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The London Olympic Games

Washington, DC 18th Nov, 2005 --- I really want to do my part to make the Olympics a great success. (And yes, the Fair Use Doctrine does apply to our use of the logo, even if we criticize the preparations!) The committees are being formed in London to plan the 2012 Olympic Games, and sadly ensure the festivities will be just as efficiently run as the Millennium festivities. Put another way "Jobs for the well heeled boys".

If Britain had a true leader in 10 Downing Street, instead of a trusted Lieutenant of President George W. Bush, then we would see the creation of a marketing campaign, and tourism campaign to be the envy of Europe. Instead we see appropriate establishment individuals, with the right social connections given the task of spending vast amounts of money.

The showpiece will probably be designed for associated Royals to walk around with their entourages to cast meaningful looks over the toil of their subjects. Schoolchildren will be given the day off, and the local councils will be badgered by retired military types to provide ample supplies of Chinese made paper flags for the Rug Rats to wave.

Excuse my sarcasm but I am suffering from the nauseating after taste of a bored Prince Charles and his new bride bombing in America. Not that being accepted in America should become a yardstick for any European celebrity, but it helps if you can do better, especially with four attendant hairdressers and 1000 dresses to choose from. British Tourism Marketing, when the Royals are involved seems stuck in the 1950's, with the dress uniforms of many of the pseudo-military straight out of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Please, oh please don't construct any structures by the Thames to impress her Royal Patronage. Instead spend the money on sports centres, community sports facilities, and promoting sport in Britain. For Britain has an outstanding record in providing facilities, and resources for the public. There also is fantastic, and safe scenery all across, and around Britain, especially Scotland and the North. From sailing to football. From hang gliding to fishing. The emphasis should be on the achievements of leisure and sports across the country.

But that doesn't put you in line for an OBE, so the well heeled committee members will focus on Charles and Polo, or more Royal Walkabouts to visit the homeless.

The government have an ideal opportunity to develop a "Healthy Living" program for schools, and by 2012 the results will be clearly evident. What a great lead in to the Olympics, the desire and practice of becoming fit.

In fact the Olympics, if handled properly could result in the biggest tourism boom the country has ever seen. If botched, in true blue British fashion, then the country will be the butt of jokes for generations.

Sadly as I meet many of the tourism marketing leaders on my visits over to the UK, I do not see that spark that will ignite a nation into making the Games a financial success, and the aftermath a tourism, sport and leisure bonanza. I do see lots of leaflets, "sorry we have run out of that particular one, and that one we charge three pounds fifty for" and staff who could really do with a refresher workshop on customer service.

I had hoped Tony Blair would create the spark that ignited the fire when he met with Tourism leaders recently. No, just more bureaucracy, reorganization and desire to be as plain vanilla as possible. Here is the statement:

Tourism target set for 2012 Games

Tourism leaders have signed up to a charter aimed at doing 'better than Barcelona and Sydney' in increasing the number of visitors to the UK as a result of the 2012 Games.

The Charter was agreed at a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair and Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell.

Top of the agenda were arrangements to ensure the entire British tourism industry is ready for the Games and ready to create a legacy that benefits the whole country.

The Prime Minister said: "Holding the 2012 Olympics on home soil is a great honour and a once in an era opportunity for British tourism - the biggest visitor event in UK history.

"Our job now is to ensure that the whole country benefits, in the run up to and long beyond the Games. All those who worked so hard in winning the Bid are now determined to make this happen, working side by side with the leaders of tourism."

The charter is aimed at driving up standards in Britain's 180,000 tourism businesses, making attractions and accommodation accessible to disabled visitors and improving the skills of tourism workers.

Olympic Minister Tessa Jowell said: "The Olympics in London in 2012 provide a great opportunity for tourism. 

"We want to do even better than Barcelona and Sydney in increasing the number of visitors that come, not just to London, but who then travel around the UK." 

15 November 2005

Brave, and cheap words. How many million disabled visitors will you expect? . What about the planning for the 99.5% of the visitors beside the showcased disabled visitors? I will be monitoring the progress, and looking for true leadership. I trust that the editorial will be all positive, and that the 2012 Games will not be another expensive and badly planned damp squid like the Millennium celebrations. To visit the site for the games click on the 2012 logo.

Alan Simpson


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