The impacts of London 2012 Olympics on the United Kingdom’s tourism sector
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Sample Essay On the impacts of London 2012 Olympics on the United Kingdom’s tourism sector
Olympics are one of the world’s most popular sports events. They attract most of the world’s attention, for example the 2012 London Olympics involved 16,400 athletes from over 204 countries, 4000 technicians, 21,000 official media personalities and 4,000 official Olympic officers, 95% of these being from outside of the United Kingdom (Oxford Economics, 2012). Olympics tickets get completely sold and they get billions of television audiences globally (Atkinson et al, 2008). Therefore, Olympics have a wide range of impacts on the host country; these impacts can be positive and some of them negative.
The 2012 Olympic Games were held in the city of London, United Kingdom. They had a number of positive and negative effects that occurred before, during and after the Olympic games had been completed. One of the sectors of the United Kingdom that was affect by the Olympics is the tourism industry;
2.0 Positive Effects
2.1 Encouragement of Social and Cultural Events.
A number of social and cultural events were organized to accompany the Olympics games. These events led to a better understanding of United Kingdom’s culture by both the local community and the rest of the world. These social and cultural events were integrated in the Olympics right from the opening ceremony all the way to the closing ceremony, for example the ringing of the church, cow and bicycle bells to announce the start of the games (Kennedy, 2012). This show case of United Kingdoms’ culture may have acted as one of the tourist attraction reasons after the 2012 Olympics.
2.2 Recreation of Infrastructure.
The hosting of major multi-sport events such as the Olympics leads to improvement of infrastructure (Solbers & Preuss, 2007). The London 2012 Olympics led to the construction and major improvements of the Olympic village, housing parks, and transport systems including railways and roads, stadiums, indoor arenas and leisure infrastructure such as swimming pools (Konstantaki, 2008). This infrastructure served during the Olympics mostly because they provided cheaper housing and transport means making the visitors feel most comfortable while in London for Olympics. The infrastructure also added to the revenue gathered during the Olympics.
2.3 Place Marketing
According to Nichollus (2013), the Britain’s National Tourists Board conducted a show case referred to as the ‘’Great Campaign’’. The aim of this campaign was to let the Olympic international viewers see the great tourist destination sites in the United Kingdom. These sites included; the Durham Cathedral, the Cotswold, Big Ben and Stonehenge. By show casing this sites during the Olympics, viewers from the rest of the world got a reason to want to visit the United Kingdom.
2.4 Increased Domestic Tourism
It is estimated that of the 11 million tickets sold for the 2012 London Olympic Games, 80%- 85% of them were sold to local United Kingdom’s residents (Meta evaluations). The 2012 Olympic Games developed a sense of unity in the residents though them watching the flags fly and a display of people watching the Olympics. These unities lead to growth of local tourism industry, with people moving in and out of London (Atkinson et al, 2008).
3.0 Negative Impacts
Even with all the above positive impacts, the London 2012 Olympics still had a number of negative effects on the tourism industry of the United Kingdom.
3.1 Safety and Security Risks
Atkinson et al (2008) sites security and safety risks as one of the reasons why international tourist may not visit a county or city that is hosting a mega sports event. Because of the many people who attend to the Olympics, crowding is usually high in the streets, transport systems, public spaces and major tourist attraction sites. With high number of people, comes high likelihood of pick-pocketing, other forms of thefts and terror attacks. Due to this reasons most international tourist may have skipped visiting London during the time of the Olympics and before (Blake, 2005).
3.2 Increases in the Cost of Living
At around the time of the Olympic events, the cost of life in London was expected to be expensive (Blake, 2005). The residents feared this and they therefore migrated to other parts of the United Kingdom where life was not as expensive. The increase in the cost of living, may have also scared off internationally tourist and investors (Blake, 2005)
Hosting of the 2012 Olympics had more advantageous effects on the tourism industry in the United Kingdom than disadvantages. The long term effect of hosting the event are still being felt as more people continue to visit London and the United Kingdom years after the Olympics were concluded. The infrastructure constructed and improved in 2012 is still in use by the residents and the tourist.
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