University of Wolverhampton

Undergraduate Degree

BA (Hons) Tourism Management

Module LI2010

Sports Tourism

Element One - Essay

Major Sporting Events

Module Tutor Crispin Dale

Student Number 0522679

Date: Monday 26th March 2007

Staging mega sporting events such as the Olympic Games, The World Cup, and The European Championship (EURO) could be argued to be counterproductive for nations and host destinations.

This essay will look at the background and history between the Athens Olympic Games in 2004 and Euro 2000 which was co-hosted by Belgium and Netherlands. With some references to the Montreal Olympic Games in 1976 and Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

Looking at statistical and economical evidence. Evaluating if there is any such argument that a mega sporting event is counterproductive. Holloway (2006, p.261) could be said to argue against the question that mega sporting events can be counterproductive as he suggests that the economic benefit of these events to the destinations where they are hosted can be enormous.

A mega sporting event forms part of sport tourism not only does an event attract participants but also spectators. Weed and Bull (2004) report classification in sports tourists to be, Primary sports tourist to be “sport tourism participation is the primary reason for travel”.  Associated experience sports tourists where sport is the primary reason for travel but only in their field of interests e.g. golf, horse riding etc. Tourist interested in sport “sport is not the primary trip purpose”

Sports tourism is as reported to be by Holloway (2006, p.261) most successful, “sports tourism will draw the greatest number of tourists to any one site”.

Barcelona held the 1992 Olympic Games; the city boosted much needed investment and underwent a huge urban renewal programme in the run up to the Games. With the vast investment and renewal programme this made Barcelona one of the most important cities in Europe for short breaks. Previous to Barcelona hosting the 1992 Olympic Games, tourism only accounted for less than 2% of gross domestic product (GDP). Ten years later the tourism GDP has risen to 12.5% HOLLOWAY, J,C. (2006. p.261). So not only did tourism rise during the Olympics but Barcelona has kept the tourism figures rising. Isla Binnie (2005) reported in the Observer newspaper that the 1992 Barcelona games was the ultimate Olympic success, and has sustained a rise in tourism. When Barcelona won the hosting of the Olympic game’s the city not only developed stadiums to host the games but also regenerated the city.

What was once a derelict quarter of the city is now attractive to consumers? Public areas, gardens, buildings were revamped and even the sculptures in the city were made respectful of the city’s history and not incongruous with their surroundings (Isla Binnie, 2005). Tourist number to Barcelona increased from 4.1 million in 1991 to 8 million in 1999 BINNIE, I. (2005).  This is how Barcelona has managed to increase its tourism figures by not only concentrating on the Olympic Games but also looking at the future of the city. The Olympian village build for the Olympics is in use even today by local people schools, visitors etc. This all generates income but also keeps the buildings in use and in good repair.

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Holloway (2006, p.261) suggests that Olympic Games tickets are in such high demand as the Olympics attracts sports enthusiast from around the world. This alone suggests that Olympic Games are a sure success for any hosting nation doesn’t it? That’s not so the case as Athens hosted the Olympic Game’s in 2004, but they experienced some disappointing turnouts (believed to be cause by the high hotel price increases during the games) and is unlikely to break even, due to the huge investment in infrastructure to support the games. HOLLOWAY, J,C. (2006 p.261).

Isla Binnie (2005) reports that ...

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