Peruvian External Trade and Tourism Minister Jose Silva said that the '13 Dakar Rally will generate about $770M for Peru in int'l promotion and productive activities in the services sector, according to XINHUA. Silva said that the race "will invigorate the Peruvian economy and will increase the activity in the country's stores, restaurants and hotels of the regions where the rally will pass before arriving in Argentina and Chile." The minister reaffirmed his country "is satisfied for Peru being part of Rally Dakar for the second time, adding now the country shows a better logistic and attention capacity toward the tourists." Silva also said that Peru "expects about 50,000 foreign tourists, including 3,200 pilots, mechanics and assistants from 55 countries" (XINHUA, 1/5).
Events and Attractions
The quest of Dubai, UAE to become a top destination for cyclists "took a significant step forward" when the new Dubai Cycling Course was opened and a 2014 Dubai Tour for "the world’s top stars" was announced, according to K.R. Nayar of the GULF NEWS. Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurated the Dubai Cycling Course. A Dubai Tour spokesperson said, "For the first time we will host a world-class cycling championship under the calendar of the International Cycling Union." The announcement included a 1K time trail exhibition with Grand Tour event winners Alberto Contador, Ryder Hesjidal and Vincenzo Nibali. Contador, who is one of only five riders to have won all three Grand Tours of road cycling, talked about the future of Dubai as a top center for cycling competitions. Contador: "The facilities are good and it will be a big boost for the sport in Dubai" (GULF NEWS, 1/4).
Rows of empty seats "were a common sight across the country" as spectators gave the FA Cup "the cold shoulder," according to Laurie Whitwell of the London DAILY MAIL. A drop in attendance could have been predicted "given the somewhat lacklustre approach adopted by some managers to these third round ties." And coming so soon after the holidays, cost could have been a factor, "but some lowly crowds were still shocking." Just 8,984 showed up at Loftus Road, for the all-Premier League tie of QPR against West Bromwich. On Boxing Day, 17,782 watched the match between this pair. At DW Stadium, only 8,199 supporters turned out for Wigan’s draw with Bournemouth. Craven Cottage hosted just 14,473 for Fulham vs. Blackpool. Villa Park was far from full with 24,854 watching the hosts take on Ipswich. Leeds United’s draw with Birmingham was witnessed by 11,447. QPR Manager Harry Redknapp joked: "Maybe the sales were more exciting for them today" (DAILY MAIL, 1/5).