The Olympics’ closing ceremony seems not too long ago; people are still talking about it at the moment, especially getting ready for the Paralympic games 29 August – 9 September 2012 – and our key goal was to be winning as many medals as possible, which we seemed quite good at (we finished 3rd, by the way!) However, one of the perceived great impacts of hosting the Olympics is economic. Of course, it is about showing off our nation and welcoming all different cultures to our country, but mainly, it is a way to boost the economy. And the UK’s economy is definitely in need of a boost.
The Construction Industry
Current statistics in regards to the construction industry show that 12,635 people have been employed to work on preparing London for the Olympics. This is a huge increase on the figure of 10,000 people initially expected to be employed. Furthermore, 426 apprenticeships were created for young people through Olympic construction, helping young people gain experience and kick start their careers.
However, these jobs were mainly focussed in London, with 25% of people living in areas next to, or close to, the Olympic Park, which creates some questions about the disproportionate impact the Olympics is able to have across the UK.
Nonetheless, the construction industry has been able to help London undergo the largest regeneration project of its time; helping to turn it into a truly modern city, and will have further external impacts too.
Jobs and training have been able to have a huge impact on the GDP growth of Great Britain. The Telegraph recently estimated that the games could potentially create and support around a total of 354,000 years of employment and that is across the UK – both through direct employment and through developing skills of the working population, raising their prospects of jobs in the future.
Let’s not also forget the volunteers that have helped to make the Olympics a huge success – they may not be paid for their work, but this has provided many people with valuable work experience for them, a chance to get close to the live action, and contributed to the overall experience of many visitors. This work experience can help many younger people improve their CV and increase their job chances in the future.
Also, it is interesting to look at the impact on businesses, and how countless may be impacted directly or indirectly through the Games. Shropshire based Golden Bear are a key example, after winning the bid to manufacture the mascot for the Olympics. It has since signed multimillion pound deals with Lloyds TSB and BMW.
The impact of the Olympics on tourism is something that is quite disputed among many. Surveys so far have shown that 66% of businesses saw a significantly lower inbound tourism bookings and visitors compared to the same period of July 23rd – August 12th in 2011. This survey included tour operators, hotel and tourist attractions. Experts feel that many of the usual visitors will have avoided London at this time of the year. Furthermore, after months of preparing for horrendously busy tube stations, residents of London were met with surprising quiet transport links throughout the two week period. Is this a sign that we weren’t as busy as we should have been?
Despite this negativity, others are arguing that it will take months and even years before we can understand the full impact on the tourism industry. In looking at previous Olympics hosts, such as Sydney, we can gain some idea of how Great Britain may improve. It is estimated that The Sydney games helped increase international visitors by around 78%.
Overall revenue vs overall spend
It is estimated that around £9.3 billion has been spent on the Olympics so far, £27 million of that being for the opening ceremony alone. This is an incredible amount of money, and it is over £5 billion over the budget proposed when we pitched for this – which causes many people some concern. However, it is predicted that the Olympics will boost the economy by £16.5 billion in total, which is still a nice little profit! This is expected to come from an increase in economic input, consumer spending and an increase in residential incomes, through renting and increased demand for services.
Team GB spirit
Even if some sceptics may be doubting the overall benefit the Olympics is able to have on the country, there is one thing that perhaps nobody can deny – and that is the impact it has been able to have on the spirit we as a national have, and our pride in our own home countries. So far, we have excelled in all opportunities to show off what we can do, and experts are now claiming this is having immediate effects on our general happiness. The Olympics has been able to restore our faith in the country, and everybody is starting to feel a little more patriotic. Our wallets may not yet be bulging, but that is a great achievement in itself.
About the Author: This article was written by Adam B who is passionate about sporting events and the positive impacts they have for destinations. If you are interested in Construction Jobs check out the latest vacancies online today.