July 10, 2008

Are the Olympics Bad for Tourism?

ETurboNews reports on a finding that hosting the Olympics seems to damage future tourism statistics.

This is a fact worth pondering within our community since the construction of accessible infrastructure for the Olympics and Paralympics is one of the arguments we have used to support the games as contributors to Inclusive Destination Development.

Perhaps there would be less of a falloff in tourism if a city's Olympic Planning Committee was truly committed to Universal Design (Inclusive Destination Development) and began a campaign presenting their post-Olympic messaging before and during the games. The message would highlight accessible "easy travel" by people of all abilities.

Tom Jenkins, executive director of the ETOA [European Tour Operators Association] , argued that the tourism benefit of staging the Olympics was something of a myth, saying that the effect of staging a large sports event is to scare regular visitors away from host cities, not just during the events themselves but in the months leading up to them.

“The principal problem is the impression that everything will be overcrowded and overpriced and this blights a region,” Mr Jenkins said.

As visitors become deterred, the effect on subsequent demand becomes detrimental, losing the momentum of sales and suppressing marketing, he added.


Posted by rollingrains at July 10, 2008 02:56 PM