World Cup Blog: Studying the Economic Impact of a ‘World’ly Event

29 Jun

The allure of hosting a mega event, such as the World Cup, is something that many countries compete for year after year. This makes you think that there would be an immediate economic impact and many positive draws from putting on such a spectacle.

We visited Stellenbosch University, outside of Cape Town, South Africa, and discussed this topic with a few top professionals in the area. There was a lot to learn about the landscape behind this tourist attraction.

One of the main aspects to understand is that sport tourists are different than traditional tourists. Generally, when people vacation in Africa they come for the “big 5” wild animals associated with the country, safaris, beaches, and other traditional tourist incentives. However, especially in these economic times, people aren’t going to be as likely to spend their dollars in these areas. For the most part, soccer fans spend money solely on tickets, food, and drinks.  At the same time that these sports visitors are keeping their pockets closed, other tourists are not visiting. Due to increased flight and hotel prices brought on by the World Cup, non-soccer fans generally won’t come to the host country during 2010.

South Africa has spent over $52 billion dollars to build stadiums, infrastructure, and other costs directly related to the World Cup. One positive of hosting such an event is that there are now better roads and resources to move forward with. However, the total monetary cost is an appalling number. To put it in perspective, Beijing spent $48 billion to host the Olympics, and this was the most of any Olympic event, to date.

Just like many think that there are economic benefits, many also assume that the event is providing many jobs. That’s true, but unfortunately those jobs usually are not permanent. There were over a million jobs terminated last year, and 100,000+ World Cup-related jobs lost this year due to the construction of stadiums and roads being completed.

At the end of the day, there are many immediate numbers that don’t support a positive picture of the World Cup in South Africa. It will take between 10-18 years to actually see the economic impact of this event.  Regardless of the figures, it is the infrastructure and word of mouth that the country is hoping to benefit from and build upon. It is up to the visitors, such as myself, to explain the beauty, love and impact that visiting South Africa can have on people.

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One Response to “World Cup Blog: Studying the Economic Impact of a ‘World’ly Event”

  1. Bar Fridge · November 4, 2010 at 2:16 pm #

    there are many tourists attractions to choose from, the only problem that we have is the money to spend to see most of them .

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