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The London Eye
The case of the London Eye has shown how important power and politics are in the tourism policy development process. It is not only the planners and stakeholders involved in the decision making process but the political environment also plays a major role. The influence of politicians and other strong interests can be substantial particularly when setting the objectives or developing the process of implementation (Tyler, 1998). It can be seen that the objectives have a major influence of how the policy process and the consequent development will be put into practice. Even though the development did neither fit into the National nor Local Governments tourism policy and development plans, the importance of the objective, the image of London combined with economic regeneration, meant that it was possible to override those regulations and go ahead with the construction.
With London having put in an Olympic bid, there is a danger of more such developments. It will provide the next justification for fast-track and strong top down approach to development. In this case the London Eye was successful in the eyes of most people involved and has been granted planning permission for another 25 years, but as the dilemma of the Millennium Dome has shown this is more the exception than the rule. After all, all the money that is spent on imaging and landmarks cannot be spent on issues like social welfare, housing, health and education.
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