'London has all the lessons from Sydney and how not to do it from

December 14, 2007

The author of a new book on the Olympics and tourism says London has much to gain from hosting the Games. The Sydney Olympics in 2000 were a hit, the Athens games in 2004 a botched job and Beijing 2008 is a difficult one to call.

But according to Mike Weed, professor of sport in society at Canterbury Christ Church University, Britain has no excuse if the London 2012 Olympic Games are not a resounding success.

Professor Weed has launched a new book, Olympic Tourism , analysing past Olympics to consider how Britain can benefit most from hosting its third Games. He said: "Sydney is held up as the shining example, and generally it did quite well at getting 'brand Australia' out there. But after September 11, 2001, visitor numbers to Australia fell.

"The point for London is that it is the first developed Western economy since Sydney to host the Games, and it has all the lessons from Sydney, how not to do it from Athens and it can see what's happening in Beijing.

"London has no excuse not to capitalise on the Games for tourism, sport, community wellbeing and health benefits."

Professor Weed was an undergraduate at Loughborough University before obtaining a PhD in sport and tourism at Canterbury Christ Church in 1999. He went on to work in the Institute of Sport and Leisure Policy at Loughborough, leading research in sports tourism, before returning to Canterbury Christ Church last year.

As an expert in the relationship between sport and tourism, he advises regional agencies in Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the South East on Olympic-related development. He is editor of the Journal of Sport and Tourism .

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