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This house believes international sporting events are beneficial to the host country - Essay Example

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This house believes international sporting events are beneficial to the host country. Introduction The number of cities competing to host the Olympic Games is on an increasing trend and financial investments committed to the event are growing. The expenditure associated with hosting Olympics Games Beijing in 2008 were the highest in the history of the event (ETOA, 2010, p…
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Download file to see previous pages The most obvious appeal of hosting a large scale sporting event is that it creates a suitable platform for the host destination to market its facilities and culture to the world. The image portrayed during the event creates an influential impression on the viewers, which determines future visits to the destination (Solaf, 1998, p. 44). Since the inception of Olympic Games, the number of participants and viewers has been increasing. In 1984, only 140 countries participated in 221 events at the games. In the 2000 Olympic Games, the number of participating countries increased to 199 while the events rose to 300 (Shaffer, Alan and Celine 2003, p. 83). During the 2008 summer Olympic Games in Beijing, a record 204 nations who are members of National Olympic Committee participated in 302 events (Liauw, 2010, p. 28). These figures show that hosting Olympic Games is one of the largest tourism advertising opportunities that the host country and city can ever have. The wide media coverage of the event promoted the image of the city in the international market by displaying the good infrastructural framework, diverse Chinese cultures and the excellent living conditions in the city (Campanella, 2008). Analysts explain that this effect occurs through the enhancement of both pull and push tourist factors (Hinch, and Higham, 2001, p. 70). According to Kearns and Philo (1993, p. 75), pull factors are the positive and tangible attributes of the host destinations. They include cultural and historical attractions, good infrastructure, security, facilities for leisure activities and other opportunities including favourable shopping amenities, accommodation and other supporting services. China has a rich historical and cultural background that includes the Chinese Great Wall. The media coverage during the event provided a valuable opportunity for marketing such scenic sites to the world. Push factors are intangible tourist motives, associated with stimulating the desire of people to travel to a particular destination for leisure activities (Solaf, 1998, p. 247). Six years before hosting the Olympic Games in 2008, the number of tourists arriving in China increased by about 6 percent annually (ETOA, 2010). In 2007, a year before the event, 132 million foreign tourists visited the country. Moreover, the event stimulated domestic tourism from 644 million in 1997 to over 1 billion tourists in 2007 (Zhang and Zhao 2007, p. 79). Hosting the Olympics games require heavy capital investment and critics argue that the anticipated benefits do not justify the cost. Construction of infrastructure associated with hosting of the event contributes the largest proportion of the costs (Preuss, 2000). There is hard evidence, however, which proves that hosting the Olympic Games does have a lasting and positive effect on the economy of the host region. In 2009, the number of tourist arrivals in Beijing increased and exceeded the 2008 arrivals (ETOA, 2010). The 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona stimulated tourism industry in the city profoundly. Before the Olympics, tourism accounted less than 2 percent of the city’s gross domestic product (GDP). After conclusion of the event, tourism in Barcelona has been on an increasing trend and currently, it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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