Open Jaw: Where readers write back


London 2012: good or bad for business?

I have a small business in Cecil Court WC2. Talking to traders over the past few months, we have all constantly been told by many of our regulars that they were leaving London because of the Games. A friend rang 20 hotels six weeks ago; they were all two-thirds down on bookings. If I, my local newsagent, the man in the café and the taxi driver all knew that tourism would slump during the Olympics, why didn't the Mayor and TfL?

Rosslyn Glassman

So people are staying away because of the Games? High prices, transport chaos, terrorist threats, what a surprise!


Everything this Olympics touches turns to dross. It was born in hubris, nurtured in arrogance and vain glory, and began to unravel even before the first athlete had fought through Heathrow.

"Father Superior"

This is exactly what was said would happen before the Olympics, and at the time we were told by Lord Coe that this was nonsense!

Shirell "Annie" Harper

"Evidence from previous Olympiads ... predicts exactly the outcome London is experiencing: despite initial optimism, there is a sharp fall in total visitors." Evidence that we choose to neglect when explaining why chucking £10bn at this boondoggle is "good" for Britain. Sure, it's a great party and all that, but is it (and the Paralympics) really what we should be doing in a double-dip recession?

Steve Hill

I understand what Simon Calder is saying about frightening off visitors to London. But the one thing that worried me about the Games was the ability of public transport to cope. I think a certain amount of overkill is understandable.

Michael Dempsey

Good to see the transport system coping. I've been hearing about the empty hotel rooms. I wonder how many bookings were lost by very ambitious pricing?

John Gathard

Hedonist's Istanbul

Thank you for avoiding the "East meets West" description. I've been living here for a year now and I am pretty tired of seeing that phrase every time I read something about Istanbul. As for your recommendations, thank you. You picked out some really great places that are usually not highlighted.

Jonathan Simmons

Rome alone: 11-year-old blags his way on to flight

The stupidest incidents are being used in the US and UK to clamp down on the hundreds of millions of airline passengers that never cause a problem. Me? I rarely fly any more and choose the bus or a train. More pleasant, cheaper and I'm not treated like a threat.


New dawn for Zimbabwe?

Mugabe's Zimbabwe, charming? What next, Ms Watt, a tour of the North Korean countryside?

Alan Merida