I. Introduction Thesis statement: Hosting Olympic Games in London are beneficial for the social and economic development of the host city and the whole region. II. Body A. The economic concerns of London 2012 are less obvious than business benefits from the games 1. Expenses on the Games a. 1976 Olympic Games as an example of financial disaster b. Ten times increase of original budget c. Increasing debt burden of London city 2. Economic benefits and legacy of London 2012 a. Direct revenues from hosting the Olympics according to LondonNet . Blake’s analysis of Games’ influence on both GDP of London and UK c. Price Waterhouse Coopers report on the reasons of the growth d. Economic benefits of the Olympics to the tourism industry e. Economic forecast on tourism of VisitBritain f. Regeneration of the investment profile according to Matthewman B. The improvements of tourism and transport infrastructure will help to avoid promlems in this field and promote the development of the region 1. Additional load on London’s tourism infrastructure and transport systems a.
British Hospitality Association’s suggestion b. Threat to common Londoner’s way of life and business activity c. Criticism of transport system by IOC 2. Changes in the public transport system since the initial bid a. “Olympic Javelin”, and legacy of other improvements b. Impact of the regeneration of Stratford on infrastructure of east London c. Latest transport strategy of the Mayor d. ?2bn award of tourist revenue on infrastructural improvements C. The Games will promote social enhancements such as healthy lifestyle and cultural awareness . Brian Martin’s arguments against Olympic Games 2. Boris Johnson’s view on social and cultural impact of the Games 3. The impact of the Games according to London2012 III. Conclusion To conclude, the economic, social and non-material benefits of hosting Olympic Games in London obviously overweight the counter-evidences in the financial and infrastructure spheres. The debates about the necessity of the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in London are widely discussed by politics and economists not only in Britain, but in the whole world.
This issue is very important because it helps to understand the fundamental motivations to host the Olympic Games as well as the other Mega events and evaluate their positive outcomes the host city and country without any bias. A variety of arguments, including the evaluation of the expenditures on this event, together with the social and infrastructural concerns, economic and social impact will be offered about this issue. It will then put forward reasons for hosting Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012 because of the benefits in both economic and social areas.
It is often argued that hosting the Olympic Games is a very expensive step in terms of money spent on building infrastructure for both sportsmen and spectators of the Games. Now, many opponents of holding the Games say that the merely possible financial losses are the reason for cancellation of the Games. One of the most obvious intimidating examples of financial problems caused by such events are the 1976 Olympic Games, when poorly managed Games’ development caused the bankruptcy of the city when work had fallen far behind schedule, as well as the debts had been discharged only 30 years after the Games.
Concerning London Games, there is a tendency of permanently increasing the budget of the games. As Lea notices the words of former 2012 Games chief (2008), London 2012 could cost ? 20billion, which is ten times original budget, incremented “because of the land and security issues”. So, these expenses may become unmanageable debts for London, especially considering the fact that private sector is reluctant to invest into the Games’ infrastructure since the beginning of the recession. Meanwhile, London has to increase its debt burden significantly due to the expenses on both crisis management and building infrastructure.
However, there can be an array of economic benefits of hosting this event. Accordingly, the economic benefits include the direct revenues from the Olympics, economic growth because of the increased opportunities for private sector from the Games, increased skills of workforce because of volunteer programs, in addition to reviving tourism and investments. Direct revenues from holding Games, as the argument goes, are the most obvious and easily calculated; therefore these benefits were manifested beforehand. Namely, about “0. 75 billion pounds will be raised from the National Lottery… and 0. billion pounds will came from the TOP The Olympic Sponsor Programme and the sale of TV rights, 0. 45 billion pounds will be collected via local sponsorship and official suppliers… while 0. 3 billions will be funded from ticket sales revenues”
(London Net, 2007). Besides the direct benefits, the possible impact of the Games on the GDP of London and UK can also be calculated to a certain degree. Blake (2005) made a comprehensive analysis of the economic consequences of London Olympics and suggested that the total UK GDP in the period from 2005 to 2016 might be increased by 1. billion pounds per year while London’s GDP would totally accrue 5. 9 billions pounds due to the influence of the Games and opportunities for businesses to use the new commercial space of the Olympic Park after the Olympics. Similarly, according to Price Waterhouse Coopers report (2005), 2. 1 billion pounds of extra revenue will be brought to the economy of UK by 7. 9 million spectators and up-skilling of 70,000 volunteers, in addition to the indirect revenues of private sector.
Although, both of the sources note the importance of proper planning in order to achieve these goals and avoid the possible drawbacks. In addition, hosting Olympic and Paralympics Games means evident economic benefits to the tourism industry from both the enhanced publicity and image of the destination and virtually increased the number of the visitors. One example is the forecast of VisitBritain (2007), according to which the tourism gains due to the Olympic Games will generate 2. 34 billions pounds for the UK economy during the period 2007-17.
Moreover, Stevens suggest that improper conduct of guests’ reception may lead to the losses for the industry, instead of the benefits. In addition to boosting tourism, London Olympics can also be a good opportunity for the regeneration of the investment profile of both London and UK. Matthewman, et al. , (2009) summarizes that holding Olympic Games increments the level of Foreign Direct Investment, and has a positive influence on longer term investment in the host city and region, because of improved infrastructure and increased perceptibility of the region.
It is contented that transportation and tourism infrastructure will be overloaded because of Olympic Games in London. As this contention goes further, such mega event as Olympic Games always means the influx of sportsmen, journalists, specialists and the mere spectators of the event and London, one of the busiest cities in the world, has to be prepared for the additional load on its infrastructure, public transportation, as well as the general overcrowding of the London’s East End, the main area of the Olympic Games.
In addition to the concerns over transportation system, there are some signs of the upcoming accommodation shortage during the Olympic Games. British Hospitality Association (2007) notes that London is going to face an evident shortage of hotel rooms to accommodate if special measures are not implemented. Because of this, many opponent of hosting the Games in London suggest that there can be infrastructure collapse in London during the Olympic Games; therefore Londoner’s habitual way of life and business is under the threat.
The transport system and overcrowded hotels of London came in for criticism since the initial evaluation of International Olympic Committee, which is the reason why there are serious concerns about “how the public transport infrastructure in London will hold up to the influx of people”. Therefore, many critics put forward this argument and suggest that during two weeks of the 2012 Olympics traffic jams and overload of public transport will cause damage to business activity of the city and its image.
However, the organizers of London 2012 had made profound changes in the public transport system since the initial bid, including the improvement and expansion of the London metro, as well as the high-speed rail service called “Olympic Javelin” (Hinton, 2009). All the improvements, as the argument is adduced furthermore, will be beneficial for London not only during the Olympic Games, but also after them. Hilton makes an emphasis on the huge impact of the infrastructural profound improvement or so called “the regeneration of Stratford” in east London, which propel economic and social activity in this underdeveloped district of the city.
In addition, the experience of the latest events, such as Vancouver Olympics, also helped the officials in the enhancement of the public transport system, in addition to the hospitality industry, as Beard (2010) says. He also thinks that “thanks to the latest transport strategy issued by the Mayor… London will be ready to host outstanding Games with progress of other key transport schemes already well underway”.
Moreover, the appropriate and suited strategy for the Olympics 2012 now is supported by the majority the firms engaged in the tourisms industry. Furthermore, Stevens (2008) argues that estimated at ? 2bn award of tourist revenue to the capital will be brought to the economy, which help to improve tourism infrastructure on the condition that tourism and hospitality industry will not sacrifice long term steady growth to the momentary increase of the profits.
Brian Martin, the prominent social activist suggest Olympic Games are unnecessary because of the social problems they enhance, including nationalism because “competition between athletes is turned into competition between state”, unhealthy competition, when the most competitors “are ultimately losers”, therefore the obsession with Olympic success “undermines the goal of cooperative, participatory sport” and elitism of the Games. However, there are many sings that Olympic Games will bring advantages to the cultural and social development of the region and whole country, as Boris Johnson says.
London 2012 Games are the good opportunity for promoting healthy lifestyle and increasing cultural awareness, in addition to giving the sense of unity to the British nation and the whole world. The mayor of London says: “My perfect 2012 legacy would be a leaner, fitter London … via improving access to simple sports like football, swimming, and cycling that provides great physical exercise. ” In the same way, London Olympics 2012 is also used for the promotion of versatile UK’s arts and culture.
For this reason, as series of cultural events called “Cultural Olympiad” were arranged during the period of 2008 and 2012, where millions of people around the UK are engaged through the Inspire programme and Open Weekends. To add, the Cultural Olympiad will be climaxed in 2012, “bringing together leading artists from all over the world”. (London2012. com, 2010). These events, together with the atmosphere of the Olympic Games will create a unique phenomenon of the word unity during the two weeks and will give an opportunity to show the world all the positive sides of UK lifestyle and the potential of the British nation.