Olympics hosts see falls in tourist numbers after Games

07 July 2008 by
Olympics hosts see falls in tourist numbers after Games

Countries that host the Olympic Games subsequently suffer a fall in tourist numbers, according to new research.

According to industry trade body the European Tour Operators Association (ETOA), cities bidding to stage the Olympics exaggerate the benefits of hosting the event and pay a price later.

The ETOA research, reported in the Financial Times, highlights that previous Games host Greece has been falling behind the growth rates of regional competitors Croatia and Turkey since the Olympics was held in Athens in 2004.

Australia's growth rate has also failed to keep apace with New Zealand's since it held the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.

Executive director of the ETOA said that the tourism benefit of staging the Olympics had always been something of "a myth", saying that visitors are often "scared off" in the months leading up to a large-scale event.

The research comes after a report by BBC News claimed Beijing's hotel operators had seen less visitors in its Olympic year than during the same period in 2007.

The UK government predicts that the Olympics will boost tourism revenues by £2.1b over the next 10 years.

In May hotel experts warned of the dangers of overpricing hotel rooms during the London Olympics in 2012.

Tourist numbers fall in China's Olympic year >>

London Mayor scraps Ramsay chefs' Beijing Olympics trip >>

Hotels overcharging during Olympics could harm UK tourism >>

Read more on the London Olympics here >>

By Gemma Sharkey

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