Some events get everyone talking, whether it’s the Olympic games or the world cup, and for the host countries, this is likely to lead to a boost in tourism. Whether it’s visitors flocking to the region for the event itself or future tourists who visit after seeing coverage online and on their TVs, there’s a lot to be gained.
Join the Waterfront Hotel – a spa in Bedfordshire, who will explain with us just how great an impact these events can have, as it explores the impact that past events have had on tourism.
London 2012 – The Olympic Games
London was host to the Olympic Games in 2012 — and the magic of home soil led to Team GB having one of its most successful competitions ever, scooping 65 medals overall, with 29 of them golds!
Pressure was on public transport, as the London Underground carried 4.4 million passengers on a single Friday during the games — more than any other day in its history. Of course, visitors for the Olympics did also explore more of London during their visit, with footfall in Piccadilly, Haymarket, Shaftesbury Avenue and St. James’s all increasing by 11% compared to the week before the games began.
The London 2012 Olympic Games attracted 590,000 visitors. While concerns were raised that general tourists would avoid the capital during the games because of how busy London would be, the average spend of Olympic tourists was significantly higher than other visitors. For example, while general visitors to the city spent £650 on average, those who were here to see the games unfold spent £1,290 — almost double. From these figures then, it’s clear to see that, as the lure of the Olympics drew visitors to Britain, it also increased their spending power.
The positive perception of London, and indeed the UK, as a result of the games’ exposure is has reportedly led to continued strong tourism in the years following. According to a government release from 2013, hosting the Olympic Games secured at least £28 billion in economic impact, with £600 million added to the visitor economy over the course of the games.
Brazil World Cup 2014
A huge 1.7 million tourists visited for the tournament when Brazil hosted the world cup in 2014. Despite only taking place between June and July, these visitors actually made up 27% of the total foreign visitors to the country in 2014 as a whole. Compared to the same period in 2013, visitor numbers were up by 96%.
Brazil’s performance exceeded the predicted 600,000 visitors who were anticipated to watch the tournament, while also out-performing 2010’s host South Africa’s 310,000 visitors. The country did, however, fall behind Germany’s two million visitors in 2006.
Along with the increased number of visitors, around $1.578 billion in foreign currency was added — which clearly had a positive impact on the country’s economy.
Of the country’s visitors who made the trip to the country purely for the football, 95% said they would make a return visit in the future.
The Royal Wedding 2018
A topic on everyone’s lips this year has been Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding at Windsor Castle. It has been reported that 11 11 million Brits watched the ceremony unfold live, an estimated 150,000 people lined the streets of Windsor to catch a glimpse of the newlyweds and join in the celebrations. And the majority of these visitors are arriving from overseas. On Friday 18th May — just 24 hours before the wedding took place — Heathrow Airport reported over 125,000 passengers would arrive, up 15% on the Friday before. What’s more, Eurostar travel was up 54% for journeys between Brussels to London against the same period in 2017.
It has been reported that some hotels were charging up to £10,000 per stay for hotel accommodation within Windsor due to demand being so high! Of course, these premium hotels were in a prime location to catch a glimpse of the couple.
And, while the day itself may be over, Windsor is expected to enjoy the tourism benefits long into the future. Around two billion people across the world watched the wedding and it’s expected that many who have been wowed by historic Windsor will take a trip to the UK.
The number of tourists visiting Britain from overseas will grow by 4%, spending £26.9 billion while they’re here — up 7% on 2017’s figures, according to VisitBritain The number of visitors from America is on the up too, potentially a result of newlywed Meghan’s US heritage. There will be a predicted 15% rise in US visitors to Britain this year, adding £3.4 billion to the country.
While Windsor’s royal connections have always attracted tourists, the Royal Wedding has clearly amplified this appeal on a global scale.
Russia World Cup 2018
The following country to host World Cup was Russia. Head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism, Oleg Safonov, believed that 1.5 million visitors would join them for the tournament, while it was also predicted that the event would have a long-lasting, positive impact on Russian tourism.
If previous major events are any indication of Russia’s potential success, there’s a very good chance the country will reap the tourism benefits both in the coming weeks and in the future. Only time will tell just how significant this success will be.
From looking at the tourism figures behind some of the world’s most prominent events, it’s clear to see that these events can act as a trigger for future tourism. The events catapult the host country into the consciousness of potential tourists and, once the dust settles and the events are over, it’s down to the countries themselves to maintain this momentum and continue to attract visitors from across the world.