Let’s Bring The Gay Games To London

But the City of Light, one of the most visited cities in the world, has been knocked off its perch as best city in the world by London and Sydney in a new index released this week. According to the latest edition of the Anholt-GfK City Brands Index which measures a citys brand image, power and appeal, Londons stock has gone up in the world as it took the top spot in the biennial ranking. Possible reasons could include the fact that the city continues to bask in the afterglow of a successful Summer Olympic Games and has maintained a presence in the international spotlight with a string of historic milestones that include the Queens Coronation ceremony and the highly anticipated birth of a new royal with the arrival of Prince George. London also took the top spot as the city where individual cultures are appreciated and where foreigners can “easily fit in.” The Aussie capital of Sydney, meanwhile, enjoys a stellar reputation around the world for being the safest and friendliest city. The City Brands index measures the value of a citys international reputation across six dimensions: its international status and standing; esthetic; a category called pre-requisites such as affordable accommodations and the standard of public amenities; people; pulse (interesting things to do) and its economic and educational potential. More than 5,140 interviews were conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Russia, South Korea, the US and the UK for the index. And while Paris was able to take the top spot in the category of Pulse, where the city failed to crack the top 10 ranking was in categories such as Friendly People and Safety. This summer, in a bid to shed their longstanding image of being rude and surly, the citys chamber of commerce published an etiquette manual for Parisian restaurateurs, taxi drivers and sales staff on how to welcome international tourists. …despite its indisputable charm, the capital has work to do when it comes to welcoming visitors, the chamber admits. And earlier this year, high-profile muggings of Chinese tourists robbed of their passports, plane tickets and cash shortly after landing in Paris tarnished the citys image, as did footage broadcast worldwide of soccer-related riots which broke out not far from the Eiffel Tower. Meanwhile, other notable movements on the index include Tokyo, which suffered a 7-spot drop from tenth place in 2011 to 17th place in 2013. Amsterdam, meanwhile, shot up the ranks from 17th spot to 11th position this year.

London steals title of best city in the world from Paris

The city was sparkling with brilliant sports spirit, great achievements in infrastructure, beautiful new sports facilities to enable every athlete to perform their best, and above all, a fantastic welcoming embrace from Londoners for the athletes and spectators visiting from all over the world. Everyone was clutching tickets for the Games, and grinning. I loved being a part of it. Both in Britain and then in the U.S., everyone I spoke to had the same feeling: London 2012 was a triumph. My personal pride for London reached an even greater high when our equal marriage legislation passed earlier this year, enabling Layla and me to soon convert our civil partnership to ordinary marriage. With equality high on the agenda, Britain is becoming a better and better place to be an LGBT person. And yet, I couldn’t help noting it was disconcerting that only about 23 of the thousands of Olympic athletes in 2012 were publicly known to be gay. It’s well documented that high profile sports is a difficult place to be publicly gay, and therefore to find LGBT role models. But these are role models are important. When U.S. basketball star Jason Collins came out as gay this year, it changed a lot of perceptions and gave people a new perspective on diversity and equality. We saw the same effect when the UK’s Gareth Thomas came out in 2009, amazingly the first openly gay professional athlete in a team sport in the world. It feels like the world needs more Jasons and Gareths. And this is one of the reasons the Gay Games is so important.