A lot of the hotel owners and managers I've met recently expect the Olympic Games to dampen their business this July and August. The fear is that UK residents will head for London and overseas while inbound visitors will eschew the areas where no sport is taking place.
I do not have research statistics to support my theory, but my belief is that a great many of those who live in or close to London, once they start to experience a few inconveniences caused by the games, will be desperate to avoid crowded trains, blocked roads and airport queues and will make a last minute decision to head out into the British countryside for a few days. And what a sensible decision that will be, with hundreds of lovely towns and villages served by great places to eat and stay.
Along with VisitEngland's "Holidays at home are great" campaign, the possibility of thousands of London escapees looking for a room could bring welcome cheer to domestic tourism this summer.
The news has lately concentrated a great deal on the perceived weaknesses of the coalition government, citing such things as the Conservatives' cosy relations with the Murdoch empire and an uninspiring Queen's Speech as examples of failure. Many commentators have complained that not enough is being done to grow the economy or create jobs and that the deficit reduction programme is causing unnecessary pain.
It is quite right for journalists and the opposition to needle away, that is an important part of their remit, but I'm sure there must be lots of people who feel, as I do, that the coalition under David Cameron's leadership is doing rather a good job in absolutely appalling circumstances. So vast is the national debt (now measured in trillions of pounds and growing daily) it is almost incredible that business is carrying on so normally. The last budget represented relatively minor tweaks to the tax regime while our friends in Greece and elsewhere face misery and uncertainy like never before. Most importantly, we still have low interest rates which result from the money markets having confidence in George Osborne's deficit reduction programme.
Perhaps because of the way policies have been presented in recent decades, many people now believe that governments can solve problems by spending money. In fact, they are much better at causing problems, especially when they spend money we don't have. Economic growth and real jobs can't be manufactured in Whitehall, they are both reliant on profitable businesses doing well. Without the profits from business, there would be no jobs and no public money so all any government can do to "stimulate" the economy is to try to remove some of the obstacles that earlier governments have placed in the path of entrepreneurs. Cutting the rate of corporation tax is one welcome example of this, reducing VAT on hotel accommodation would be another.
So let us hope the coalition lasts and that this government has the courage to promise less, do less and spend less than its predecessors. Well run businesses can take care of the rest.