunity for those areas to sell themselves to the world, boosting their local economies and creating jobs.”

VisitBritain are also leading a £100 million campaign to attract more overseas visitors to the UK which is expected to lead to four million extra international visitors over the next four years and £2 billion extra spend.

 


 
 
2012 London Olympics to regenerate
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳۳ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

2012 London Olympics to regenerate
one of the poorest areas of the capital

By Andrew Stevens, UK Editor

4 April 2008: The 2012 Summer Olympics will take place in London, mostly in Stratford, an area of East London. The sailing events will be held in Weymouth and Portland, on the English south coast. London’s 2012 bid was rivalled in contention by Madrid, Moscow, New York City and initial frontrunner Paris, the result being announced amid much fanfare and acrimony in Singapore on 6 July 2005, one day before the suicide bombings, which hit London's transport system.

The road to Britain's hosting the Olympics began with the Labour Party's General Election manifesto of 1997, which promised that a Labour Government would work to bring the Olympics to Britain. This followed failed bids by regional cities such as Birmingham and Manchester for the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Games, with the British Olympic Association (BOA) deciding in 1995 to focus future bids on London.

After its election, the Labour Government commissioned consultants Arup to undertake a feasibility study into a potential British bid for the 2012 Games, identifying the Lea Valley, an undeveloped area of East London, as the primary location for the Olympic Village and main facilities, with other events taking place elsewhere in the capital. Arup's study projected major regeneration gains for East London, with over 3,000 jobs created, £70m added economic growth and between £280-507m additional expenditure from tourism. The study also identified additional benefits such as future use of sporting facilities, cultural diversity and the promotion of sport among younger people.

In 2003, the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons argued in a report that it was "clearly desirable" that London should bid for the Games and Government support followed in May that year, with the Culture, Media and Sport Secretary announcing its intention to give political support to the bid. Public scrutiny of the bid was first made possible in February 2004 with the British Olympic Committee's response to the IOC questionnaire to candidate cities, with the IOC's report making a number of criticisms of London's public transport system, which has suffered from decades of under-investment.

The IOC visited London in February 2005 to inspect the proposed sites for hosting the Games, as part of the bid overseen by London 2012, a consortium set up on behalf of the UK government, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the BOA to represent their combined interests. However, the Mayor of London alone was empowered to sign contracts on behalf of the three partners, such as the ‘Host City Contract’ agreed in Singapore when London’s winning bid was announced in July 2005, with the UK government acting as guarantor of London’s ability to stage the Games. London 2012 was wound up following the bid decision and in 2006 the government legislated for the London Olympic Games and Paralympics Act to establish the necessary agencies, budget and protections (copyright) to host the Games in 2012.

FAQ
Why was Stratford chosen as the Olympic venue?
Stratford in the London Borough of Newham, East London, is one of the capital’s most diverse and economically deprived areas (the 11th most in the UK). However, in terms of facilitating the Olympics, the area has the twin advantages of sizeable available brownfield sites for redevelopment, as well as the green spaces of the Lower Lea Valley, and a major transport hub in the form of Stratford International Station, which will open in 2010 and will provide services to both Paris/Brussels via Eurostar. ‘Olympic Javelin’ trains will serve the station from London St Pancras also. The Olympic Park at Stratford will contain the Olympic Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Hockey Centre and Velopark, as well as the Olympic Village itself. In addition to Stratford, certain events will take place elsewhere in the capital, such as the Greenwich Millennium Dome for gymnastics, Wembley Stadium for football and Horse Guards Parade in central London for beach volleyball. The Olympic Park will be adjacent to the £4bn Stratford City mixed-use development, which was planned before the 2012 bid as a means to regenerate the area.

What about the proposed benefits of the Games?
Aside from the much-vaunted regeneration benefits for the community in around Stratford, already the site of the £4bn Stratford City development, the staging of the Games is also predicted to bring a bounty of tourist revenue to the capital, currently estimated at £2bn. However, a study by the European Tour Operators' Association (ETOA) in 2006 was dismissive of such data, citing similar claims made in advance of the Sydney and Athens events which were not born out by actual increased tourism levels. The ETOA study claimed that anticipated increased tourism levels were not based on any evidence to support such expectations and that the statements of massive economic benefits were solely based around hope and illusions. As Olympiads are televised, the onus on spectators to travel to the host city itself is reduced. In fact, the costs of staging the games are not recouped by tourism revenues and the attendant rise in travel costs and accommodation in the minds of travellers effectively deters them from visiting host cities before, during and after games. The economic evidence presented shows that tourism revenues have decreased during these periods on the last five Olympiads, while the business case for staging the events always optimistically inflates the likely benefits.

Who are the principal agencies overseeing the Games?
The 2006 London Olympic Games and Paralympics Act established the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), an executive agency of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, in order to oversee the provision for infrastructure and security for the Games. However, responsibility for staging the Games itself rests with the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), the successor body to London 2012. The bodies concerned compare this relationship to the difference between a theatre company, as stagers of the production, and the theatre itself, as owners of the venue. LOCOG is chaired by Lord Sebastian Coe, a former Olympic medal winner and Conservative MP, who oversaw the London 2012 bid. The ODA inherited the preliminary work and staff from both the London Development Agency and Transport for London, both agencies of the GLA.

As part of the 2007 government reshuffle, Gordon Brown allocated the post of Minister for the Olympics to former Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who will attend cabinet but not as a full member.

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority was created in 1966 by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Act to develop the ‘green wedge’ situated in the jurisdiction of 12 local authorities in Greater London, Essex and Hertfordshire and owns a fifth of the land which will be used to construct the venues for the Games.

What is the role of the London Boroughs in the Games?
The 32 London Boroughs and the City of London, through the then Association of London Government (now renamed as London Councils), backed the London 2012 bid, with particular support coming from the boroughs most closely associated with staging the events. Each borough involved in staging the Games, principally Newham but also Greenwich, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest, has an Olympics Unit which is coordinated by a Five Borough Central Team.

How was the 2012 logo chosen?
LOCOG commissioned designers Wolff Ollins to design branding for the 2012 Games that reflected the capital’s diversity and would act as a logo for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The brief also stipulated that the logo should avoid assimilating imagery from the city itself, in a distinct break with the past. However, the resultant design was afforded a mixed reception at best, with a number of unflattering comparisons being made between it and other imagery, such as it resembling a broken swastika.

Will the Olympic facilities be built on budget and on time?
Critics of the bid have pointed out the already over-running construction budget and the government’s past failures, such as the ill-fated Millennium Dome in Greenwich, now included as a key Olympic venue itself. Also, the opening of England’s national football stadium in Wembley, North London, was delayed by one year. With the opening date of the 2012 Olympics fixed, delay is obviously not an option for the London organisers.

The 2012 Olympics had been estimated at costing £2.4 billion when London initially won the right to host the event in 2005. Latest calculations suggest a price nearer £6 billion. In March 2007 Olympics minister Tessa Jowell even thought the budget might reach £9.35 billion, a figure ridiculed by London Mayor Ken Livingstone. The £9bn figure included a £2.7bn contingency amount and also had costs for such items as regeneration and infrastructure built into it. However, Mayor Livingstone maintained that the budget was set for £5.5bn. “Inevitably, things will crop up and it will almost end up at £6bn. I'd be quite proud if we kept it at that. If it starts going over £7bn that will be a defeat,” he added.

Are the Games supported by British people and/or Londoners themselves?
For the most part, yes, as people are mindful of the economic benefits and prestige of hosting an iconic international sporting tournament. However, the government has had to work hard to promote the benefit of hosting the Games in London to other parts of the UK, not least because of Manchester and Birmingham’s failed bids, encouraging local authorities outside of the capital to engage with the Games in order to generate support and interest locally, such as in schools and sports clubs.

 


 
 
Is London really empty during the Olympic Games?
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳٢ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

With all the tourists distracted by sport, is now the perfect time to book into a fancy restaurant or take in a West End show?

 

There are no queues outside Madame Tussauds – at least for now. Photograph: Tony Kyriacou/Rex Features

Apparently it's not just stadium seats that are empty at London 2012. Shop owners and restaurateurs have complained that their businesses are suffering as tourists and locals abandon the West End.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, says visitor numbers at its flagship London venues had fallen by 30-35% last week.

But hold on. If London is empty, isn't this the perfect time to get into the best restaurants and shows? Martine Ainsworth-Wells from Visit London says we should take advantage and "enjoy London's world-class restaurants". Perhaps she's right.

Since its opening in January, Dabbous has become the most booked-out restaurant in London. Clearly now is the time to sneak in and enjoy the £54-a-head, seven-course tasting menu. Sadly, the Olympics doesn't seem to have put gourmets off a trek to Fitzrovia. The receptionist says that there is no table until May 2013. A call to the three-starred Michelin restaurant Gordon Ramsay in Chelsea is equally unsuccessful – no table until January. Luckily the two Michelin-starred eateries Le Gavroche in Mayfair and The Ledbury in Notting Hill aren't quite as busy. They can squeeze me in in October. At Noma at Claridges, the pop-up restaurant that chef René Redzepi is running during the Olympics, seats sold out months ago, and there won't be any cancellations as the £195-a-head tickets are non-refundable I'm told, rather firmly.

But just as I am about to give up, Pollen Street Social, Jason Atherton's venture that opened to great fanfare last year, says it can give me something at 7.30pm, while The Wolseley has space at 9pm. Result.

Perhaps I'll take in a West End show beforehand. The hottest ticket in town is the musical Matilda. My hopes are initially raised when the sales assistant tells me there are two seats left. But by the time I've said I'll take them, they have been sold to someone else. There are two tickets left for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the National, but they're not together. "The run is almost entirely sold out," apologises the guy on the other end of the phone. "Unfortunately we haven't had many cancellations from the Olympics."

Standing-room-only seems to be the most likely option if I want to see Mark Rylance in Richard III at the Globe too. But Chariots of Fire, the ultimate sporting choice, has tickets left for the rest of the week. I fear that might be more to do with the reviews than the lack of tourists though.

And then at last, unlike much of Team GB, I strike gold. Madame Tussauds, notorious for its year-round, hours-long queues, tells me that because the Olympics have "significantly impacted normal visitation patterns", it is putting together a two-for-one offer until 12 August. With Jessica Ennis as one of the star attractions, it's one way to see an Olympian.

Posted by

Nicole Jackson

Wednesday 1 August 2012 20.00 BST The Guardian


 
 
London tourism rates plunge during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۳٠ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 LONDON (AFP) - The London 2012 Olympics appears to be deterring tourists from the capital's centre after warnings of travel chaos and overpriced hotel rooms, according to key industry figures.

Many businesses complain they are being sidelined as tourists make a beeline for the Olympic Games and avoid the capital's other attractions and shopping destinations, while non-sports fans opt to stay at home or delay their trips.

In the run-up to the Olympics, commuters and tourists alike were warned to avoid central London, with millions of athletes, support staff, media and spectators descending on the capital for the greatest show on earth.

The Games have long been heralded as a key boost to the recession-hit British economy. But tourist numbers have fallen "dramatically" since the Games began, according to industry body the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA).

 


 
 
London tourism struggles during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢٩ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the Olympic Games, which has left the host city a “ghost town”, businesses said today.

Many traditional tourist hotspots have reported a fall in ticket sales as visitors flock to Olympic venues across the capital.

Theatre companies said they were seeing a “mixed picture” with many companies struggling due to the lack of footfall in the West End.

Mark Rubinstein, president of the Society of London Theatre, said: “Normally tourists will visit central London but they are mostly here to see the Games.

”The message about travel problems also seems to have kept people away. My experience is things are running smoothly and people should not be put off.

“There is a great opportunity to get out there to see some fantastic shows.”

Sri Balay, online sales manager at Leicester Square Box Office, said: “Theatre in general is pretty quiet. We have a lot of visitors going past but they are going to Olympic events or spending a lot on hotels.

”We would usually be busy at this time of year because it's the summer holidays and lots of families enjoy going to the theatre. But at the moment it's very quiet.“

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, said cab drivers had been hit hard and described London as a ”ghost town“.

Mr McNamara added: ”Anecdotally our business is down by about 20-40 per cent depending on the time of day.

“Normally about 90 per cent of our customers are Londoners but they've all left the city and haven't been replaced by tourists.

”I don't know where all these tourists are or how they're getting about but London is like a ghost town.

“Some drivers are working longer hours just to stand still, others have taken a conscious decision not to pay certain bills while others have just given up and gone away.”

A spokeswoman for the British Museum said there had been a fall in the number of visitors.

“Anecdotally at the moment, it is looking like we are about 25-30 per cent down on the same time last year,” she said.

“The positive thing from the museum's perspective and something we would be keen to get across is that we are open and ready to take visitors and so it is an extremely good time to come to the British Museum and we would encourage everyone to do that.”

Christopher Woodward, director of the Garden Museum, next door to Lambeth Palace in London, said an exhibition at the museum charting the history of foreign flora in British gardens had proved popular.

But he said the museum had suffered a drop in the number of people booking wedding receptions over August because of the Olympics and the Paralympics.

“The positive has been that visitors have been very happy but the negative has been that we have been hit by the loss of wedding receptions which is a major source of income to the museum,” he said.

“No one is getting married in London in August.

“We have also scheduled the opening of our exhibition to September because of London being semi-deserted.”

He added that the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations had brought a boost to the museum.

“The Queen's Jubilee was wonderful, we were packed to the rafters with a really happy, nice bunch of people,” he said.

“The Jubilee was a big plus this year.”

Bernard Donoghue, chief executive of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which represents venues ranging from London Zoo to St Paul's Cathedral, said visitor numbers were down by between 30 per cent and 35 per cent.

He added: “There are two groups of people missing. The first are general visitors to London who are staying clear because of the perception that London will be busy.

“The second are Londoners and Brits who have been warned there will be a transport nightmare.

“Our message to them is that, while it may be sensible to avoid certain peak times and locations, transport is running very smoothly.

“Ironically there has never been a better time to visit our attractions because the queues are shorter and opening times have been extended.”

 


 
 
London tourism suffers 30% decline during Olympics
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

The European Tour Operators Association has warned that London tourism suffers 30% decline during the 2012 Olympic Games.

A considerable plunge in the number of tourists in London, hosting the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, has raised concerns about the UK’s tourism industry.


After several warnings from businesses including West End retailers, theatres, hotels, restaurants, museums and Licensed Taxi Drivers Association that the London Olympic Games have left the British capital a “ghost town”, the European Tour Operators Association also said attendance at attractions in London is down by “at least 30 percent”.

“We are seeing sharp falls in usage of restaurants; we are seeing a big fall in the use of sightseeing companies. You can come in here and you can get individual attention from a Beefeater at the Tower of London and the British Museum is comparatively empty,” said Tom Jenkins, chief executive of the European Tour Operators Association.

London's tourism industry is struggling to compete with the impact of the sports event, with capital’s tourist hotspots suffering a tourist drought while crowds throng to the Games in the eastern part of the city.

Meanwhile, blaming the current situation on too much warnings to stay out of the city ahead of the Games, Robin Chadha, from CitizenM Hotels, said, “Maybe people said ‘we are going to leave London’, especially the locals. Maybe some people did not want to deal with the hassle of coming into a city which is at full capacity.”

Although London normally has 800,000 domestic visitors and 300,000 foreign ones a day in August, but this year the capital seems quiet as the Olympic crowds have tended to stay around the Olympic Village instead of venturing into central London.

Furthermore, Peter Vlachos, a marketing expert at the University of Greenwich, who has been surveying local businesses about the impact of the Olympics, described the situation as a “disaster” while the British government’s predictions of the Games’ £13 billion boost for the economy have not come true.

"There are 23,000 people walking past (local shops) in the morning to get to the grounds, and at the end of the day the same 23,000 people rushing back to their hotels," he said.

A few days ago, after several warnings from businesses that transport chaos caused by the London Olympics have deterred locals and tourists, British Culture and Olympic Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the Sport event “upheaval” has been the reason why tourists are steering clear of London.

SSM/JR/HE

 


 
 
The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢٦ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 

Launch of 2012 Games website for tourism businesses

In partnership with London 2012's Nations and Regions Group, VisitBritain have launched a new tourism website, dedicated to helping the tourism industry get involved with the 2012 Games. If you work in tourism and want to know more about the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Tourism2012Games.org is the website for you.

You'll find information about how the UK is preparing to host the biggest event in the world and how your business can make the most of the Games - including how to make your business more accessible and brand protection guidelines to help you understand what you can (and can't) say about the Games in your marketing materials. And don't forget to sign up to the Tourism2012Games free e-newsletter to keep up to date as the Games draw near!

Go to: Tourism2012Games.org

What will an Olympic Games based in London bring to the South West?

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been hailed as an opportunity to develop sport, increase tourism and increase economic activity throughout the UK. With the spotlight on the UK and the region for 2012, tourism businesses have an unrivalled opportunity to present a positive picture as a destination. There will no doubt be an increased interest in the region attracting international media attention, which will showcase the South West to a national and global audience.

The opportunity to draw attention to the region's products and services will be unprecedented for present and future business. Capitalising on the region's strengths will maximise the potential and enable us to minimise the risks that the London 2012 Games will bring. The South West Regional Development Agency (South West RDA) and South West Tourism (SWT) are able to offer help and advise on various issues relating to tourism and the London 2012 Games, and can signpost the industry to relevant partners, including the Destination Management Organisations within the region.

This report highlights the potential benefits the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have in the South West region and outlines the South West Regional Development Agency's and South West Tourism's work to capitalise on this. Click on the image to download the report.

 


 
 
The tourism forecast
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢٥ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

30.7 million overseas visitors expected in 2012 spending 17.6 billion across the UK

As Britain turns its attention to hosting a number of major events, national tourism agency Visit Britain released its 2012 visitor forecast, revealing that the UK should attract 30.7 million visitors in 2012, spending £17.6 billion in the process.

Commenting on the forecast, Sandie Dawe, Visit Britain’s Chief Executive said: “While these figures are in line with expected numbers in 2011, maintaining current visitor levels would be a good outcome in a year that is proving difficult to predict due to the current global economic climate and the impact this may have in many of our key markets.

“We are currently on track to see a record number of holiday visits to the UK this year, which suggests that our appeal as a destination remains strong; this level of interest is something we hope to build on as we head in to 2012. The business traveller market however remains some way down on record levels, and there is some risk this could decline further if there was an economic slowdown as companies usually put in place measures to kerb travel costs.

“2012 gives us an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Britain in a way that we have never had before, allowing us to revitalise our appeal in mature markets and help us get Britain on the destination wish list of first time visitors from growth markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia.

“As part of our ‘GREAT Britain – You’re Invited’ marketing programme which we are undertaking with commercial partners, we have a fantastic range of deals in place to entice visitors to travel here throughout 2012 and will look to tap into the strong holiday market to ensure we can build on the gains we have made over the last couple of years. This will be supported by our largest ever image campaign to help inspire potential visitors to come and enjoy all the great experiences that we have on offer here in the UK.

“Visit Britain is working hard to ensure that the Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations will generate positive PR for Britain, taking advantage of the global interest to increase tourism numbers in the years ahead and creating a lasting tourism legacy for the future.”

As well as taking into consideration the economic implications, the 2012 forecast has also taken into account the unique dynamics that will come as a result of hosting next year’s Olympic and Para ympic Games." Taking careful note of reviews of the impact of previous Games on host countries, Visit Britain is working closely with the tourism industry to counteract any short-term impact that may be caused and how it can help tackle the issue of displacement of overseas visitors.

 


 
 
The tourism opportunity
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢۳ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

Introduction
The 2012 Games are forecast to benefit UK tourism in many ways, from enhancing the country’s image overseas, to triggering improvements in our customer service levels. So whilst not every tourism business will see a direct commercial gain from the short period of the Games, the whole of the visitor economy is set to reap the long-term benefits of the staging the world’s biggest event.

The Economic Impact
VisitBritain is targeting a 4.6 million extra overseas visitors generating £2.3 billion in extra visitor spend by 2014/15 as a consequence of successfully hosting the Games and the Jubilee celebrations in 2012. These gains are generated largely by higher numbers of visitors from overseas who are motivated to visit the UK and London as a consequence of publicity associated with the Games.

The Media Opportunity
The 2012 Games are forecast to attract global television audiences of around 4 billion viewers. Previous Olympic and Paralympic Games and other major sporting events have already shown that tourism can benefit substantially from the hugely increased media exposure of the destination before, during and after the event.

Examples include Barcelona, who showed the world it was a vibrant, cosmopolitan city during the 1992 Games. Germany demonstrated how to roll out the red carpet for visitors during the 2006 FIFA football World Cup, challenging world perceptions of German people and substantially boosting its short breaks market. Canada used the platform of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games to redefine and sell their tourism story around the world. They are now busy “closing the sale” and ensuring that these great stories are converted to additional visitors and business across the whole country.

Building the Britain Brand
The 2012 Games offer London and Britain a once-in-a-generation platform to project positive tourism messages to international audiences, to enhance the image of the UK and ultimately to inspire visitors to our shores. As Michael Payne, former Marketing Director, International Olympic Committee puts it:

"For any nation the economics of staging the Olympic Games are best understood as a Herculean re-branding campaign. The Olympics have the effect of focussing the world's attention, for a very brief moment, on a single city and the culture of the host nation.”

Quality and Customer Service
The 2012 Games also provide the UK’s hospitality and tourism industry with a focal point to improve the quality of its welcome and customer service. The UK is currently ranked fifth in the Nations Brand Index Survey where countries are evaluated against a wide range of criteria. But it slips to 13th for its perceived ‘Welcome’. People 1st’s State of the Nation 2010 research report highlighted that 65% of businesses reporting skills gaps stated staff lacked necessary customer service skills. Training schemes such as WorldHost and Welcome to Excellence aim to raise the standards in the industry in advance of the Games to ensure the UK provides a world-class welcome for visitors who will then act as ambassadors when they return to their own countries.

For more information on training & skills, go to “Provide a world-class welcome”.

VisitBritain’s Plans
The government has challenged VisitBritain to deliver “the best ever tourism marketing campaign by the host country of an Olympic Games” (Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State). A "GREAT Britain You're Invited" campaign will continue to leverage the huge media attention around the Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Games and will be funded by a £100m public/private marketing fund and partners including British Airways, Radisson Edwardian Hotels, P&O Ferries, easyJet, DFDS, Hilton Hotels, Expedia, STA Travel Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.

The first phase of the campaign launched in June 2011 when a global TV advert campaign was launched featuring famous British celebrities including Dame Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Twiggy, Rupert Everett and Jamie Oliver, issuing an invitation to audiences in 20 key markets to visit Britain in a unique period of celebration.

But participation is not confined to large corporations - Throughout 2012, tourism businesses can get involved with VisitBritain’s ‘Share Your GREAT Britain’ campaign, and extend the invitation to visit Britain in 2012 and beyond to your customers.


 
 
المپیک؛ دشمن پنهان گردشگری
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢۱ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

یکی از فواید بیان شده در مورد بازی‌های المپیک، رشد گردشگری شهر میزبان است. اما،‌ براساس اطلاعات منتشر شده از سازمان تورگردان‌های اروپا (ETOA)، این ارتقاء کاملاً غیرواقعی و گمراه‌کننده مطرح شده است. در حقیقت، نشانه‌هایی وجود دارند که تأثیر بازی‌های المپیک بر گردشگری را بسیار زیان‌بار ارزیابی می‌کنند.
طبق ارزیابی سازمان تورگردان‌های اروپا از آمار ورود گردشگر به شهرهای میزبان المپیک‌های گذشته، همچون پکن،‌آتن،‌سیدنی،‌آتلانتا،‌بارسلون و سئول مشخص شد در زمان برگزاری بازی‌ها و در طول مدتی که رقابت‌های المپیک در جریان بود، کاهش عمیقی در بازار گردشگری شهرهای میزبان به وجود آمد و هیچ رشد چشمگیری در این بخش حاصل نشد.
با نگاهی به آمار ثبت شده در ورود گردشگر به پکن در سال 2008 می‌توان به وضوح خسارات ناشی از میزبانی این شهر را مشاهده کرد.بر اساس این آمار ورود گردشگر به پکن از بهار سال 2008 با رکود روبرو شده و یک ماه پیش از برگزاری بازی‌ها،‌ شمار حضور گردشگران بین‌المللی در این شهر نسبت به مدت مشابه سال قبل آن 30 درصد کاهش یافته بود. این روند پس از بازی‌ها نیز تداوم داشت به نحوی که تا یک ماه بعد از المپیک کاهش ورود گردشگر به پکن بیش از 20 درصد اعلام شد.
هر چند این اطلاعات نیازمند بازنگری و بررسی‌های بیشتری است اما اگر چه 2008، سال پر منفعتی برای گردشگری منطقه آسیا اقیانوسیه نبود ولی پکن در مقایسه با دیگر شهرهای چین در شرایط نامساعدتری قرار داشت. برای مثال اگر رکود گردشگری در چین دو درصد اعلام شده بود این میزان تنها برای شهر پکن 18 درصد بود.
در دو دهه گذشته صنعت گردشگری همواره در حال رشد بوده است و در نتیجه این انتظار برای اکثر شهرهای پرجاذبه مد نظر بود تا روندی رو به رشد را در بخش گردشگری خود به ثبت برسانند. اما برای شهرهای میزبان المپیک این روند میل به سکون گرفت و تا حدی پیش رفت که در هنگام مقایسه با سایر شهرهای رغیب به صورت کاملاً واضح و روشنی قابل لمس شد.سکونی که لطمات جدی بر درآمد این شهرها وارد کرد.
به عنوان مثال، پنج سال پیش از برگزاری بازی‌های المپیک سیدنی، نرخ گردشگری دو کشور استرالیا و نیوزلند یکسان بود. اما این روند پس از برگزاری بازی‌ها شکل دیگری به خود گرفت و آن عقب افتادن فاحش استرالیا از مسیر رقابت با نیوزلند بود.
از اینرو می‌توان آشکارا فهمید که المپیک سود چندانی برای گردشگری استرالیا نداشت و چنانچه منفعتی به دنبال داشت از اختلافی بسیار ناچیز برخوردار بود. دراین میان شهر سیدنی نیز نسبت به سایر شهرهای استرالیا وضعیت نامساعدتری را تجربه کرد.
شرایط اسفبار گردشگری استرالیا آنچنان پیش رفت که منجر به تلاش گسترده این کشور در برگزاری برنامه‌های تبلیغاتی و معرفی خود به عنوان یک مقصد گردشگری گردید و شعار مشهور «پس کجائید؟» را منتشر ساخت.
تام‌جنکینس، رئیس اجرایی سازمان تورگردان‌های اروپا (ETOA) در خصوص تأثیر‌پذیری شهرها از میزبانی بازی المپیک گفت: هر شهری ویژگی خاص خود را داشته و تبعات و اثرات به وجود آمده از بازی‌های المپیک را به روش خود حل و فصل می‌کند. اما ما هنوز هم مجبوریم یا باید بازی‌هایی داشته باشیم که در آن صنعت گردشگری نه تنها دچار هیچگونه گسست و شکستی نشود بلکه از مسیرهایی زیان‌بار نیز دور گردد. در خصوص شهر آتن، جایی که با محدودیت‌هایی از سوی مقامات برگزارکننده بازی‌ها روبرو شده بود، خسارات چشمگیری چه پیش از بازی‌ها و چه پس از آن علاوه بر پایتخت گریبانگیر سایر شهرهای کشور یونان شده بود.برای لندن، میزبان المپیک سال 2012، تجربه و اخبار به دست آمده از وضعیت پکن نگران کننده خواهد بود.
لندن در سال گذشته میزبان نزدیک به 15 میلیون گردشگر بود که درآمدی هشت‌میلیارد پوندی را برای این شهر به دنبال داشت از اینرو، تصور این موضوع که میزبانی بازی‌های المپیک، حامل خسارت‌هایی چه در زمینه ورود گردشگر و چه در زمینه درآمدزایی است، از هم‌اکنون دل نگرانی‌هایی را برای لندنی‌ها به وجود آورده است. با این تفاصیل چنانچه لندن الگویی مشابه با پکن سال 2008 را برای میزبانی المپیک پیش‌رو، پیش گیرد باید انتظار کاهش 5/2 میلیون نفری در میزان حضور گردشگر و 5/1 میلیارد پوندی در بخش درآمدزایی از بخش گردشگری را داشته باشد.

 

 


 
 
بحث‌های بی‌پایان برسر سود و زیان المپیک بر گردشگری لندن
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٢٠ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

مقامات بریتانیا، المپیک را راهی برای خروج از رکود اقتصادی می‌دانند

مقامات گردشگری لندن همچنان امیدوا‌رند المپیک و کارزار جهانی تبلیغات توریسم لندن، تا سال 2015 با جذب گردشگر بیشتر بتواند زیان‌های کوتاه مدت مالی ناشی از شیب دوم رکود اقتصادی کشور را جبران کند.

 

خبرگزاری میراث فرهنگی ـ بین الملل ـ وزیر گردشگری بریتانیایی "جان پنروز" در اظهارات اخیر خود گفته که هرچند وضعیت گردشگری بریتانیا خوب است اما المپیک لندن به بریتانیا شانس دوباره‌ای می‌دهد تا با خلق انگیزه‌های هیجان‌انگیز تازه برای گردشگران، پس از یک دوره کاهش تعداد توریست‌ها و بازدیدکنندگان تجاری، طی 5سال آینده خود را به عنوان یک مقصد برتر بازگرداند.

به گزارش تایمز اقتصادی "پنروز" در کنفرانس مطبوعاتی که درست یک شب قبل از آغاز مسابقات المپیک برگزار شد، گفت: «این فرصت بی‌نهایت مهمی برای جلب علاقه مردم برای سفر به لندن طی سال‌های بعد است. زیرا ما بازار توریسم خوبی داریم اما درعین حال کاملا آگاهیم که این وضعیت ماندگار نیست؛ بنابراین نیاز داریم تا به روش‌های مختلف انگیزه‌های هیجان‌انگیز تازه‌ای برای سفر به بریتانیا در میان مردم ایجاد کنیم.»

به گفته منتقدان سرریز هزینه‌های ناشی از نگهداری و مراقبت از سالن‌ها و مراکز بسیار بزرگ که پس از پایان بازی‌ها به ندرت از آن‌ها استفاده می‌شوند،در درازمدت، فشار مالی گسترده‌ای برشهرهای میزبان تحمیل می‌کند و این مسئله در بسیاری از این مراکز ورزشی آتن پس از بازی‌های المپیک 2004 دیده می‌شود.

این درحالی است که منتقدان پیوسته این پرسش را مطرح کرده‌اند که چرا بریتانیا در شرایط تنگنای اقتصادی شدید، باید 9 میلیارد پوند (14 میلیارد دلار) برای بازی‌های المپیک هزینه کند. اقتصاد دانان منتقد با توجه به تاثیر بازی‌های المپیک بر اقتصاد کشور، به ویژه بازی‌هایی که بریتانیا میزبان آن‌ها بوده، معتقدند که کسب سودهای مالی از بازی‌های المپیک کار چندان آسانی نیست.

به گفته همین منتقدان سر ریز هزینه‌های ناشی از نگهداری و مراقبت از سالن‌ها و مراکز بسیار بزرگ که پس از پایان بازی‌ها به ندرت از آن‌ها استفاده می‌شوند، در درازمدت فشار مالی گسترده‌ای برشهرهای میزبان تحمیل می‌کند و این مسئله در بسیاری از این مراکز ورزشی آتن پس از بازی‌های المپیک 2004 دیده می‌شود.

همچنین سازمان‌دهندگان بازی‌های المپیک سیدنی که یکی از موفق‌ترین بازی‌های مدرن تلقی می‌شود، اذعان دارند که در طراحی و سرمایه‌گذاری روی بازی‌ها و اثر آن پس از پایان مراسم به انداز کافی دقت نکرده بودند و درنتیجه سود توریستی که امیدوار به کسب آن بودند، بدست نیامد.

مدیر اجرایی آژانس گردشگری ملی "ویزیت بریتانیا" نیز معتقد است که تعداد گردشگران معمولا در سال برگزاری مسابقات کاهش می‌یابد و این خیلی شگفت‌آور است که بین ماه‌های ژانویه تا مه 2012 شاهد 7 درصد افزایش در تعداد گردشگرن بوده‌ایم.

برایان بیکل مدیر اجرایی موسسه "شافتزبری" که 330 فروشگاه و 217 رستوران و کافه را در سراسر لندن دراختیار دارد، می‌گوید: «هشدارهای امنیتی درمسیرهای رفت وآمد، بسیاری از مردم را خانه‌نشین کرده است. به عنوان مثال مردم به دلیل نگرانی از مخاطرات احتمالی در بازگشت به خانه از رفتن به تاتر خودداری می‌کنند.»

با این حال پنروز همچنان معتقد است که بازی‌های المپیک به دلیل ایجاد اعتماد به نفس در مردم می تواند اقتصاد بریتانیا را از رکود بیرون بکشد.‌

خبرگزاری میراث فرهنگی         

 


 
 
قیمت هتل‌های لوکس لندن چند برابر می‌شود
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۱۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

در شرایطی که پس از اعلام میزبانی «لندن» از مسابقات المپیک در سال 2012، کارشناسان زیادی از رشد چشم‌گیر صنعت گردشگری «انگلیس» به‌واسطه‌ی برگزاری این مسابقات خبر داده‌اند، روز گذشته مقامات صنعت هتلداری شهر «لندن» اعلام کردند که در زمان برگزاری مسابقات المپیک قیمت هتل‌های لوکس این شهر چند برابر می‌شود.

به گزارش فایننشیال تایمز، قیمت یکی از هتل‌های چهار ستاره لندن که در حال حاضر شبی 200 پوند است، در زمان برگزاری مسابقات المپیک به 1100 پوند می‌رسد.

این در حالی است که در ماه ژوئن مجمع تورگردانان اروپا (ETOA)، یکی از سازمان‌های معتبر اروپایی در زمینه گردشگری‌، در گزارشی به تاثیرات منفی المپیک لندن بر گردشگری انگلیس پرداخته و اعلام کرده که این مسابقات می‌تواند تاثیرات منفی نیز برگردشگری این کشور داشته باشد.

مسابقات المپیک می‌تواند کاهش گردشگران عادی را در پی داشته و از سوی دیگر می‌تواند روند روبه رشد صنعت گردشگری انگلیس را کاهش دهد. از سوی دیگر، اختصاص بخش اعظم توانایی شرکت‌های ساختمانی لندن به احداث مجموعه ورزشی ویژه المپیک، روند احداث هتل‌ها در این شهر را کند کرده که این امر در شرایطی که صنعت گردشگری انگلیس به دنبال احیای خود با پایان بحران جهانی اقتصادی است، صدماتی را به این صنعت گردشگری این کشور وارد کرده است.

انگلیس در سال‌های اخیر همواره در جمع یکی از پنج مقصد برتر گردشگری جهان بود و در سال گذشته نیز میزبان 28 میلیون گردشگر بود، این درحالی است که پیش‌بینی می‌شود کشور انگلیس بویژه شهر لندن در طول برگزاری مسابقات المپیک میزبان 320 تا 400 هزار گردشگر باشند.

در ماه آوریل نیز دولت انگلیس که با مشکل کسری شدید بودجه دست به گریبان است، اعلام کرد که قصد دارد تا در قالب برنامه‌ای 10 ساله، درآمدهای این کشور از محل صنعت گردشگری را به 188 میلیارد پوند در سال 2020 رسانده و این کشور را به قطب نخست گردشگری اروپا تبدیل کند.

در قالب این برنامه ده ساله که رشد 60 درصدی درآمدهای انگلیس از محل صنعت گردشگری را در پی خواهد داشت، تعداد شاغلان در صنعت گردشگری انگلیس نیز از رقم فعلی 264 هزار نفر، به سه میلیون می‌رسد.

شهر لندن از 27 جولای تا 12 آگوست میزبان مسابقات المپیک خواهد بود.

 


 
 
کاهش شمار گردشگران در مرکز لندن
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۱٧ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

آمارهای صنعت گردشگری نشان می دهد بازیهای المپیک لندن ظاهرا به علت هشدارها در مورد ایجاد بی نظمی در سفر و افزایش بهای هتل ها، گردشگران را از مرکز شهر لندن رانده است.

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به نقل از خبرگزاری فرانسه، بسیاری از کسب و کارهاازاینکه گردشگران مستقیما به تماشای بازیها می روند و از سایر جذابیت های این شهر و مراکز خرید دوری می کنند، شکایت دارند.

پیش از شروع بازیهای المپیک لندن در آستانه اعزام میلیون ها ورزشکار و تیم پشتیبانی آنها، تماشاگر و کارکنان رسانه ها به این شهر، به گردشگران و کارمندان نسبت به اجتناب از مرکز لندن هشدار داده شده بود.

این درحالی است که این بازیها به عنوان یک عامل کمک کننده به اقتصاد راکد انگلیس مطرح بود. اما براساس اعلام اتحادیه اپراتورهای تور اروپایی از زمان آغاز بازیها شمار گردشگران کاهش چشمگیری پیدا کرده است.

لندن در ماه اوت تقریبا هر روزه پذیرای 300 هزار گردشگر خارجی و 800 هزار گردشگر انگلیسی است. به گردشگردان تلویحا گفته شده از لندن دور بمانند و آنها هم همین کار را می کنند.

''به گفته تام جنکینز رییس این اتحادیه بسیاری از مردم از توصیه های رسمی سفر تبعیت می کنند.

آنها لزوما علاقه ای به لندن به عنوان یک مقصد گردشگری ندارند. آنها برای خرید یا تماشا به اینجا نیامده اند.

استیو مکنامارا دبیرکل اتحادیه رانندگان تاکسی نیز گفت بسیاری از گردشگران به هشدارهای رسمی توجه کرده اند .

وی گفت: کسب و کار ما بسته به اوقات روز حدود 20 تا 40 درصد کمتر شده است.

مک نامارا افزود: بطور معمول حدود 90 درصد مشتریان ما ساکنان لندن هستند اما همه آنها شهر را ترک کرده اند و جای خود را به گردشگران داده اند.

بسیاری از گردشگران سفرهای خود را به لندن تا ماه سپتامبر زمان پایان بازیهای المپیک و پارالمپیک به تاخیر انداخته اند.

آنجلا اسکلی رییس شرکت تامین اتاق های هتل گفت: در مقایسه با همین دوره از سال گذشته ، رزرو جا در لندن بسیار کاهش یافته است.

با وجود این شواهد مسئولان گردشگری همچنان خوشبین هستند که لندن می تواند از المپیک کامیاب شود.

مارک دی تورو سخنگوی شرکت ویزیت انگلیس گفت: ما همواره می دانستیم بازیهای المپیک 2012 فرصت ها و چالش هایی فراهم می کند. وی افزود: کشورها و شهرهای میزبان معمولا در سال برگزاری المپیک کاهش گردشگری را تجربه می کنند.

وی افزود شواهد حاکی از آن است که هنگام برگزاری بازیهای المپیک 80 درصد ظرفیت هتل ها تکمیل است. دولت انگلیس امیدوار است قراردادهایی به ارزش بیش از یک میلیارد پوند در المپیک منعقد کند و طی دو تا سه سال آینده 13 میلیارد درآمد کسب کند. برگزاری بازیهای المپیک لندن 3/9 میلیارد پوند هزینه داشته است.


 
 
گرمی مشعل المپیک، گردشگری لندن را سرد کرد
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۱٤ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

با گذشت یک هفته از زمان آغاز بازی‌های المپیک لندن و در حالی که انتظار می‌رفت لندن در این ایام با افزایش ورود گردشگران کشورهای مختلف، رشد اقتصادی را تجربه کند اما آمارها گویای تنزل ۳۰ درصدی شمار گردشگران و شمار بازدیدکنندگان از اماکن گردشگری قلب بازی‌های المپیک ۲۰۱۲ است.
به گزارش جوان و به نقل از روزنامه گاردین انگلیس، از خالی ماندن صندلی سکوی تماشاگران در زمین‌ها و استادیوم‌های ورزشی گرفته تا خلوتی خیابان‌ها و معابری که مسئولان شهری لندن بار شلوغی و ترافیک و ازدحام جمعیت را برایش پیش بینی می‌کردند المپیک لندن برای لندن نشین‌ها و سایر مردم انگلیس با افت ورود گردشگری و ناکامی در کسب درآمدهای جانبی حاصل از برگزاری یک رویداد پر هزینه جهانی همراه بوده است. بر اساس آمار جدید انجمن تجاری لندن، در هفته اغازین المپیک، میزان حضور گردشگران و بازدیدکنندگان در اماکن گردشگری و سنتی لندن نسبت به سال گذشته ۳۰ درصد کاهش داشته است. در عین حال میزان درآمد رستوران‌های لندن و میزان استفاده از تاکسی‌های سیاه ویژه لندن نیز در مقایسه با سال پیش با ۴۰ درصد کاهش مواجه شده است. از برج لندن گرفته تا همپتون کورت‌، کاخ‌های سلطنتی لندن نیز دراین مدت با جذب تنها نیمی از شمار گردشگران در مدت زمان مشابه سال گذشته به شدت ضربه خورده‌اند.

همچنین آمار گویای آن است که موزه بریتانیا یک چهارم و گالری ملی لندن نیز دو پنجم بازدیدکنندگان خود را از دست داده است. انجمن هتلداری انگلیس پس از گذشت یک هفته از آغاز بازی‌های المپیک در نامه‌ای خطاب به اعضایش نسبت به کاهش ضریب اشغال هتل‌های لندن در ماه آگوست و پایین بودن آمار ضریب اشغال از حد معمول هشدار داده است.

بر اساس این گزارش، چهره کنونی این روزهای لندن بیش از پیش بی‌روح و سرد است و برخلاف انتظارها کسب و کار لندنی‌ها نیز با افت گردشگری و خالی از سکنه شدن شهر خاموش شده است. به جز توریست‌ها اهالی لندن نیز در واکنش به هشدار مقامات شهری، شهر خود را تحریم کرده، خانه نشین شده‌اند یا دست به مهاجرت دسته جمعی زده‌اند و این در حالی است که ماه‌ها پیش از آغاز رقابت‌های ورزشی المپیک لندن، اهالی این شهر برای مواجه شدن با صف‌های طولانی ایستگاه مترو، رستوران‌ها و ازدحام جمعیت خود را آماده کرده بودند.

لندن در حالی پس از صرف هزینه‌های عمرانی و جانبی فراوان برای برگزاری المپیک، در انتظار بازگشت سرمایه و سود اقتصادی از طریق جذب گردشگر بوده است که شرایط فعلی در این شهر مردم و مقامات شهری لندن را به‌شدت شوکه و ناامید کرده است.

الناز خمامی زاده


 
 
لندن شهر ارواح شد!
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۱۳ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

 کارشناسان معتقدند حتی منافع کوتاه‌مدت میزبانی بازی ها نمی‌تواند جبران خسارتی که این کشور از منافع بلندمدت منابع تجاری و گردشگری می‌کند را جبران کند... به هر صورت تأثیر منفی بازیهای المپیک، یک سورپرایز ناخوشایند برای اقتصاد داشته است.

 به گزارش سرویس فرهنگی اجتماعی جام نیوز به نقل از دیلی میل، مغازه‌ها، سالن‌های تئاتر و مشاغل لندن به خاطر افت یک سومی میزان گردشگران خالی مانده‌اند، علت این امر ترس از هرج‌ومرج سفر برای بازی ها می‌باشد. اقتصاددانان می‌گویند، هشدارهای متعدد ناشی از هرج‌ومرج مسافرت برای المپیک باعث شده که مکان‌های کلیدی انگلیس به شهر ارواح تبدیل شود و همچنین تهدیدی برای بهبود اقتصادی این کشور باشد.

پیام‌های مسئولین مبنی بر دور ماندن از لندن و دیگر نقاط اصلی این کشور باعث شده تعداد گردشگران این کشور تنزل فاجعه‌آمیزی داشته باشد.

تقریبا نزدیک به یک سوم از پنج میلیون نفری که در شهرهای بزرگ استخدام شده بودند، به جهت رعایت توصیه‌های مقامات رسمی ناچارند که در طول این دو هفته در برخی موارد در خانه کار کنند تا از اختلال اقتصادی که برای آنها پیش آمده جلوگیری کنند.

در عین‌حال بنا به گزارش‌های رسیده، امسال جاذبه‌های اصلی گردشگری با سقوط یک سومی گردشگران در قیاس با همین زمان در سال گذشته مواجه شده است.

کارشناسان معتقدند حتی منافع کوتاه‌مدت میزبانی بازی ها نمی‌تواند جبران خسارتی که این کشور از منافع بلندمدت منابع تجاری و گردشگری می‌کند را جبران کند.

البته فشارها به مسئولین در حال افزایش است تا دید گردشگران را نسبت به فضای باز تجارت در انگلیس تغییر دهند.

برنارد دوناف مسئول انجمن جاذبه‌های گردشگری می‌گوید: دو دسته مردم از این قضیه متضرر می‌شوند. دسته اول گردشگرانی هستند که به لندن می‌آیند، که برای آنها روشن است چرا که می‌دانند اکنون لندن شلوغ است اما دسته دوم مردم خود لندن و ساکنین هستند که به آنها درباره این شرایط هشدار داده شده است.

وی می‌گوید، پیام ما این است که این قابل درک است که باید در ساعات پیک و مکان‌های شلوغ ملاحظه کنیم، اما آیا ساعات بهتر دیگری هست که گردشگران بتوانند بازدید کنند.

به هر صورت تأثیر منفی بازیهای المپیک، یک سورپرایز ناخوشایند برای اقتصاد داشته است.


 
 
زیان 3.5 میلیارد پوندی برای توریسم لندن به دلیل میزبانی المپیک
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:۱۱ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

منبع : میراث ‌فرهنگی - گردشگری

 -طبق پیش بینی کارشناسان، لندن بیش از 3.5 میلیارد پوند درآمد خود را درنتیجه برگزاری مراسم المپیک 2012 از دست خواهد داد. به گزارش موسسه توریستی آمادئوس، هرچند توریسم ورزشی بازاری است که جای آن خالی است، اما مسابقات المپیک در بیشتر کشورهای جهان برای توریسم نتایجی منفی داشته است. ...

پایگاه اطلاع رسانی تبیان نیوز : خبرگزاری میراث فرهنگی ـ با هشدار کارشناسان درمورد زیان 3.5 میلیارد پوندی توریسم لندن، همزمان با نزدیک شدن مراسم افتتاحیه المپیک لندن، برنگرانی موسسات تورگردانی بریتانیا ، افزوده می‌شود.

بیشتر کارشناسان توریسم بریتانیا اعلام کرده‌اند که چشم انداز سفر و توریسم لندن را در سال 2012 چندان روشن نمی بینند وطبق همین بررسی‌ها پیش‌بینی شده‌است که لندن بیش از 3.5 میلیارد پوند درآمد خود را درنتیجه برگزاری مراسم المپیک 2012 از دست خواهد داد.

به گزارش موسسه توریستی آمادئوس، این نگرانی‌ها بیشتر از آن روست که در جریان تحقیقات انجام شده که نتایج آن درکنفرانس بازار سفر و توریسم ورزشی جهان اعلام شد، هرچند توریسم ورزشی بازاری است که جای آن خالی است ونمی توان نیروی نهفته و منافع اقتصادی پنهان در آن را نادیده گرفت، اما مسابقات المپیک در بیشتر کشورهای جهان برای توریسم همیشه نتایجی منفی داشته است.

از این رو توریسم مذهبی می‌تواند توجه جهانی فعلان صنعت سفر و توریسم را به طور متمرکزی بخود جلب کند. با این حال این دیدگاه درهمان کنفرانس مورد مخالفت اتحادیه تورگردان‌های اروپا قرار گرفت واعلام شد که میزبانی المپیک تابستانی لندن در اساس صنعت توریسم و سفر بریتانیا را دچار زیان می کند.

طبق بررسی‌های اعلام شده از سوی اتحادیه تورگردانان اروپا درمورد برگزاری مراسم المپیک پکن در سال 2008 ، المپیک 2004 در سیدنی و 2000 در اتلانتا و بارسلونا در 1996 و سئول در 1988 نشان می‌دهد که بازی‌های المپیک سبب اختلال در توریسم عادی این کشورها شده و بازی‌های المپیک در نهایت سبب رشد توریسم نشده است.

"کریستوفر ردریگز" مدیر موسسه وسایت "ویزیت بریتانیا" در زمینه مخالفت اتحادیه تورگردانان اروپا با اشاره به پیام "مارک هاول" یکی از سخنرانان حاضر درکنفرانس یاد شده که گفته بود لندن می‌خواهد متفاوت باشد، در این باره می گوید:«معنای این جمله توجه به ارائه طرح‌های جدید است. یک بودجه 100میلیون پوندی تنها برای طراحی استراتژیک بازاریابی اختصاص داده شده که از طریق آن بریتانیا به طور موثر طی 4 سال قبل و پس از المپیک 2012 یعنی از 2011 تا 2014 طبق آن طرح عمل کند. »

وی می افزاید:«این طرح قبل از آغاز مسابقات شروع شده و این بخش مهم این طرح است. ضمن این که عروسی "پرنس ویلیام" و "کیت" در سال 2011 کاری بسیار خوب بود که درواقع ویترینی شد برای بریتانیا که مردم را علاقمند به سفرکند.»

رودریگز همچنین در توضیح بیشتر این طرح‌های استراتژیک می گوید:«ما درحال حاضر در حال کار برروی وضعیت تجارت هستیم تا مطمئن شویم شواهد کافی از تلاش توریست‌ها برای شناخت بهتر بریتانیا باشد. برتیانیا دروهله اول کشوری کوچک است اما منحصر به لندن نیست و خارج از لندن چیزهای دیدنی بسیاری هست.»

به گفته وی در دوران برگزاری مسابقات المپیک هم از مردم دعوت می شود تا صرفا به دیدن بازی‌ها اکتفا نکنند. بلکه ضمن دیدار از بازی‌ها درهمین کشور سفر خود را گسترش داده و درمدت اقامت خود به دیدار چیز‌ها و جاهای دیگر بروند از ادینبورگ گرفته تا کاردیف و سواحل ولز تا جنوب انگلستان .همه این چیزهایی که شما می‌توانید در بریتانیا ببیند و در عین حال بازیهای المپیک هم بخشی از سفر شما باشد.»

وی ضمن تایید مشکل مسدود شدن اتاق هتل‌ها در جریان بازی‌های المپیک می‌گوید:«المپیک تعداد زیادی از اتاق‌های لندن را مسدود می‌کند اما درعین حال ازدحام مردم توریست‌های مستقل وغیر ورزشی را را نیز از امتیاز استفاده از تخفیف در کرایه اتاق‌ها برخورد می‌کند.»

به گفته وی امسال درواقع فرصتی است برای موسسات تورگردانی که با مشتریانی فراتراز مشتریان عادی خود کار کنند. همچنین فرصتی است برای آنان که بر مراکز دیگری غیر از لندن و شهرهای دیگر بریتانیا تمرکز کنند که اتاق‌ها و هتلهایشان برای بازی های المپیک از قبل رزو نمی شود ودارای فضای کافی برای اقامت توریست های عادی هستند.

این مناقشات از سال 2009 تا کنون میان موسسات توریستی و بخش‌های مختلف وسازمان‌های دولتی نظیر کمیته سازمان دهندگان بازی‌های المپیک لندن و موسسه ویزیت بریتانیا صورت گرفته، با این حال اتحادیه تورگردان‌های اروپا همچنان معتقدند که لندن درحدود 2.4 میلیارد دلار را طی سال آینده به دلیل برگزاری مسابقات المپیک و عوارض آن از دست خواهد داد. اتحادیه موسسات تورگردانی اروپا حتی معتقد است که المپیک توریسم لندن را تخریب خواهد کرد.

طبق بررسی‌های انجام شده از سوی 38 موسسه تورگردانی عضو همین اتحادیه هرسال بیش از 2 میلیون نفر توریست به لندن سفر می کنند که در سال 2012 تنزل چشمگیری خواهد داشت که بویژه شدید‌ترین کاهش را در ماه‌های جولای و آگوست شاهد خواهند بود. این موسسات اعلام کرده‌اند هم اکنون نیز شاهد کاهش 60 درصدی رزو جا و ثبت نام ها هستند.

اما تنها موسسات تورگردانی نیستند که نگران کاهش رونق کسب و کار خود هستند، بکله سایر صاحبان کسب و کار نیز پیش بینی‌های مشابهی در این زمینه دارند.

"جان والش" مدیر یکی از آژانس‌های پیشرو در فروش بلیت تئاترلندن می‌گوید: «سالانه بیش از 2 میلیون بلیت تئاتر در لندن به قروش می‌رسد درحال حاضر پیش بینی می‌کنم که میزان فروش از محل توریست‌ها حداقل 40 درصد نسبت به سال‌های قبل کاهش یابد. از این رو ما با جدیت در حال یافتن مشتریان جایگزین هستیم تا کاهش تماشاگران سنتی ما را جبران کنند.»

"ماریو بودینی" مدیر جک تراول نیز می گوید:«ما اغلب می دانیم که میزبانی المپیک همیشه عوارض منفی برای توریسم عادی دارد و ازاین روست که استراتژی ویژه‌ای برای سال‌های پیشرو تنظیم کرده‌ایم تا بتوانیم در کسب و کارهای المپیک محور، شرایط بهتری را ایجاد کنیم. و هرچند که تلاش‌های زیادی شده اما من می دانم که امسال سال خوبی برای توریسم لندن به طور کلی نخواهد بود.»

 


 
 
نمایش کشتی نوح برای گردشگران المپیک در لندن
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٠۸ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

نمایش کشتی «نوح» برای گردشگران المپیک در لندن

با آغاز المپیک لندن، کشتی نوح به مقصد جدید گردشگری این شهر تبدیل شده است. در شرایطی که مسابقات المپیک در شهر لندن آغاز شده است، نمونه‌ای از کشتی نوح که توسط یک نجار و طراح هلندی و براساس اطلاعات موجود در انجیل ساخته شده، گردشگران زیادی را جذب این شهر کرده است. به گزارش دیلی‌تلگراف، «یوهان هویبرس» هلندی ظرف مدت سه سال این کشتی عظیم چوبی را که 130متر طول، 21متر پهنا و 12متر ارتفاع دارد ساخته است. از ماه‌ها قبل از آغاز مسابقات المپیک وزارت فرهنگ انگلیس برنامه‌های تبلیغاتی در ‌١۴ شهر بزرگ دنیا برای معرفی جاذبه‌های گردشگری انگلیس و به‌ویژه شهر لندن را آغاز کرد .

انگلیس طی سال‌های اخیر همواره در جمع پنج مقصد برتر گردشگری جهان بوده و حالا دولت این کشور که با مشکل کسری شدید بودجه دست به گریبان است، قصد دارد در قالب برنامه‌ای ‌١٠ساله، درآمدهای انگلیس از محل صنعت گردشگری را به 188‌میلیارد پوند در سال ‌٢٠٢٠ برساند و این کشور را به قطب نخست گردشگری قاره اروپا تبدیل کند.


 
 
هیچ‌کس انتظار این لندن را نداشت
نویسنده : عماد عزتی خراسانی - ساعت ۱:٠٤ ‎ب.ظ روز ۱۳٩۱/٥/٢٦
 

گردشگران المپیک لندن را نمی‌خواهند

برای بسیاری از انگلیسی‌هایی که چند سال پیش با شنیدن خبر انتقال مشعل المپیک از چین به لندن سر از پا نمی‌شناختند، برگزاری بازی‌های المپیک در لندن به معنای افزایش ورود توریست و گردشگر به این کشور و رشد درآمد حاصل از صنعت گردشگری بود اما از خالی ماندن اکثر صندلی‌های تماشاگران در زمین‌ها و استادیوم‌های ورزشی گرفته تا خلوتی خیابان‌ها و معابری که مسئولان شهری لندن بار شلوغی و ترافیک و ازدحام جمعیت را برای آن پیش‌بینی می‌کردند، المپیک لندن برای لندن‌نشین‌ها و سایر مردم انگلیس با افت ورود گردشگری و ناکامی در کسب درآمدهای جانبی حاصل از برگزاری یک رویداد پرهزینه جهانی همراه بوده است، به گونه‌ای که آمارها نشان می‌دهد حضور گردشگران در جاذبه‌های گردشگری لندن نسبت به زمان مشابه در سال گذشته ۳۰ درصد کاهش داشته است.

ماه‌ها پیش از آغاز رقابت‌های ورزشی المپیک لندن، اهالی این شهر از احتمال مواجه شدن با صف‌های طولانی برای تمام امورات روزمره زندگیشان مطلع شده بودند اما حالا نه از صف خبری است و نه از ازدحام جمعیت در سطح خیابان‌ها و فروشگاه‌ها، معابر و خیابان‌های لندن آرام و خلوت است، در رستوران‌ها پرنده پر نمی‌زند و انگار سایه بازدیدکنندگان نیز از سطح موزه‌های لندن جارو شده باشد! شاید هیچ‌کس انتظارش را نداشته باشد اما برای اهالی لندن تجارت و کسب و کار در روزهای گرم برگزاری بازی‌های المپیک سرد و بی‌رمق است.

پشت ون بستنی‌فروشی «جی آزبورن» به خطی صورتی رنگ نوشته شده که «به کودکانتان اهمیت دهید» اما به نظر می‌رسد که این هشدار دیگر کاربری خاصی نداشته باشد. اینجا در خارج از محوطه موزه تاریخ طبیعی لندن به عنوان سومین موزه مشهور انگلیس نه کودکی به چشم می‌خورد و نه بزرگسالی. بسیاری از روزنامه‌ها و رسانه‌های انگلیسی و غیرانگلیسی با اندکی اغراق، از شهر لندن در این روزها به عنوان شهر ارواح یاد کرده‌اند اما در یک صبح آفتابی از روزهای آگوست و در اواسط تعطیلات مدارس، اکثر موزه‌های لندن خالی از جمعیت هستند. بستنی‌فروش با سابقه لندن که بیش از ۴۰ سال در همین مکان فعلی بستنی می‌فروشد، می‌گوید: «شمار توریست‌ها کاهش پیدا کرده است، همینطور هم شمار خانواده‌ها و در نتیجه میزان درآمدها هم پایین آمده است.

چقدر؟

به‌راحتی می‌توان گفت که تا سقف ۵۰ درصد، خودتان ببینید. اینجا ایستاده‌ام و عملاً هیچ کاری انجام نمی‌دهم و در نظر داشته باشید که الان درست در میانه‌های فصل اوج گردشگری قرار داریم.»

بسیاری از کسبه‌های شهر لندن هم گلایه و شکایت مشابه آزبورن بستنی‌فروش را دارند. بر اساس برآوردهای انجمن تجاری لندن، در هفته آغازین المپیک، میزان حضور گردشگران و بازدیدکنندگان در اماکن گردشگری و سنتی لندن نسبت به سال گذشته ۳۰ درصد کاهش داشته است. در عین حال میزان درآمد رستوران‌های لندن و میزان استفاده از تاکسی‌های سیاه ویژه لندن نیز در مقایسه با سال گذشته با ۴۰ درصد کاهش مواجه شده است. کاخ‌های سلطنتی از «برج لندن» گرفته تا «همپتون کورت» در این مدت با جذب تنها نیمی از شمار گردشگران در مدت‌زمان مشابه سال گذشته به شدت ضربه خوردند. موزه بریتانیا یک‌چهارم و گالری ملی لندن نیز دوپنجم بازدیدکنندگان خود را از دست داده‌اند. انجمن هتلداری انگلیس نیز پس از گذشت یک هفته از آغاز بازی‌های المپیک در نامه‌ای خطاب به اعضایش نسبت به کاهش ضریب اشغال هتل‌های لندن در ماه آگوست و پایین بودن آمار ضریب اشغال از حد معمول هشدار داده است.

ناتاشا رینولدز، عکاسی که برای عکسبرداری از بازی‌های المپیک راهی لندن شده تنها مشتری است که در لابه‌لای میز و صندلی‌های خالی بیرون کافه‌ای در نزدیکی موزه تاریخ طبیعی دیده می‌شود. به گفته او زمانی این کافه شلوغ و پرازدحام بود اما حالا میزها و صندلی‌های خالی آن هیچ مشتری جز او به خود نمی‌بینند. مردم لندن انتظاری جز این را داشتند. آنها تصور نمی‌کردند که لندن در این ایام تا این حد خلوت و بی‌روح باشد. همه اهالی لندن از مواجهه با چنین تصویری از شهر شوک شده‌اند.

ایستگاه‌های متروی درون‌شهری لندن خالی از مسافر است. مجسمه «اروس» که معمولاً اطرافش مالامال از گردشگران می‌شد حالا تنهاتر از همیشه به نظر می‌رسد. برای یک بار هم که شده به جای گردشگران مختلف در سطح خیابان‌های شهر لندن این بار مأموران پلیس و راهنماهای داوطلب انگشت‌نما‌ترین افراد سطح شهر هستند. افزایش تعداد مأموران پلیس در ایام برگزاری المپیک، به شهر چهره‌ای نظامی بخشیده است. اسماهان محمد، از ساکنان لندن می‌گوید: «این لندنی نیست که ما انتظارش را داشتیم. تصور همه بر این بود که در این ایام لندن سراسر جشن و سرور شود. به جز توریست‌ها خود لندنی‌ها هم شهرشان را تحریم کرده‌اند. گویا هشدارها درباره ازدحام جمعیت و مشکلات حمل و نقل، بسیاری از اهالی لندن را وادار به خانه‌نشینی یا ترک موقتی شهر کرده است.»

بسیاری از کسانی که شرایط این روزهای لندن را از نزدیک لمس کرده‌اند معتقدند اهالی لندن دست به یک مهاجرت دسته‌جمعی موقتی زده‌اند. کسب و کار نیز با افول گردشگری و خالی از سکنه شدن لندن خاموش شده است. مدیران فروشگاه‌های بزرگ و زنجیره‌ای لندن که با پیش‌بینی رشد ورود گردشگر به شهرشان نیروهای جدید استخدام کرده بودند حالا با معضل جدیدی مواجه شده‌اند و در بسیاری از موارد بعضی از شیفت‌ها را تعطیل کرده‌اند.

در موزه مادام تسو لندن بیش از گردشگر و بازدیدکننده ماکت‌های مومی بازیگران و شخصیت‌های مشهور تاریخ به چشم می‌خورد و اینها همه دست به دست هم داده‌اند تا برخلاف چین و ملبورن، به عنوان میزبانان دوره‌های گذشته رقابت‌های المپیک، تلاش‌ها و لابی‌های فراوان برای واگذاری میزبانی المپیک ۲۰۱۲ به انگلیس و صرف هزینه‌های فراوانی چون نصب تله‌کابین‌های عظیم مخصوص حمل و نقل مسافر و ساخت و ساز ورزشگاه و... سود و عواید مالی چندانی را نصیب انگلیسی‌ها نکند.

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