I have watched latest UK events in shock. My primary information sources have been: the riots incident map, live blog from The Guardian and a number of independent bloggers and tweeters (like The West Londoner and a Bristol tweeting cyclist).
Events like these seemed unthinkable during my visit to London a couple of months ago. But it has happened anyway and now we will have to deal with it.
Fortunately things seem to be calming down but a strange feeling of something lurking in the dark may still stick around for a while. The question is will this affect tourism and the upcoming London Olympics?
There will definitely be some effect - a number of cancellations have already been noted, but experts do not see a large-scale drop of tourist visits as a likely consequence. The UK's tourism body VisitBritain stressed that London's violence was taking place away from key visitor attractions, and that transport links were running as normal.
Also "British people won’t be put off from visiting the Olympics in Stratford because a year earlier shop windows were broken in Hackney," said Tom Jenkins, executive director of the ETOA (The European Tour Operators Association). I guess this also applies to foreign visitors - people tend to forget quickly (sometimes even too quickly).
Some UK government responses during these days seemed necessary and other are dangerously close to usual Chinese and Middle Eastern leaders' decisions. I believe David Cameron's latest statement also falls into that category:
"We are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," said the UK prime minister.
What is your opinion on this? Do you think the government should have the right to decide about who can use Facebook and Tweeter? Can current circumstances be an excuse to pass something similar to the well known USA Patriot act also in the UK?
I've been thinking lately about the journalist terminology used during latest events in different parts of the World... Can anyone please explain the difference between a Libyan rebel, Syrian protester and a British rioter?
I hope this didn't turn out like another political post. I meant to simply address the link between tourism and latest UK events, but got astray somewhere on the way.
Please forgive me for this... I promise this won't happen... too often.