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European Tour Operators Association critiques of alleged tourism benefits from hosting the Olympics

'There appears to be little evidence of any benefit to tourism of hosting an Olympic Games, and considerable evidence of damage.' Findings of the European Tour Operators Association 2006 Report and Updates from 2008 and 2009.

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The 'largest new park in Europe for 150 years' - in Germany

One of the proudest boasts of the 2012 London Olympics was that it would create the largest new urban park in Europe for 150 years. I asked a Freedom of Information question (see attachment) to discover how the ODA had arrived at this description. They were unable to provide any clear information. All they could say was that they had consulted with 'CABE Space and the London Parks and Green Spaces Forum (who) had assisted the ODA in preparing benchmark studies on parks around the world and in London including previous Olympic Parks.'Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord: Europe's biggest new urban parkLandschaftspark Duisburg-Nord: Europe's biggest new urban park at over 200ha, some 500 acres, was completed in 1999 retaining the industrial archaelogy

Of course, the largest new park is no longer as large as it was having shrunk by 19 hectares. But even when it was 129 hectares its claim to be the largest new urban park in Europe was questionable. A friend recently sent me a link to a park in Duisburg, Germany, constructed on a site with many similarities to the Lea Valley, as it was a former industrial area. At over 200 hectares it is considerably larger than the much vaunted 'largest new park in Europe'.

The Duisburg industrial park shows how the Lea Valley could have been developed in an imaginative way, which illustrated the industrial history of the area, by creating a park based around the rivers and canals linking sites like the Tidal Mill at Three Mills

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2014 Winter Olympics bring on the ruthless redevelopment of tourism around Sochi

Valery's eyes burn ice blue as he stares towards the Black Sea coast just yards from his house. The local government has given him three months to pack up and leave, as the country begins preparing to turn Sochi and its environs into an Olympic playland. "We built our houses with our own hard-earned money, unlike [Prime Minister Vladimir] Putin," said Valery, who makes his living fixing refrigerators. "Why should his children and the oligarchs' children get to play in the sea while ours are chased into the mountains?"

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Government lack of support for tourism approaching the London Olympics

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


London Olympics will lead UK's bouyant CCTV market growth to 2012

A new report predicts that the value of the UK CCTV market will increase by 10 per cent by 2012, with the London Olympics leading the growth. And equipment sales are anticipated to reach over £450m in the same period.

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Athletics on telly is boring

UK Athletics' chairman, Ed Warner, has moved to patch up his relationship with the BBC, visiting the commentary team at the world championships in Osaka to explain comments last week in which he lambasted their coverage as stale, tired and "stuck in the past". Those remarks went down badly among BBC executives who believe the problem lies with the sport itself and point to the many empty seats in Osaka as evidence.

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No Vancouver 2010 Olympics on Stolen Land

The 2010 Winter Olympics, to be held in Vancouver-Whistler from February 12-27, 2010, is today a very real threat to Native peoples, the urban poor (many of whom are also Native), and the environment.

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Where is the money for a Cultural Olympiad ?

John Tusa, The Observer

I have lost count of the meetings I have attended to discuss the Cultural Olympiad, the showcase of British arts and culture planned to run alongside the 2012 Olympic Games.

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Tennis 'Masters Cup' moving to London

The men's international tennis circuit will end with a prestigious final in London from 2009 under a four-year contract announced on Wednesday. The Masters Cup, staged in Shanghai for the last two years, is being renamed the ATP World Tour Final and is being switched to London's O2 Arena, formerly known as the Millennium Dome.

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A little local difficulty in Rio before the Pan American Games

Security forces and drug traffickers battled with guns and grenades in a Rio de Janeiro slum on Wednesday after more than 1,000 policemen backed by armored cars invaded the area in a show of force before the Pan American Games. About 450 soldiers occupied the main entrances to the area that groups more than 20 slums in the north of the city.

Gang members set up barricades and created oil slicks to slow down the police assault. The BBC's Gary Duffy in Sao Paulo says the police face a formidable opposition as many members of the drug gangs have high-calibre weapons. In a recent exchange of gunfire a man was killed at a petrol station up to 2km (1.2 miles) from where the shot was originally fired.

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