• Uncategorized

    On Malcolm Gladwell

    Malcolm Gladwell was on very good form at the Lyceum Theatre in London last night. He is as fine a storyteller stood on a stage as he is at his keyboard.  The Lyceum was sold out for two performances last night – it seats 2,000. Gladwell writes regularly for the New Yorker but he is probably best known for his books. I found Tipping Point and Outliers enlightening, I was much less convinced by Blink, I have not yet read David and Goliath. I do not think I discovered any profound truths in either Tipping Point or Outliers – but both books gave me a language of analysis through which…

  • Uncategorized

    Does tourism make a big enough contribution to the maintenance of cultural heritage around the world?

    The brief answer is no. Many regard access to a nation’s or a community’s heritage attractions as a “Merit good”, people should have free, or low cost, access to their heritage as it is their heritage and the enjoyment of it contributes to their education and there is a public interest in the maintenance of culture. In the UK the major national museums are free to enter; some 40% of visitors are international enjoying a freebie for which they make no contribution as a tax payer.   The British Museum was the UK’s most popular visitor attraction in 2012 a status which it has enjoyed for the last six years. In…

  • Uncategorized

    The London Olympics: economic impact #5

    The latest International Passenger Survey (IPS) suggest that London had 7.9m* international arrivals in the fist half of 2013, a rise of 7.7% over the same period in 2012. These are the best ever first half year tourism numbers ever recorded for London. Tourist spending over the same period was £4.9 billion, a 12.4% increase compared with the first half of last year. These figures suggest that London is bucking the trend compared to some other Olympic and Paralympic host cities which have recorded a drop in tourist arrivals  after hosting the Games. Boris Johnson, is in no doubt that the increase can be attributed to the Olympic effects. He…

  • aviation,  Carbon,  Climate change

    No real progress at ICAO on reducing carbon emissions

    At the close of the 38th session of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on Friday the ICAO States committed the organisation to develop a global market-based measure (MBM) to limit the growth of international aviation emissions. The key paragraph is 5 on page 13: “Resolves that States and relevant organizations will work through ICAO to achieve a global annual average fuel efficiency improvement of 2 per cent until 2020 and an aspirational global fuel efficiency improvement rate of 2 per cent per annum from 2021 to 2050, calculated on the basis of volume of fuel used per revenue tonne kilometre performed”. This commitment is purely aspirational and voluntary Paragraph 5…

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