Open Jaw: Where readers write back
Friday 17 August 2012
We have been vociferous in playing down the impact of the Olympics on the level of inbound tourists to the UK. Unfortunately, those with more influence continued to shout about another million daily visitors in London. Many hoteliers were over optimistic until it was too late, and ended up with less than 30 per cent occupancy. The impact was that normal leisure travellers stayed away. But there was no need for this – the relevant authorities had a responsibility to consult, advise and even lay down strict guidelines for how hoteliers structured prices during the Games.
Neil Wootton, managing director, Premium Tours
The Games were sensational and all involved deserve huge congratulation, but when it comes to the impact on regular leisure tourism there is disappointment. The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) and UKinbound consistently predicted what would happen. Their predictions have proved correct. It is depressing that the authorities were determined to characterise the legitimate alarm bells as "nay-saying" and that countless chances for remedial action were ignored.
David Tarsh, ETOA
The tourism figures being quoted before the Games were fantasy. The past two weeks have been the quietest I have known in the 28 years I've been in retail. Boris Johnson needs new advisers.
Timothy Kingswood, Storeys Ltd, London WC2
Let Rio revel
Simon Calder writes: "To speed up the next Opening Ceremony, I suggest the Rio 2016 Games organisers deduct one medal for every athlete in the parade in excess of a dozen for each national team." What a killjoy! The long, long parade of those about to perform is one of the best features of the whole Olympics. And a travel writer should enjoy it more than anybody. It's fascinating to watch people coming from all the four corners of the world and stepping into the limelight for the first time. Their enthusiastic faces, their actions, their team outfits, their numbers – all these things are wonderful to watch.
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