Will the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have a positive or negative economical impact on London and the rest of the UK?
On 6 July 2005 the International Olympic Committee awarded the right to stage the 2012 summer Olympic and Paralympic Games to London. The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the biggest thing to happen in Britain in 50 years. The Games is an opportunity to develop sport, increase tourism and increase economic activity throughout the UK.
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The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a modern day international sporting event; it is held traditionally every 4 years in different host cities with the summer and winter Games alternating every two years. A new rule was introduced in 2008 where host cities were informed that if they were to bid for the Olympic Games they would have to also host the Paralympics Games. London will have the privilege of becoming the first city to host the Modern Olympic Games three times. A hallmark sporting mega event such as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has the ability to transform London’s economy dramatically. Research suggests that the games will have a colossal impact on London’s economy; the city will be affected both positively and negatively. Mega sporting events introduce many arguments that highlight the detrimental effects that they can incur. Mega-events such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games require a large sum of the local community’s money to be spent on infrastructure and urban regeneration. Some will argue that the country cannot afford such an event, others would argue that the benefits of London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will significantly out way the drawbacks. The Games have already proved themselves to be a great opportunity for London and its economic needs. On the other hand Ex-post economical impact studies have found no positive economic impacts of hosting a mega sporting event such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The impact studies are carried out to ensure that the country was economically viable to host the Games. Although impact studies are continuously carried out, there is no guarantee what type of fortune that the Games will bring. This paper examines how the Games will have both a positive and negative effect on London’s economy and its tourism sector leading up to the Games. It will also demonstrate how the Games will not only have an impact on London but how it also effect the rest of the UK.
On 6th July 2005 London were awarded the right to stage one of the most prestigious “mega” sporting events in history. “When it comes to hosting the Olympics, cities and countries think in billions. The price tag for the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens: more than $14 billion. London’s budget for the 2012 Summer Games is $18 billion — and climbing”. (Business Week, 2007). Since achieving the opportunity to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games there have been numerous issues brought to light about the potential beneficial and detrimental effects that can occur from staging the Games. A hallmark sporting mega event such as the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has the ability to transform London’s economy dramatically. This piece of academic writing will highlight and focus on the economical implications of hosting the 2012 Games; it will also emphasize on how it is not only London who will be affected but also the rest of the UK. Research suggests that the games will have a colossal impact on London’s economy; the city will be affected both positively and negatively. “Mega-events” such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games require a large sum of the local community’s money to be spent on infrastructure and urban regeneration. In order to show justification as to why the Government needs and “wants” such an excessive amount of revenue; economic impacts studies are carried out and reports are generated to show proof of what London’s Organising Committee (LOGCO) will be exhausting the money on. A particular study produced the following results “large inflows of money and a long-term positive effect on the economy in the form of job creation and visitor spending” (Owen, 2005). The Olympic and Paralympic Games are a modern day international sporting event; it is held traditionally every 4 years in different host cities with the summer and winter Games alternating every two years. It is an opportunity where thousands of athletes from around the world are able to participate in a variety of competitions at an international level. The Games originated in Ancient Greece from 776 BC until 393 AD.
The successful campaign to revive the Olympics was started in France by Baron Pierre de Coubertin late in the 19th Century. The first of the modern Summer Games opened on Sunday, March 24 1896, in Athens, Greece.
The IOC is now the governing body for the Olympic movement. Baron Pierre de Coubertin saw the introduction of the modern day Olympic movement in the 20th century as it introduced the Winter Olympics, Paralympics and the Youth Olympic Games. The IOC opted to move the Games away from amateurism and chose to only allow the participation of professional athletes. As a result of this the Games has now become hugely popular and has seen a dramatic increase in media interest; creating an issue of corporate sponsorship and the commercialisations of the Games. The Olympic and Paralympic Games have now grown so vastly that nearly every nation is represented; be it in a vast majority of different sports, or just one. A new rule was introduced in 2008 where host cities were informed that if they were to bid for the Olympic Games they would have to also host the Paralympics Games. The Paralympic Games happens immediately after the two week Olympic competition, they to last for two weeks and has its own opening and closing ceremony. The 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games due to take place in London, is officially Games of the XXX Olympiad; it is scheduled to take place from the 27th July to 12th August 2012. London will have the privilege of becoming the first city to host the Modern Olympic Games three times. London won the title to be the 2012 host City in 2005 beating Moscow, New York, Madrid and Paris. One of the LOGCO’s strategies was to introduce redevelopment in many of the deprived East London communities with a heavy emphasis on sustainability.
Cities who host the Olympic Games must commit to significant investments in sports venues and other infrastructure. It is commonly assumed that the scale of such an event and the scale of the preparation for it will create large and lasting economic benefits to the host city.
The economical implications of hosting such a large event will have a massive impact on the local community as well as the surrounding small businesses. A substantial sum of money is
involved in organising such a mega sporting event. Some will argue that the country cannot afford such an event, others would argue that the benefits of London hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will significantly out way the drawbacks.
“It is very difficult to calculate investment return on the Olympics. How can one measure the economic impact of a city’s improved role on the global stageOr the number of tourist who will, or wont, comes over the next 30 years as a result of hosting the Olympics?”
(Business Week, 2007)
Therefore it is essential that the host city and the committee understands the scale of the economic benefits that the Games could bring. However they must also be aware that hosting the Olympic and Paralympic has not always bough financial rewards; for example the Montreal Games made a loss of ?692 million. The tourism industry has a direct impact on the UK’s economy “Tourism is one of its biggest employers in the United Kingdom, directly responsible for 1.4 million jobs; it also generates ?85 billion a year.” (DCMS, N.D) The Games are Britain’s opportunity to show to the world what it is it has to offer in the tourist sector. It also gives the committee the opportunity to ensure that Britain’s accommodation and tourist facilities match that of the best in the World. The Olympic and Paralympic Games are seen as an opportunity for athletes to attain national and international fame in their chosen discipline; it also offers the chance for the hosting City and Country to showcase themselves to the world. “With fewer than 550 days to go until the start of the Olympic Games on 27 July 2012, now is time to explode out of the blocks if you are to make the most of this great opportunity” (Stinson, N.D)
The aim of the research project is to establish how the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will impacts on London and the UK’s economy.
To critically evaluate the Literature surrounding the Economic impacts of the Games on the UK.
Demonstrate how Olympic Games will have both a positive and negative effect on the UK’s tourism.
Analyse the impacts that the Games will have on the rest of the UK
In this chapter the author will examine previously published research surrounding the economical impacts of hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London; in the form of journals, books, internet publications and newspapers. By gathering the relevant information the author will be able to produce a concise and appropriate piece of literature surrounding the economical impacts of the Games and how they affect London and the UK. Previous literature as suggested before would imply that the Games will have an advantageous and adverse effect on the UK’s economy. It is also imperative that the event organisers understand that yes they have built new facilities for the sporting events to take place, and other facilities for tourists to stay, but they must ensure that other facilities that are not specifically being used for the Games are well looked after, after the event ‘In order that such impacts are avoided event managers need to plan for the post-event handover of sites and facilities that are not disturbed and returned to their original state’ (Masterman, 2004, pg 79). The Games history would advise that it provides a short term solution for the country’s economy; it also provides a solution for unemployment and businesses in an economic crisis in the years running up to the event. Unfortunately in the long term if the Games are not able to turn a profit the country will be continuing to pay for such a mega events for years to come. The two weeks that the event takes place the host nation sees a boom in tourism, which in turn provides an increase in revenue, as soon as the Games end there is a dramatic decline in relation to tourism and the economy, this report will bring to light all of these issues.
What is an economic impact?
“An Economic impact is the measure of the spending and employment affects by a specific project in this case the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games” (Sport and Society, N.D). Usually “effects are generated by capital costs such as spending on construction and transport upgrades, operating costs such as policing and broadcasting, plus spending by tourists, or inward investment or trade.” (Sport and Society, N.D). The method to total economic impact is the “sum of direct, indirect and induced impacts resulting from the Games” (Sport and Society, N.D). To better understand the economic impacts that the Games can have on a country it is important to determine both the “size of the region under construction and the time” (Preuss, pg 37, 2004). Today the hosting city organising committee carries out an impact reports up to 11 years before the event is due to take place. Cities such as Athens and Beijing saw themselves having to bid twice before they were offered the chance to host the Games. The impact studies are carried out to ensure that the country was economically viable to host the Games.
Positive and Negative economic effects on London
The first recognized positive economically affects of the Olympic and Paralympic Games came to light with the “1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, which made a surplus of ?215 million” (Blake, 2005) and it is widely recognised that this changed the way cities and governments regarded the hosting of major sports events (Tyrell and Johnson, 2006 cited in Kirkup and Major, 2006). However not every Games has had such luck, in fact no Games to date have been able to turn a profit Uppal, (2009) states that in Munich they are still continuing to pay a special tax to this day, to clear the debt that the Games incurred. The true amount of capital spent on the Games “is very often not revealed to the public by using smart accounting techniques that do not include a lot of the costs incurred under direct games expenditure” (Uppal, 2009) indicating that the government will go to any length to ensure that they do not lose the support that they need from the local community. It is imperative that London does not to follow in the footsteps of pervious Olympic and Paralympic Games, a successfully implemented and well executed event will ensure future return expenditure for London and the rest of the UK. Uppal (2009) continues to state that interestingly only Los Angeles bid for the 1984 Games, largely due to the financial disasters of the Montreal and Moscow Olympic Games in 1976 and 1980. The Los Angeles Games were able to enjoy such success, due to having such a significant backing from the private sector and not having to use the local communities’ money; therefore receiving instant support as there was no need to convince anyone that the Games would bring great economical benefits to the country. The runnings of mega sporting events are already perceived as having a major economical and social impact on not only the city but the local community included. When discussing the future economic benefits of hosting a major “sporting” event such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games; job creation not only for the local community but also for the country is a real decision maker. The creation of part-time, full-time/ skilled, unskilled/ permanent or temporary jobs, along with the redevelopment of a city following the successful hosting of the Games are considered massive selling points to gain the support of the local and national population. The government has announced that more than 30,000 new jobs will be created between 2009 and 2012. Figures from the Olympic Delivery Authority from September 2008 show that “24% of the 2,701 workers are local residents, 58% are from London, and 9% were previously unemployed.” (Sport and Society, N/A: online) proving that the Games is providing a vast amount of employment. Tassiopoulos (2007) points out that it is not only the bidders who will need to understand and assess potential risks: there will be many others who will need to be satisfied with the affordability and feasibility of preparing for and hosting the event and will have to deal with its possible after effects. As London’s local community’s tax money is being exhausted on the Games they hold every right to understand what it is being used for. Economic impacts of sporting mega events may not be as well documented as other types of events but nevertheless “there are various clues as to the benefits of events” (Shone and Parry, 2004) Hundreds of UK businesses are now attaining millions of pounds worth of work due to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Small businesses in particular stand to gain a great deal from the Games and as a result are benefiting dramatically from the pre games lead up.
“Of the 801 companies that have already won over ?3.5bn of work supplying the ODA, over 68% are small and medium sized and 98% are UK based, and just under half are based outside of London.”
(London 2012, 2008)
On 11th February 2011, the Minister for the Cabinet Office announced passed a bill that would offer Small and Medium Enterprises the opportunity to get involved in the public sector marketplace
“These announcements highlight the Government’s commitment to driving growth in the economy, and removing unnecessary obstacles that make government procurement difficult for small businesses”
(Cabinet Office, 2011)
This now provides Small and Medium Enterprises with the opportunity to get involved with the Games if they so choose. “According Chris Townsend, commercial director of the organising committee Locog, the business opportunities left is ideal for small businesses. Among the small firms that already captured contracts for the Olympics is gift company Touch of Ginger” (Nicolas, 2010) Now not only large local London based businesses have the opportunity to benefit from the Games but now different companies in other parts of the UK are ceasing the opportunity “a Welsh company is providing the steel for the Aquatics Centre and a Bolton based company is providing steel for the Olympic Stadium” (London 2012, 2008). The Games have already proved themselves to be a great opportunity for London and its economic needs. It will “generate some ?6 billion worth of contracts open to UK business large and small, not mention an estimated ?2 billion divided to the tourist industry” (London 2012, 2008). The Games will give provide London with the opportunity to leave a great legacy which will continue to benefit the UK’s economy for decades to come. The ODA and the London Organising Committee (LOCOG) have estimated that they expect to allocate over ?6 billion of work “as part of an estimated 75,00 future business opportunities covering direct contractors and their supply chains over the coming years” (London 2012, 2008) conversely when Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games the host nations instant reaction was “that such an event will bring enormous economic benefit to the host city not just during the event, but for years afterwards” (Owen, 2005). The cost of the games did not see Beijing turn a profit, an event they thought that would bring them an economic saviour failed them greatly.
The direct impacts on the local community can be looked at in terms of a cost-benefit analysis or through economical multiplier analysis. Events maybe not provide a huge amount of direct employment but “the indirect effects on local businesses, local services and local infrastructure and environment could be extremely significant” (Shone and Parry, 2004, pg 54). The direct money stems from the investments in sporting facilities, the organisation of the Games and the spending on the tourists. Preuss (2004) states that as indirect impact stems from investments in housing, telecommunication and transportation, but also from post- Games exports and Post-Olympics tourist spending. Host Cities will also see more of a benefit if they were to build a special tourist attraction for example the Birds nest in Beijing. Cost benefits also come from the building of an inspiring Olympic Village; this will then indirectly provide jobs and a great deal of economic activity. As the economic climate at the present time is in a crisis this project is a great help for unemployment and the private construction sector. The London 2012 Chairman Sebastian Coe stated, “aside from the sporting benefits that these events would generate, host regions could also expect to witness significant economic impacts.” (London 2012, 2004). The cost-benefit analysis technique was introduced and used on a variety of large scale events where it was brought to light that “85% of income came from tourists” (Shone and Parry, 2004, pg54) proving that tourist bring in more money to large scale events then the local community. There are indirect businesses that will also see a profit from such events, businesses like the local pubs, taxis, printers, technical equipment such as sound and lighting, local musician, entertainers and so on. On the other hand Ex-post economical impact studies have found no positive economic impacts of hosting a mega sporting event such as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The small towns on the outskirts London will see this hallmark event as an economic saviour, some of the villages will rely on the event to bring in their years income. For some countries it is not the significance of holding such a mega sporting event it is the “long term and economic benefits that will come from tourism and future usage of the facilities.” (Masterman, 2006, pg 79)
The London boroughs have launched a plan of regeneration they aim to re-build 10,000 new homes as well as a further 3,000 in the Olympic Village. The London Assembly have also launched their manifesto to ensure that there is a significant amount of economic regeneration. With investments in infrastructure, the local community will see upgrades in transport and communication links. “This investment leaves a lasting legacy for the whole economy” (Economics, 2007) transport links are to be improved to witness a reduction in congestion along with helping to improve the efficiency for local business. Nevertheless in some instances the building of the infrastructures for the Games can deprive the local communities from using the facilities for months on end. This sort of hindrance can also withdraw money from going in to the economy. The Sydney Games saw “The creation of a 10,000 seat Beach Volleyball Stadium at Bondi Beach resulted in the partial closure of the Beach and the Bondi Pavilion- used for the local cultural events- for six months from May to October 2000” (Cashman, 2002). This resulted in the loss of potential money from hosting the local cultural events. The London organising Committee (LOCOG) have viewed the infrastructure as a commodity a “thing” that will in turn produce a profit; Yet Uppal (2009) reported many independent researchers have found that ex-ante predications made by the event organisers of economic impacts that may occur on the host nation, fare exceed the ex-post estimations. Bringing alight the question; is the cost justified.
“The scale of organisation, facilities and infrastructure required for such a huge undertaking are such that the Games cannot but have substantial economic effects”
(Sydney 2000 Games, N/A cited in Owen, 2005)
A source at the department for culture media and sport (DCMS) carried out an impact study to see how London would survive over a period of years with and without the Games results are as follows.
“The Olympic Games Impact Study conducted by consultants Price water house Coopers for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2005 assessed the net benefits that would arise from hosting the Olympics in 2012 in London. It compared two scenarios, ‘with’ and ‘without’ the Olympics. It concluded that London’s GDP would increase by ?5.9 billion between 2005-2016 if the Games went ahead, with ?0.5billion of this increase taking place in the five North East London boroughs around the Olympics site (Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest). The greatest impact in GDP terms would occur in London during the pre-Games construction period. Whereas, the UK as a whole, the impact on GDP would be greatest over the period of the Olympics at around ?1.067 billion.”
(Sport and Society, N.D)
The 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is the biggest thing to happen in Britain in 50 years. The Games is an opportunity to develop sport, increase tourism and increase economic activity throughout the UK. “The staging of major events is emerging as a major strategy used by governments in an attempt to attar non-residential individuals to a particular destination.” (Gratton and Henry, 2001, pg 46) it has also been said that the games are
often used as a mere tool, an event that enables the city to expand its tourist capacity. The UK’s tourist industry creates over ?85 billion a year for the economy, as a direct result of this it is one of the UK’s biggest employees creating more than 1.4 million jobs throughout the country (DCMS, N.D) The Games will be more than a sporting occasion for Britain it will also be an opportunity for the UK to showcase themselves to the world. The Department for culture, media and sports (DCMS, N.D) believe that if they carry out the correct improvements to the London 2012 Games they could generate and estimated ?2.1 billion. They also believe that even though the Games are only taking place in London the rest of the country also has the opportunity to better improve itself. “We must use the 2012 Games as an opportunity to upgrade facilities and give tourist a first-class experience” (DCMS, N.D)
The DCMS aims to:
Engage all UK tourism businesses
Improve international perceptions of Britain
Deliver a first- class welcome to all visitors
Improves the skills of the workforce
Dive up quality in accommodation
Maximise the opportunities for increasing business visits and events
Spread the benefits
Visit Britain and Visit London carried out a joint survey to determine the impact the Games would have on tourism from 2007 to 2017. Using their international tourism database Visit Britain and Visit London collected data from previous mega sporting events specifically targeting Europe and the last 15 years as well taking in to account all the variables they also carried out a sensitivity analysis “to reflect the inevitable uncertainty surrounding the main drivers impacting upon tourism spending” (Visit Britain and Visit London, 2007). DCMS are trying to boost Britain’s international appeal they are actively marketing Britain in Europe, stating that Britain is the must see destination in Europe. The aim is to link the campaign to the 2012 Olympics to try and get as much support behind it as possible.
Positive and Negative Tourism impacts on London
“2012 will see Britain’s tourism sector catapulted into the global limelight, as millions of visitors are expected to pour into the capital. Industry experts are already predicting the games could be worth more than ?2b to Britain’s visitor economy”
Blowe, (2004) stated that after the disaster of the Millennium Dome and the abandoned plans to stage the 2005 World Championships there is a clear understanding as to why the general public are cynical about the Governments plans about the regeneration that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games has been forecasted to bring.
“In the week that the capital’s tourist board predicted that Team GB’s outstanding performance in Beijing would boost domestic tourism during London 2012; Caterer has learnt that Visit London will receive a smaller-than-anticipated budget increase in 2008-09 of just fewer than 2%. The current rate of inflation is 4.4%”
The LOGCO did an astonishing job of convincing “60% of Londoners in a recent poll that there are nothing but benefits to hosting the Games in the capital” (Blowe, 2004). The LOGCO are currently developing and expanding the Stratford Regional station near to the Olympic park to manage the colossal influx of tourist that are due to descend on London. There are also plans to improve other stations around the site to ensure that London can deal with the amount of visitors. As the LOGCO have strategically spread the Olympic venues right across the UK there is less likely to be a great deal amount of tourist stress in London. This cleaver ploy ensures that tourists will now have to visit all over the UK, producing an economic benefit across the country. However if the strategic planning that is implemented by the LOGCO does not help to produce a successful event, it can have a catastrophic consequence to the amount of return visitors and the initial cost recovery. The Olympics are expected to attract 320,000 tourists to London as well as a very large media attraction that will inevitably market the UK to the rest of the world. But Ibrahim said that “the UK still lacked the competitiveness and value to attract the repeat visits that will bring long-term benefits.” (Stagg, 2011). London is already viewed as a major tourist destination however Steve (2005) suggests that although the UK is one of the most expensive cities in the world it has an inadequate transport system. Stevens (2005) carries on in say that instead of spending an astronomical amount on a two week sporting event, the money should be invested in improving the tube and rail network which would in turn still provide a boost for the tourist industry. A few unfortunate experiences among visiting tourists can have a devastating effect on the capital; the use of word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool but can have a disadvantageous effect on London. Stagg (2011) explains if visitors gain a favourable impression during their visit, they will want to return back to London. Delhi unfortunately was one of the hosting nations that saw the detrimental effects of a badly organised mega sporting event. They were not only receiving negative press from home but also in the foreign media. The outbreak of dengue fever did not help the case either; the outbreak caused a dramatic decline in the visitor numbers. Hosting an event on a scale of that of Olympic and Paralympic Games enables to country endorse themselves in the best way to attract tourists. This will in turn drive up interest in the country and spark growth. However according to the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) cites that stage such events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games see a decline in tourism in the years leading up to the event and the years to follow after (GMT, 2009). The ETOA report said “whilst some of the events saw a peak in demand during the games, all saw a major distribution to their normal tourism market and none showed any obvious signs of tourism growth” (GMT, 2009).
“In 2000, Sydney anticipated 132,000 visitors and received only 97,000 during their games, Athens (2004) hoped for 105,000 per night, but achieved fewer than 14,000, while Beijing (2008) expected more than 400,000 and received 235,000 for the whole month of August.
There is concern that a similar situation will arise in London, with potential visitors put off from travelling to the city — and other UK destinations — by the fear of crowds, disruptions, lack of hotel space and high prices.”
There are however other benefits of hosting a large scale sporting event such as the Games, London will see profits generated from ticket sales, merchandise, broadcasting rights and sponsorships, but as Bowdin (et al, 2006) mentions that; from the perspectives of the host communities and governments, a wider range of economic impacts are often of equal or greater significance. These other impacts tourism included will bring to London will help build the economy immensely and in turn add to its existing community. The colossal financial investments made by a hosting city can be later justified in the long-term economical benefits made by the returning tourist’s using the cities services and hospitality. “Tourism has had a profound impact on destinations worldwide, and although this impact has been positive for many destinations, there are numerous examples where tourism has adversely impacted upon the environment and social fabric of the destination community” (Coccossis 1996 and Murphy 1985 cited in Ryan, C, Page J 2005). Displacement is a direct results of what the Games may potentially create, Visit Britain (N/A) describes it as an issue that Commonly happens to host countries of major sporting events whereby normal leisure visitors stay away or and/or are displaced to other areas due to concerns over pricing and crowding. The plan according to the LOGCO is to extend out these preconceptions well before and after the Games, “as in reality, conditions are no different” (Visits Britain, N.D). The goal for the LOGCO is to ensure that they limit the impact of displacement. The Games will also have a major impact on the day to day operations of London; issues like staffing and transport links. Tom Jenkins the ETOA executive director said “we have yet to have games where tourism has not been disrupted, and disrupted in a way that causes real harm” (BBC News, 2009). The Athens Olympic Committee attempted to carefully restrict new capacity that they were about to endure, there were still considerable losses before and after the games both in the capital and throughout Greece (BBC News, 2009). Hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is offering London the opportunity to draw in more tourist in to the capital and to other parts of the UK, the money will then circulate and be used to improve the socio-economic climate in the region. During the Games there is going to be an unusual amount of activity in London the challenges for the local businesses is to ensure that they have the right operations in places to cope with the massive influx of visitors. BBC News (2009) stated that Cities that stage the games suffer a drop in tourism in the year around the event. If London is unfortunate enough to follow in Beijing footsteps “it could see more than 2.5 million fewer visitors and a loss of ?1.5bn in revenue” (BBC News, 2009) Beijing was the lat country to host the Games they unfortunately shows that “international visitor arrivals plummeted by 30% in the month before the games, compared with the previous year” (BBC News, 2009). They also suffered in the months after the Games as tourism continued to decline with “international arrivals down by more than 20%” (BBC News, 2009). However as tourism is an ever growing industry; other previous host cities have proved what a difference the Games can make “Barcelona’s 1992 Games helped propel the city from the 16th the third most popular short break destination in Europe” (DCMS, N.D)
The Sydney 2000 Games generated an increase of 15% in visitor’s numbers during the Games and then a further increase of 11% throughout the rest of the year.
“The Sydney 2000 Olympic Games local sponsorship programme, it was the most finically successful domestic programme in Olympic History, generating US $492 million in revenue. The programme more than doubled the targeted Sydney bid revenue and generated more revenue that the Atlanta 1996 domestic sponsorship programme in the marketplace that is nearly 15 times smaller.”
(Olympic Marketing, N.D)
The Australian government used the games as a way to initially attract the interest of tourists, but then invested a large amount of time and money to lure these tourists into other parts of Australia that were not the major host cities. This proved to be extremely beneficial, and the 2000 Sydney Olympics is now seen as one of the most successful hosting of the Olympics in recent times. When looking at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, it is evident to see that Australia was rarely on the world stage and that this was the first major headline event to be held by the country. The Australian Tourism Commission (ATC) decided to exploit this and capitalize on it as much as possible. Huge amounts of time and money were invested to advertise the Olympics so that not only Sydney was the benifit, but the whole of Australia also. ‘No other host country has worked so closely with the Olympic partners to develop mutual benefits from linking the tourism brand with their products and services’ (Tassiopoulos, 2007).
Australia is the first Olympic host nation to take full advantage of the Games to vigorously pursue tourism for the benefit of the whole country. It’s something we’ve never seen take place to this level before, and it’s a model that we would like to see carried forward to future Olympic Games in Athens and beyond.
Ideally, the hosting of any event will generate a profit, and in this sense, one of the most important impacts is the revenue generated by tourism. Due to the large number of tourists there is an encouragement of additional training. Training additional staff will also open up the creation of more jobs opportunities for the locals, positively impacting on the economy. However with other issues such as construction more than a third of the southern construction and manufacturing businesses are expecting a negative impact on the UK’s economy. “3% of UK businesses have already seen an uplift in work due to the Olympics while 15% are expecting to get more business as a result” (Whiting, N/A) unfortunately the amount of businesses that are expecting a negative impact out ways those that expect a positive impact Whiting (N.D) states with just under a quarter 22% of UK businesses expecting the Olympics to have a negative impact on their business, against 12% expecting a positive impact and 66% of businesses foresee no impact. Possibly one of the biggest impacts of hosting a headlining event; will be the increased media focus on the host city. This will in turn, bring in an increased number of tourists if the city is viewed in a positive light and enhance its profile. The increased media in London will bring a worldwide focus on themselves. Sally Chatterjee, Visit London’s chef executive said: “London is the world’s most visited destination by foreign travelers and one of the most accessible cities in the world.” (BBC News, 2009). There is a strong belief that the London Olympics will bring influx of new visitors. Qatar was the host of the 2006 Asian Games; they spent an estimated $17 billion on the “development of new sports, tourism and cultural facilities” (Uppal, 2009). The Games were seen as Qatar’s opportunity to also launch themselves as a major tourist destination. Regionally across the UK, there is a vast majority of people who believe that the Games will provide them with a positive impact on their local area and business
“Overall a quarter of consumers think there will be a positive impact for their local area, which was highest for those in East Anglia, Wales and the South West, but lower in Scotland, Northern Ireland and in Yorkshire, where only 1 in 10 can see any positive effect. Regions expecting to be boosted by tourism or with greatest proximity to the Games venues, such as Weymouth, were most positive”
Scotland however does not believe that the Games will have a positive effect on their local economy, they believe that they will not benefit from the Games at all “with as many as 30% expecting a negative impact on the UK economy and the economy for their local area” (Whiting, N.D). The younger generation of the UK sees the Games as nothing but a positive opportunity for the country suggesting “it will bring money in and boost sprits” (Whiting, N.D); whereas the older generation is less optimistic about the Games as over 35% of over 65’s believes that it will have an negative impact on the UK economy (Whiting, N.D). The North and Scotland will see an increase in their taxes and understandably they will not be happy as they will see none of the benefits as they will all be spent in London.
The Impacts the Games will have on the rest of the UK
Although there is a great deal of excitement about the Games and the economic regeneration that they are said to bring
“Just 22% of Scottish businesses believe the UK economy will benefit in 2012 from the Olympics, compared to 53% in the South of England, including London. In the Midlands, 36% believe the economy will be lifted, but 43% believe it will not be”
Proving that the North do not believe that they will get the same rewards from the Games as the South. Garry Clark, head of policy at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Believes businesses in Scotland felt “remote” from the Olympics (Ruddick, 2011). Hannah Holdroyd, London development manager at the Federation of Small Businesses has said, of course the South- East is going to feel more positive about the Games as they are able to see the impacts and the effects that the Games have on the country, where as people in the North are unable to witness the building, but will see the impacts in the long term (Ruddick, 2011). Although the Olympics will only have a direct impact on London it will have an indirect impact on the rest of the UK. It has been described at not UK 2012 but London 2012; there has been speculation that there will not be much of an impact for the rest of the UK. However although London is the main host of the Olympic and Paralympic Games there will be event taking place throughout the country. Plus there will be the cultural Olympiad kicking off next year which will involve the whole country. During the Games the LOGCO have arranged for Olympic parties to be carried out, with TV screens set up in town centres across the UK. Alun Ffred Jones, Heritage Minister, Welsh Assembly Government was asked what he believe the benfits of 2012 London would bring to Wales, his response was as follows:
That is a very broad question but certainly it will be felt in a number of different areas. Obviously, the that it is one of the biggest sporting occasions in the world if not the biggest event in the world will certainly have its effect and will enthuse, I would imagine young people and older people as well, in term of sporting interest and interest in different sports. One of the interesting things about the Olympics of course is that it gives a worldwide platform to what are often called minority sports which do not get a great deal of media coverage except in the Olympics and perhaps one or two other sporting events, so obviously it will have that effect. There are obviously opportunities for business because it is such a massive event. I was talking to Arthur this morning and he was saying that there will be up to 75,000 individual contracts to be placed by the Olympic Authority and the London Organising Committee as well. We know that certain companies have already had a certain amount of work through this process and there is much more to come of course. Also in terms of education there are opportunities here which are mentioned in out presentation in terms again of not only the sporting interest but also in terms of international contacts throughout the world, and perhaps we will have an opportunity to elaborate on those later on.
(Great Britain Parliament, 2009, pg 11)
As a result of London 2012, Wales has suffered a loss in lottery funding, which was an estimated ?70 million, “but in terms of the general loss to the sector it could be as high as ?100 million” (Great Britain Parliament, 2009, pg 11) leading to a serious concern of Wales. As stated before the Games will directly impact London but will indirectly impact on the rest of the UK. Unfortunately other parts of the UK have suffered a loss in their funding in the build up to the Games, and it will be a long time after the Games until they really see a result. However “Organisational structures are currently being formed which plan for a co-ordinated and ‘top-down’ approach for the distribution of benefits” (Locumconsulting, 2006). This should enable a clear insight in to the benefits that the rest of the UK will receive.
Methodologies are the study and examination of the methods that the investigator used to obtain a significant amount of information for the chosen topic. In this case the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is under critical examination to investigate how the Games will have a positive or negative impact on not only London but the rest of the UK’s economy. The researcher’s goal has been to obtain as much relevant information as possible on the chosen topic. The researcher decided to carry out a desk based “library” dissertation to attain as much information as possible. This route was chosen due to there already being such a large amount of relevant information out there about the Games and the ramifications that they may bring. The researcher finds the subject of the Olympic and Paralympic Games very interesting, the author believes that everyone should have to opportunity to know as much about it as possible. It would have been very interesting to gather the personal opinions of the local community, to better understand their feeling about the Games. It would have then been interesting to know if the majority believed that the Games would impact on London positively or negatively on the UK’s economy. It would have been also interesting to learn if they believed that the Games will also have a major impact on tourism for London and the rest of the UK. As East London is going to be the most effected during the two week period of the Games the researcher would have been curious to learn and understand how they also felt about that. The author believes that although unable to attain this information, bringing together all of the other relevant information about the impacts on the economy and the tourism sector will make it easier for readers to understand what it is the Olympics and Paralympics can do to a hosting nation and its capital. However the issue with these types of dissertations is the problem of plagiarism. The researcher will need to ensure that this does not occur; referencing must be enforced correctly when it is secondary research. As stated before the researcher does believe that carrying out questionnaires about the general public’s reaction to Games and to establish if they believed that the Games would help or hinder the current economic situation in the UK, would have been appropriate. However as there is so much information already out there again the researcher thought that this would be more appropriate. Other reasons as to why the desk based dissertation was undertaken were; time, money and convenience. To try to attain time and approval from the East London Locals may have proved to be troublesome. There was also the issue of cost to go back and forwards to London to make sure that a sufficient amount of data was collected if the researcher was unable to do so the first time around. As this piece of work is theoretical dissertation the approach taken to undergo the investigation was reading sources such as books, the internet, journals and the news paper gathering as much information as possible. As the research did not provide a problem that needed to be solved no data collection and analysis was needed. There for this project was all secondary based. Researching began by gathering the relevant journals there are about the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and how they are forecasted to impact on London and the rest of the UK. The researcher also took the initiative to researcher previous Games to establish a background on the Games and how it impacts on the Hosting nation. The researcher was able to attain a great deal of information about previous Games it was evident to see that there has not been much success economically; in fact many host nations are still paying a special tax to clear the Games debt. The database used to attain this information, was business source premier, using UWIC database the author was able to gather as much information as possible. This piece of work was largely qualitative research so the data base ideal. Research was then gathered from the books, a lot of literature was about the general impact of the Games on the hosting nation, effecting issues such as tourism and transport. Few pieces of literature were surrounding and focusing on the impacts that London 2012 will bring. There are many mixed reactions about the impacts that the Games will bring, most author’s state that the Games will bring hope to the UK’s economy. These books were gathered from UWIC’s library, UWIC has been a very high-quality sufficient source of information. The next piece of research was taken from the internet. There are copious amounts of information on the internet about the effects that the Games will enforce on the country; this is why it was critical that the author ensured that everything was referenced correctly. Many studies have been carried out showing the economic impacts, (economic impact studies). Other authors comparing the Games to other Games insinuating that they will also not have the same luck, if pervious history is correct. Other information on the internet comes from author’s personal opinion. Another small part of information came from newspaper, more general reading to get an idea of what the general public’s opinions were towards the Games, more to get a background. The researcher has taken all of the information believed to be relevant and compiled a piece of literature. The question still was Will the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games have a positive or negative economical impact on London and the rest of the UKThe researcher believes that all of the relevant information has been gathered correctly to produce this piece of literature. To draw upon a conclusion the researcher will read through all of the information gathered and then produce a conclusion that is relevant. The researcher tried to compile an even amount of information on both the positive and the negative impacts that the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will have on the economy and tourism for London and the UK. As mentioned before as this piece of work is theoretically based dissertation, no data collection was required resulting in no need for a data analysis. However all relevant information collected from previous authors has allowed the researcher to take pervious written information asses it and compile the most recent and up to date analysis of the effects of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Taking pervious authors work, allowed this piece of work to be very thorough as the economic impacts studies that had already been carried out where allowed to be included. As stated before the researcher would have preferred to carry out questionnaires and interviews but time and money prevented this from happening. To mix both quantitative and qualitative may have provided a more interesting piece of reading, but they way the researcher has managed to concentrate on already published research makes for an informing piece of literature.
Results based on previous author’s literature
As this piece of academic writing is a theoretical dissertation (desk based) meaning no primary research was involved, therefore making the project an in depth look in to previous authors literature. As no interviews or questionnaires were implemented, no difficulties were encountered, with gaining approval from the local community.
However the researcher is able to present findings with the data that was collected from previous authors. Due to the type of dissertation carried out all information was secondary research. The only issue encountered when gathering secondary findings was the problem of plagiarism. The author needed to ensure that this was not going to be a problem. The biggest strength of this project is that it is interesting, being able to read, put together and discus in depth other author’s findings, gave the researcher the opportunity to gain a huge insight in to the question posed. Unfortunately a major weakness was being un-able to introduce the opinions of people lives that the Games will dramatically impact on. The author believes that if this chance had arisen, readers would have gotten to opportunity to better understand just how a mega sporting event like the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games impacts on a community.
The main finding that the researcher was able to establish was that there is a great deal on information about London 2012 and how it will Impact on London and the UK. All information is directed at either the positive or negative effects that the Games will bring, no piece of academic writing and stated both. This informs the researcher that people are either for or against the Games no one is both. A lot of the information related back to previous Games, comparing London to failed Olympics before it has even come. Granted the London organising committee are already over budget, but there is no clear indication that the London 2012 Games will not be successful enough to turn a profit like the Los Angeles Olympic Games. Many authors believe that the Games will create job, but there are other authors that yes while the Games may create jobs, it will also make a lot of people redundant. The researcher found that there are a lot of mixed messages about the London 2012 Games and the impacts that they are to bring, to London and the rest of the UK. During the researching period, collecting and reading information from pervious authors was very insightful. The strengths of this process would be the way the information was collected. Notes were taken and references written down at the same time as to not lose any, then all relevant literature was written down.
The researcher is glad that London was chosen to host the 2012 Olympics. Undoubtedly it might end up costing the taxpayer a lot of money before and after the Games, but it is a once in a lifetime opportunity, to host one of the most major mega sporting events. As there are no results to analyse, the investigator will be analysing pervious authors’ research to better understand what type of impact the Games will be having on London and the rest of the UK. When analysing the most recent information on the economic impacts, the author was able to see that yes the Games will make an economic loss in the short term, but in the long term the Games should turn a profit and help boost London’s economy. However Uppal (2009) goes in to detail explaining how Munich is still currently paying of a special tax for the Olympics that took place there.
Unfortunately not everything is as black and white as that, there is always going to be negativity towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games as many people believe that the moment should be spent on other things like the transport links, not only in London but also in the rest of the country. To a certain extent the author agrees with this, yes some of the transport links are going to be improved in London but what about other areas in the rest of the country that are also in desperate need of urban regeneration. There is a lot of information about how previous Olympics has been unable to make money for other hosting nations, with the exception of Los Angeles as they were fortunate enough to gain private sponsorship. The pattern between most authors is that no author believes that they Games will do one or another; they all believe that the Games will either impact positively or negatively. The author is not sure how to interpret it; all authors have valid positions on their takes, and offer a significant amount of information and research to back their theories. The author believes that there are not many differences between previous authors finding and the researcher’s personal opinions, in fact the investigator agrees with most of the authors. It is safe to say that yes London 2012 will have a dramatic effect on the UK, both positively and negatively. However east London will see a dramatic change in urban regeneration, transport links are being sorted to try and ease congestion, as well as a great deal of new houses being built. Although some of the local community were asked to move they were offered money, to help with finding a new house the LOCOG have made sure of this. The research question was to determine if London 2012 would have a positive or negative effect on London and the rest of the UK’s economy. The researcher has found that there is no simple answer for this question; the answer is the Games will have both effects. As stated before it is said that the Games will “generate some ?6 billion worth of contracts open to UK business large and small, not mention an estimated ?2 billion divided to the tourist industry” (London 2012, 2008), helping to boost business in the surrounding area. This has provided small businesses in the UK the opportunity to gain work from the Games over 801 companies have gained the opportunity to work for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. However as described when Beijing were awarded the 2008 Olympics they believed that the Games would provide the country with the economic help that they needed. Unfortunately the Games were unable to deliver and Beijing to were unable to turn a profit. The investigator believes that each hosting nation is also optimistic about the impacts that the Games will have on the country’s economy, but the games just do not comply with these predictions. Olympic Delivery Authority predicted that the Games would bring a great deal of employment to the UK “24% of the 2,701 workers are local residents, 58% are from London, and 9% were previously unemployed.” (Sport and Society, N.D). Providing proof to doubters that London 2012 is bring a solution to unemployment in the UK. There has been a study formulated that can predict the economic impacts that the Games will have on the host nation. In terms of a cost-benefit analysis or through economical multiplier analysis, these analysis take in to consideration all factors that will impact on the cost of the games, issues like building materials, labour, how much of the tax payers money has been used and so on. Then weighs the total expected costs against the total expected benefits of London 2012 then comes up with the predictions. The researcher believes that this is a great way to better understand if this project is going to be able to help or hinder the economy. The belief that if the hosting nation should build a tourist attraction in the form of a mega structure, to help encourage tourist to the capital, is not the strongest tool to help guarantee re-visitation. Although Beijing’s birds nest is a perfect example, although the structure is magnificent and beautiful to look at Beijing have not experienced the huge influx of visitors that they predicated post Games. So many other benefits can be brought to light, for example the effects that the new facilities will have on the local community. Once used by the games these facilities will become open to the public, dramatically changing the way sport is practiced. The author believes that this is a major added bonus, it enables children the opportunity to practice in a first class facilities, and if they choose to become interested it offers the chance to practice with the best equipment possible. The literature both positive and negative surrounding the economic impacts that London 2012 will bring indicates that yes there is a short term negative impact, but in the long term if the strategic planning is implemented correctly then the long term economic benefits should be able to speak for themselves. The author does believe that the LOGCO should pay close attention to pervious Olympics and the problems that they endured. By researching carefully passed games the organising committee then has the ability to try and ensure that they do not face the same issues.
There has been a prediction that London will see a major boost in tourism before and after 2012. However after the few disasters that London have experienced with regards to the failed millennium dome and botched 2005 World championships there is an understand amount of doubt looming over whether London 2012 will be a success. The researcher believes that tourism will be dramatically increased during the Games and then unfortunately post Games there will be a decline in tourism. There has been a remarkable amount of work being done in London to be able to cater for the impending influx in tourist. However it is unfortunate that it has taken a major sporting event to deal with the congestion problem in London. Due to some cleaver strategic planning on the LOGCO’S part, different facilities have been spread across the UK. The purpose of this was the spread tourism throughout the country instead of focusing on just London. This could be a good tactic to promote the whole of the UK, however it could cause major uproar for those villages surrounding the larger cities, as they may not want anything to do with the games. There could however be another major benefit as the smaller towns could see an indirect influx in revenue, as tourist will be looking to stay in quieter places that are close to the action. The investigator believes that the games will spark a growth in tourism for London; however the evidence proves that the hosting nation does see an influx in visitor number during the games, but leading up to the games and after the games there is a dramatic decline. The researcher on the other hand feels that after the games lull tourism will pick up as the country is already viewed a major tourist destination. The Hype of the game will only further help tourism. What the researcher is able to interpret from previous literature is that the London 2012 will not only have a positive or negative effect on the UK. Although each researcher has provided an interpretation of their beliefs, the author both agrees and disagrees with most of the research. The Games is one of the most prestigious sporting events that a country can host, it would not be awarded to a country if there were not a strong belief that they could produce and hot a great two weeks. The effects on the rest of the UK are minor the Games have been described as the London 2012 not the UK 2012, as explained before there have been studies carried out to show the impacts that the rest of the UK are going to enjoy. Other regions of the UK have also lost out on lottery funding as it is all directly going to London 2012, this has hit these regions hard as they are not struggling. The author however believes that judging from the previous literature it will be a long time until the rest of the UK feels the full effects.The author feels that London would not have been offered the opportunity if they could not pull through. However, the games have caused a lot of controversy about the economic impacts that they bring, as well as the effects that the games will have on tourism. The investigator believe that the long term impacts out weight the short term impacts, the games also offer the country a sense of pride in that London 2012 will be able to leave behind a legacy. Pervious Olympics do provide a warning, but the author believes that London will be able to come through it better off in the end.
It is a major achievement to be about to host one of the most prestigious mega sporting event, it is unfortunate for London that it is happening now and in this economy. The researcher believes that London and the rest of the UK will not be able to recover from this for years to come.
The aim of the research project was to; to critically evaluate the Literature surrounding the Economic impacts of the Games on the UK. Demonstrate how Olympic Games will have both a positive and negative effect on the economy. Analysis the wider economics affects of the different regions of the UK outside of London. This piece of academic writing was a theoretic dissertation; this means that no interviews or questionnaire were carried out. The academic writing was purely the evaluation of pervious literature surrounding the London 2012 Games. The author believes that this was the best route to go down as there is already so much good pervious literature surrounding the Games. With the help of pervious authors the researcher was able to produce a piece of academic writing surrounding the aims set. As no tables or graphs were needed for this specific type of dissertation, the author is unable to summarise the findings. However having carefully analysed other literature, it is evident to see that the London 2012 Games will have both a positive and negative impact on London and the rest of the UK. There are many pieces of literature stating that the Games will be great for the economy and will carry on impacting on the hosting nation in a positive way for years to come and after. There is also literature stating that the Games will only impact on the Country in a negative way, causing issues like overcrowding and job loss. Each author having a valid point, the Games will not only have one or another it will have both a positive and negative impact on the hosting nation. The researcher believes that it was strange that not one author stated both effects, each author chose one side to be on. When reading pervious published research the instigator was able to relate the finding to the aim set. As there is so much research out there about the Games, two of the aims were answered sufficiently. Analysis the wider economics affects of the different regions of the UK outside of London however was not. The researcher found that there was nowhere near the amount of sufficient information on this particular aim as there were the others. The investigator was unable to draw upon a one sided conclusion. Both arguments for positive and negative have valid points. There will never be just one answer, as you need to spend the taxpayer’s money to make money for the tourism sector. It is a loose, loose situation until the Olympic and Paralympic Games can prove that it is able to turn a profit. There is a large amount of information and literature surrounding the impending 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games; in the form of e-journals, books and internet sites, they all discuss the impacts that they will impose on the hosting nation. An unlimited amount of information can be attained from all of these sources. However the researcher believes that the added information from the East London locals and other groups in the form of questionnaire and interviews would have helped to better answer the question from a non-academic point of view.
However the investigator believes that they have gained a sufficient amount of knowledge towards the subject and was able to use this to help answer the question. The knowledge also gathered from pervious authors offered a solid answers to and enabled the researcher to provide sufficient information. As mentioned before the author believes that the use of questionnaire and interviews would have added an extra-added insight to help answer the aims. The author believes that this unfortunately put a limitation on this academic piece of writing. The researcher does believe that the question has been answered to the best of ability. Future recommendations for this project would be the inclusion of secondary research such as quantitative and qualitative findings, and to research in to other sectors of the economy, for example how transport and the environment would be effected, not just focusing on tourism. Providing a wider range of variety would produce a more in depth project, highlight all of the sectors that the Games will impact on.
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