Does Holding the Olympic Games Have Benefits for the Host Country?
AGRUMENTATIVE ESSAY Does holding the Olympic Games have benefits for the host country? In recent years, the Olympic Games have developed into one of the most significant mega-international sporting events (Roche,2000). More and more cities are bidding to host the Olympics and increasingly money are invested in Olympic bids, which is due to the reason that the government believe that they could get benefits from such an event. During the proceeding of the 2012 London Olympic Games, amount of people in the world have been brought into focus on Olympic Games.
It is such a big event, holding it successfully will improve one country’s reputation and get more attention around the world. Does holding the Olympic Games have benefits for the host country? It might be said that hosting Olympic Games has some financial risks because of its exceeding budgets. Countries invest huge number of money on sports facilities, which could result in the over-needed of infrastructure. However, there are many reasons why a country should organize Olympic Games.
The first reason why holding Olympic Games have benefits for the host country is that, from the economic point of view, increase the income of revenue. Because of the influx of people who come from all around the world, the needs of consumption will dramatically rise. As a result, it is contributed to the output of factory, which is benefit to the whole market. What’s more, Olympic Games attract numbers of merchants to the host country to look for the business opportunities. Their investment in the market will stimulate the growth of economic.
Rose and Spiegel (2009) suggests that the rate of trade is increased 30% for those host countries, which ‘realize an economic benefit in the form of greater openness. ’ Furthermore, during the proceeding of the Olympics, large numbers of foreigners will come to the hosts to visit. Bolton (2004) states that the percentage of tourists is increased to 150% in the 1992 Barcelona Games, with the Spanish government’s effort to stimulate the tourism. They are the potential consumer groups which could promote the local economy. This will stimulate some tourism-relative ndustries (hotels restaurants and shops) to develop. Although it is sometimes claimed that these numbers of tourists tend to be temporary, it must be acknowledged that the host country could become a popular tourist destination. In addition, employment is another great benefit to the host countries. Holding Olympics will create some full-time jobs because of the investment in infrastructure. For example, in Atlanta, the host city of the 1996 Olympic Games, the government invest about $2 billion to Olympic-related projects, which is leading to over 580 000 new jobs to this region between 1991 and 1997. Steven and Bevan, 1999) suggests that the Olympic Games were stimulating economic growth up to $5. 1 billion between 1991 and 1997. During the period of games, Barcelona, the host city of the 1992 Olympic Games, the general percentage of unemployment drop from 18. 4% to 9. 6% (Brunet, 1995). The second reason why holding the Olympics Games have benefits for the host country is that infrastructure such as transportation and sports facilities will get improved during the Games. To guarantee a successful Olympics, government should invest into infrastructure, such as improve the public’s transportation and sports facilities.
Firstly, the Olympics have promoted the urban development and have an impact on the landscape and urban environment. In Tokyo, the host city of 1964 Olympics games, a new road and highway network was constructed to meet the short-term demands of the Games and to accommodate the city’s continued population and traffic increase in the long-term. Chalkley and Essex (2010) points out a total of 22 main highways were designed for the Games, huge amount of money were spent on land acquisition, compensation and providing alternative sites for the activities displaced.
In addition, the development of infrastructure is not directly related to the leisure facilities, commercial and open spaces, it also involves improve the appearance of the host city. Secondly, the staging of Olympics often contains build the new sporting facilities or restructure the exiting ones. It is often claimed that those facilities have failed to produce a long-term benefits to the country; some of the sports venues often become unused after the Olympics is finished. However, this ignores the fact that the whole society will get beneficial from infrastructural investment and environmental improvement.
The London 2012 Olympic Games have made a dedicated plan for the usage of facilities before the facilities is built. For example, after the games, the Olympics Village will become a new community housing. The new shopping centre, which is separated from the Olympic Park, will become an employment centre of this area. Transportation will get improved through the construct of new stations, line extensions and additional trains and a largest urban park will build available for both local community and for elite athletes (Olympic Delivery Authority, 2007).
The final reason why holding the Olympics Games have benefits for the host country is that it will help to improve the host country‘s image. For the host country, it’s not just a competition about sports; it’s a chance to improve their international prominence and a sense of national pride. Firstly, it is contribute to transforming the image of the host city. In order to amplify the effect of Olympics Games, it is necessary to rely on the function of media. During the Games, the worldwide TV audience watched a cumulative 36. 1 billion hours of sport (IOC, 2001).
This is one of the most effective ways to improve a nation’s image and attract tourists. For example, in 1996, during the 17 days of the Centennial Olympic Games, it has been reported that 3. 5 billion people saw the city on worldwide television coverage in 214 countries and territories and about two million people visited Atlanta, as a result, the tourist industry of the region increased dramatically (Steven and Bevan, 1999). It seems clear that a successful mega-event can enhance cities’ reputations through the global media coverage.
Prior to the 1992 Olympics, Barcelona was only a large city in Spain, but it is now a famous destination which attracts numbers of tourists to visit. Furthermore, holding this mega-international sporting event could attract the public’s interest to take part in sporting activities, and also increase local pride and community spirit, which could make a significant contribution to the quality of life of both the individual and community. For example, there is a remarkable increase in Barcelona in the participation of sports activities in the years following the hosting of the Olympic Games.
There has been an increase of 46 000 new users in the city’s sports centres following the 1992 Games, with the percentage of women participating in sporting activities increasing from 35% in 1989 to 45% in 1995. Moreover, in 1994, more than 300 000 people took part in sporting events which involved the city’s inhabitants on the streets of Barcelona, such as athletic competitions, popular marathon, the bicycle festival and the roller-skating festival (Truno, 1995).
In conclusion, it is clear from the weight of evidence that holding Olympic Games have benefits in economic growth, infrastructure improvement and image promotion for the host country. However, there are still some aspects should get the government’s attention. For example, in order to handle with the financially risks such as the increasing rate of over-budget, the international Olympic Committee, together with local Olympic organisers should make the capital budget table precisely.
Moreover, the post-event facility usage should be considered before the infrastructure is built, which is avoid to become a burden to the long-term economy. Only in this way can the host country get maximise economics benefits. Bibliography: Bolton, L. (2004) Despite Lackluster Ticket Sales, Can Greece Be a Big Winner in This Year’s Olympics? [Online] Available at: http://knowledge. wharton. upenn. edu/article. cfm? articleid=1026 [Accessed 24/08/12]. Brunet, F. (1995) An economic analysis of the Barcelona ’92 Olympic Games: resources, financing and impact, in Moragas, D.
M. & Botella, M. (eds). The Keys of success: the social, sporting, economic and communications impact of Barcelona ‘92. Bellaterra: Servei de Pulbication de la Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. Chalkley, B. & Essex, S (1999) Urban development through hosting international events: a history of the Olympic Games. Planning Perspectives 14(4), pp. 369-394. International Olympic Committee (2001) Sydney 2000 Olympic Games; Global Television Report. UK: Olympic Television Research Centre Sports Marketing Surveys Ltd
Roche, M. (2000) Mega-Events and Modernity: Olympics and Expos in the Growth of Global Culture. London: Routledge. The Olympic Delivery Authority (2007) Guide to the Olympic, Paralympic & Legacy transformation planning applications and Olympic village (Part) and legacy residential planning application. Guide to Planning Applications [Online] (February 2007). Available at: http://www. london2012. com/mm%5CDocument%5CPublications%5CPlanningApps%5C01%5C24%5C08%5C36%5Cguide-to-the-planning-applications. df [Accessed 26/08/12] Rose, K. & Spiegel, M. (2011) The Olympic Effect. The Economic Journal 121(3), pp. 652-677. Steven, T. & Bevan, T. (1999) Olympic legacy. Sport Management Magazine 19 (9), pp. 16–19. Truno, E. (1995) Barcelona: city of sport, in Moragas, D. M. & Botella, M. (eds). The Keys of success: the social, sporting, economic and communications impact of Barcelona ‘92. Bellaterra: Servei de Pulbication de la Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona.