Never Let Your City Host the Olympics, Part CXXIII


The economic benefits of hosting the Olympics:

The Olympics come to London; tourists gag and spit.

The boom to the economy that the Government hoped the Games would bring to [London] appears to become a bust with tens of thousands to tourists spurning the hiked prices, congestion and heightened security.

While bookings for July and August are down by 35 per cent on last year other European capitals appear to be prospering from London's gloom.

French ministers, who lost the Olympic bid to Britain, might be quietly rubbing their hands with glee not only for dodging the £10 billion Games bill but also with a 50 per cent rise in tourism bookings. Similarly Barcelona and Berlin have seen their tourist numbers soar by 100 per cent over the summer….

[JacTravel CEO Terry] Williamson added that "normal tourism" in other Olympic capitals such had Sydney, Beijing and Barcelona had dropped significantly during the Games and "took some time to recover".

Previously in Reason: When London beat Paris for the right to host the 2012 games, we greeted the news with the headline "Lucky Paris."

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  1. When DC-Bal'mer lost the bid for these Olympics, I just about threw a party to celebrate. Still, I was already hatching plans to rent out my house for several thousand $$$ and leave town for the 2 weeks.

    1. Unless you live two blocks from the Swim or Gymnastics centers, nobody will want to rent your house - especially if it was the DC/Baltimore are with more suburbs than pretty much anywhere (except maybe New York - considering the entire state of NJ). We had family down in Atlanta that was trying to do that and it didn't work then - pretty much "For Rent" goes on EVERY single house in EVERY single neighborhood within 30 miles of the city the second everyone hears "Holy Shit, I can get $2-5k for my little house - those Europeans Asians are suckers."

  2. Yet people never seem to learn from all the past Olympic money destroyers.

    My personal recommedation is to permanently host the Olympics in Greece, not only will it return to its traditional home, the permanent fixture should benefit Greece and it will also save all the other countries in the world a lot of money.

    1. IIRC the Athens Olympics were a total catastrophe, as Athens didn't really have the capacity to support the event.

  3. Government-Olympic Committee fuck-ups aside, I hope the United States wipe the floor with everybody, including the second-place nation, by the widest margin ever. Winning big on Limey Island would be terrific.

  4. London is a uniquely bad place to host something like the Olympics. It was already extraordinarily expensive and congested, and it isn't as if land around London is in abundant supply.

    1. Hong Kong 2016!!!

      1. I'm think more like Ulan Bator. Plenty of open space around there. And they could use yaks to ferry everyone around.

    2. Yup. Great place for a soccer tournament though.

  5. A gold medal in the 100 meter Schadenfreude.

  6. I wonder if they lowered their prices to normal levels if that might sway tourists. It's almost like there are these crazy things called incentives.

    1. London is already obscenely expensive, so it's interesting that anybody noticed. The only thing reasonable there is food (because it sucks) and ale (which is a good thing).

      True story: in a London pub (anywhere, really, they're kind of standardized) a full pint of something like Old Speckled Hen or Bombardier will be ?4.00, and a bottle of Bud Light or Miller Lite with be ?4.50. And guess which one those tasteless goofballs suck down into the late hours?

      1. They're also really hostile to foreigners when they've had a few in London pubs. Beware of the younger ones especially -- they're particularly bloodthirsty.

  7. That the tourism stats weren't already against Britain is what confuses me.

    I would rather visit any of France, Germany, or Spain. If someone offered me a free trip to Britain, especially London, I'd consider staying home. (Now, if it was the countryside somewhere in the UK, we might have a deal.)

    1. I've always liked England. London's kind of insane and expensive, but there are some neat things to see. You could probably spend a few days in the British Museum alone.

      1. I'd love to go to London, but athletics are approximately last on my list of reasons to go.

      2. Purely as a sight-seeing vacation, it's not bad. Except Liverpool.

  8. I really enjoy the Olympics as a sporting event. But the expense for the host is just absurd. Will cities ever figure out that investing a few billion in sporting facilities will not be a net economic benefit?
    It woudl make a lot more sense if they tried to have it in cities that already have facilities to accommodate it. But then the IOC would have to feel less awesome and omnipotent.

    1. I'm a little surprised that greater London doesn't already have sufficient facilities to host the games. Of course, they wouldn't be the gold-plated type of facilities necessary to attract the attention of the IOC. Quite the scam.

      1. They had Wembley already, but yeah, they had to add an extra layer of gold.

    2. But then the IOC would have to feel less awesome and omnipotent.n't get its cut.

      Same reason why the US lost to Qatar for the World Cup. We had all the stadiums and infrastructure built already. No room for kickbacks there.

  9. Did anyone else do a double take at the alt text?

    1. Lisa Simpson giving a blow job. This is old news.

  10. I wonder if tourism is up in other European cities because London residents want to get out of town during the Olympics...

  11. Thank FSM Chicago "lost out" on 2016.

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