Legacy

Heathrow’s luggage handlers are bracing themselves for a back-breaking day on Monday, when all of the Olympians who have trickled into London over the past few weeks head home in one fell swoop. Worse yet, the airport expects the average number of bags to rise from two pieces of luggage per athlete to three.

Which raises the question: how many London 2012 T-shirts, double-decker bus keychains and stuffed Paddington Bears does it take to fill a whole other suitcase?

Well, it turns out quite a bit of the space will be taken up by bedding, since it has become Olympic tradition for athletes to take home the duvets provided in their rooms. Read more

Just over half-way through there can be little doubt that the 2012 London Olympics has given Brand Britannia a very big boost, at least qualitatively, writes Sir Martin Sorrell.

Arguments may rage over the quantitative benefit. Will the legacy justify the £9bn infrastructure investment? Will consumer and tourist spending be enhanced to the tune of £850m, as Visa, a major Olympic sponsor suggests? Will advertising and marketing spending be boosted beyond the normal and the £750m predicted?

Whatever the relative strengths of these arguments, there is no doubt the intangible benefits have been considerable in many ways so far.

 Read more

Newcastle's Tyne Bridge ahead of the Olympic torch relay (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

While London’s tourist sector has been feeling the downside of the Olympics, Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s hotels and retailers have been enjoying a great boost to business from Olympic football at St James’ Park.

Newcastle has the benefit of hosting football at a city centre stadium, making it relatively easy for businesses to capitalise on the injection of visitors. The timing of the Olympic football matches is also fortunate, since weekend hotel bookings in July and August in Newcastle and neighbouring Gateshead normally dip.

This football-mad city has Olympic matches spread through weekdays and over two weekends, drawing huge crowds. Wednesday’s Brazil v. New Zealand match sold well over 30,000 tickets in advance and Saturday’s men’s quarter final is already a 50,000 seat sellout. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

The start of the opening ceremony on July 27 (ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP/GettyImages)

The writer of the Olympic opening ceremony has criticised David Cameron for defending Dow Chemical, one of the sponsors of the games, and called on the government to help make the Olympics a space for resolving conflict.

Frank Cottrell Boyce, who worked with director Danny Boyle in creating last Friday’s spectacle, said the project was wrought with moral difficulty. He also criticised another corporate sponsor – Visa – for their Olympic park ”proud to only accept visa” ads - and G4S, the outsourcing company which failed to supply enough security guards for the games. Read more