Impact in Rio Olympics Games
The modern Olympics have grown rapidly to become a global phenomenon that attracts hundreds of millions of dollars in hosting the event and billions in television contracts. Twynam and Johnstone (2004) discovered that many countries bid to host the event because of the anticipated benefits the games will bring to their nation especially economic growth. However, the host nations use a lot of money from the national funding and preeminent cities to stage an economical and cultural showcase so as to achieve long term and short term goals. The paper will discuss the economic, social and environmental impacts of hosting the Rio Olympics game. The paper will also discuss the benefits and costs that the city will incur in the lead up to the event, the event itself and the five years following.
The cost of hosting an Olympics can be divided into several categories. These are; the bidding process, the cost incurred towards the Olympics, the cost during the games and the post-Olympic costs. Brazil will benefit from bidding through a wide exposure from tourism, politicians and many others. The exposure will improve the image of the host city, thereby, increasing the number of tourists who visit the country. However, these benefits do not come cheap because a lot of money is used during the bidding process. The Olympic committee will have to look into many issues such as the capability of the nation in terms of finance, security and the willingness of the citizen to host the event.
The country will largely benefit from infrastructure projects. The infrastructure such as the transport system can be used during the event and also years to come. At the moment Rio is establishing a popular tourism site that will attract more than 1 million visitors each year. The country’s tourism industry is expected to grow and double to more than 3 billion visitors every year (Hoffmann et al, 2002). This is a large number, and in turn the retail and local industry will benefit a lot. Electricity and construction industry will also benefit from the Olympics games. The two industries will greatly benefit in the periods leading up to the event. The tourism industry will benefit during the event. In addition, the IT and telecommunication sector will benefit from higher demand from international visitors and job creations. The social economic impact is both short term and long term benefits. The short term impact is likely to be small compared to the long term impact. However, it is a clear that investment in the infrastructure will play an important role in economic growth in the long term. With the improved railways, marines and roads, Brazil will increase efficiency and attracting more investors. The countries export products such as iron ore, coffee and soya beans will benefit due to the increased demand from international markets (Hoffmann et al, 2002). In addition to hosting the Olympics games, it will also improve the country’s image building going forward. At the end of it all the economic benefits of hosting the event will be higher than the actual financial gains (Levy, 2013).
The event will create the opportunity for the construction of new sporting events which can be used in the future to bid for other major international events. Hosting an Olympic requires nations to construct new sporting facilities as well as restructuring the existing ones. In addition, there will also be infrastructure development that is not directly related to the event. For example, leisure facilities, open spaces and commercial centers that will improve the physical appearance of the cities in which the event will be hosted (mafias et al, 2004). The event will also trigger urban development in large scale. For example, in the 1992 Olympics games in Barcelona, the government invested a lot in the new transportation systems and the improvement of the coastal region which now has a new Olympic village, marina and sandy beaches which are very attractive (Malfas et al, 2004).
However, Brazil may incur a negative economic impact for hosting the event such as increase tax burden, price inflation, and mismanagement of public funds. According to Bass (2008), some individuals are against the event because they perceive as wasting money due to the construction of public facilities and other costs such as security equipment. For example, during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, many people came out to oppose the event since the estimated cost of hosting the event was over $40 billion (Bull & Lovell, 2007).According to Holloway (2009), investing huge amount of money on such events, does not always justify the benefits drawn from the event. The event may also prevent business travelers from visiting the country during the event because of traffic congestion.
The event will definitely have a social impact because people will be socializing together especially during the games. All sporting events have direct cultural and social impact on their participant (Bowdin, 2010). Some of the social impacts may include boosting the image of tourist sites, improved traffic conditions, and the promotion of sustainable tourism (Kubo, 2014). The event in Brazil will reinforce cultural and social identity by enhancing strong ties within the community. The Olympic games will play a key role in enhancing the sense of place and also contributing to a shared local identity. However, this will take place if the local community sees the importance of the event. In some cases, huge events may have a negative social impact. For example the event in Brazil may experience an increase in criminal activities, prostitutions, increased with the price of goods and services, dislocation of locals, antisocial behavior, an increase in traffic congestion and parking problems (Bowdin, 2010). The local people will perceive that the increase in traffic congestion is because of the increased number of tourists who will be attending the event and other tourist destinations in the country. The residents of the cities in which the event will be hosted will experience disturbance in their lifestyle, crowding, noise and vandalism. These negative impacts will lead to bad press, damage to the stakeholders, community and the participants.
The local communities who live near the tourist destination sites will benefit more than those who live far from these sites. They will have a positive attitude and perceptions of tourism. However, the resident will deal with the rise of traffic congestion and litter. Residents who use, the local recreation facilities will have a different perception than those who do not use (Home & Whannel, 2012). Residents who will see tourism as a way of damaging the environment will have a negative attitude toward the event, than those who look into tourism an incentive to protect and preserve the natural environment. Deccio and Baloglu (2002) noted that the majority of the residents where the Olympic games have been held have been supportive and understanding of the changes that happen during the event.
During the event, there will be an increased securitization. According to the organizing committee in Rio, there will be an increased number of police officers involved during the games. The military will also be involved. The government has invested more on Closed Circuit Television networks, facial recognition technology, and mobile location tracking. There will also be an increased residential property market during the event, especially in Rio. Many citizens will be forced to relocate to other residential places during the event and economists have speculated that the price of rental houses will still go up even after the event.
In recent years, security has been a major concern in terms of terrorism, especially at the Olympics games. Governments spent a lot of money during such major events to boost security. According to Peritz and Eoyang (2014), terrorist target the opening and closing ceremonies of sporting events. The increased terror threats have brought risk management as an important subject of mega sport event planning, which has led to tough measures being put in place by the organizers. In the year 1972, athletes from Israel were attacked by an unknown number of people.
Hosting such event means that addition cost, especially for environmental health will be incurred. Noise pollution in the country will definitely go up due to increase in traffic, railway and air transportation and the increased number of people in the cities. Outdoor activities and entertainment joints will also play a huge role in the increase of noise pollution. This also means that more smoke will be emitted into the atmosphere. According to Mongillo and Zierdt-Warshaw (2000), emitting a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere can lead to health complication and a rise in the global temperature. Littering throughout the cities and the sport facilities will also be considered to be a major problem. The organizers will incur additional cost of using a contractor to collect and transport litter. In addition, there will also be a cost of disposal at the landfill, and also the cost of collection and disposal of toilet waste. Clearing of huge acres of green lands to enable the construction of the sporting facilities is a huge environmental impact.
Although in many situations, the Olympic Games have a negative impact on the environment; it can also bring several environmental benefits. These include the use of renewable energy sources, a new standard in the construction industry, upgrade of water and sewage treatment, innovation in the environmentally friendly technologies, new waste management system, and finally environmental education programs.
The benefits of hosting the Rio Olympics games in 2016 will be more than the costs incurred. The infrastructure that will be put in place such as the roads will be used for economic prosperity even after the event. The stadiums and other sports facilities that will be constructed to host the event can be used to bid other international events in the future. Hosting the event will market the country’s tourist destinations. These tourists will continue coming back to the country. The greatest challenge for the government of Brazil is to ensure their security during, and after the event.
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