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The Olympics and Tourism

With the Summer Olympics set to begin in about six months, all eyes are fixed on London, the city that will be hosting the games. Once it was selected to host the 2012 summer games, the city set about redeveloping many areas where events would be held. While the city was doing this, tourists rushed to get coveted tickets for certain events, while hotels and other tourism facilities set about creating special Olympic themed packages and offers, all at extremely high prices. For American tourists, London is anything short of a bargain due to the exchange rate between the pound and the dollar. Couple that with hotels charging almost double what they do for normal rack rates, I can only imagine the enormous amount it is costing people to attend the summer games in London. This leads me to wonder what makes people spend thousands of dollars (if not more) on airfare, hotels, meals, and tickets, all to watch a sporting event? In the March 14 2011 issue, the British periodical the Daily Mail, reported that “many of the capital’s hotels intend to raise their prices during the Games and one hotel intends to charge five times the normal tariff according to a report by the Financial Times.”


I will admit that my favorite part of the Olympics are the Opening and Closing ceremonies. I love seeing all of the nations announced, the athlete carrying their country’s flag so proudly, especially in 2000 and 2004 when North and South Korean olympians marched together carrying a blue and white reunification flag.

The Olympics, both summer and winter, are almost always held in incredible destinations (Sydney, Australia, Vancouver, Canada), all places I would love to visit. However, I’ll wait to visit them when hoteliers and other tourist industries don’t increase rates to ridiculous highs if their city is chosen to host the games. I enjoy watching some of the events on television, but I don’t like them enough to ever aspire to seeing them in person at what it would cost.

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