Visitor (im)mobility, leisure consumption and mega-event impact: the territorialisation of Greenwich and small business exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics

Duignan, M.B. and Pappalepore, I. 2019. Visitor (im)mobility, leisure consumption and mega-event impact: the territorialisation of Greenwich and small business exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics. Leisure Studies.

TitleVisitor (im)mobility, leisure consumption and mega-event impact: the territorialisation of Greenwich and small business exclusion at the London 2012 Olympics
TypeJournal article
AuthorsDuignan, M.B. and Pappalepore, I.
Abstract

Focusing on the London 2012 Olympic Games, we investigate the impact of mega-sport events’ spatial transformations on visitor mobility, local leisure consumption and resulting small business trade. Olympic territorialisation, we argue, is a highly contentious and vitally important aspect of leisure studies warranting on-going and further examination. Our case study draws on 43 in-depth interviews with local authorities, governmental and non-governmental project actors, and small-local leisure and visitor economy businesses (retail and hospitality) located at the heart of a ‘Host Event Zone’ in Greenwich, London. We supplement and triangulate subjective accounts with a documentary analysis of 35 policy reports, media, and archival material as the basis for our empirical analysis. Our findings reveal a major dichotomy between the ‘rhetoric’ of inclusion and local ‘realities’ of exclusion as security planning and spatial controls served to close off public spaces and local attractions: diverting visitor flows and leisure consumption toward official event sites, away from local businesses. We illustrate how such urban processes effectively render a vibrant business community invisible and visitors immobile to explore local community spaces during the live staging periods. We close with implications for event organisers, managers and policy makers focused on re-configuring the socio-spatial elements of Olympic organisation and re-direct and mobilise visitor economy flows toward more open civic and leisure spaces in the hope of better (re)distributing consumption into host communities.

KeywordsTourist mobility; Visitor economy; Business leveraging; Event impacts; Host community; London 2012 Olympic Games
JournalLeisure Studies
ISSN0261-4367
Year2019
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/02614367.2019.1572212
Web address (URL)https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02614367.2019.1572212
Publication dates
Published31 Jan 2019

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q9zz7/visitor-im-mobility-leisure-consumption-and-mega-event-impact-the-territorialisation-of-greenwich-and-small-business-exclusion-at-the-london-2012-olympics


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