Counting security measures, Greece has spent a bundle when compared with other Olympic hosts -at total of five billion to seven billion euros at last count- nevertheless, if Greece doesn’t recoup the expenses involved in staging the Athens 2004 Games, it will be the first in decades not to do so. With a proper strategy and good organization, countries staging the Olympic Games can reap economic benefits, and not just on a short-term basis, according to a recent study released by the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
According to the study, which deals with the Olympics of the last two decades, the Games staged by Seoul in 1988 are considered the main factor behind the reduction of South Korea’s public debt and led to a rapid rise in the country’s tourism receipts, growth of its sports goods and entertainment industries, and development of its electronic and telecommunications technology sectors.
The chamber report also notes the significant economic impact of the Barcelona Games of 1992. The direct investment between 1987 and 1992 amounted to 82.4 percent of the total cost.
The Atlanta Olympiad of 1996 benefits included the international promotion of Atlanta as an attractive city for sports events, conferences and tourism.
The organizers of the Sydney Olympics 2000 provided a huge boost to Australian tourism and retailing. Revenue exceeded $6.1 billion, while about 1.6 million tourists spent an estimated $6 billion in 2001.