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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

The Games are here: What will the Olympics mean for the Queensland Economy

The hosting of the Olympic Games can have significant economic impacts on the Queensland economy. As one of the largest multi-sport events in the world, the Commonwealth Games attracts thousands of athletes, officials, and spectators from various countries, creating opportunities and challenges for the host region. Here are some of the potential economic effects of the Commonwealth Games on the Queensland economy:

Benefits of the Olympics for the economy

Tourism and Hospitality Boost

The influx of visitors during the Olympics results in increased tourism and hospitality activities. Hotels, restaurants, bars, and other tourism-related businesses experience higher demand, leading to a surge in revenue. This boost can be particularly beneficial for regions that experience seasonality in their tourism sector. Queensland has been slower to recover from the dip in tourism during Covid, so this will be a good opportunity for us.

Infrastructure Development

Hosting the Olympics often requires significant investments in infrastructure, including sports facilities, transportation systems, accommodation, and entertainment venues. While these upfront costs can be substantial, they can also leave a lasting legacy of improved infrastructure and facilities for the host region, benefiting residents and businesses long after the event concludes, and Queensland needs this badly! Don't believe me, drive along Ipswich road in peak hour.

Job Creation

The preparations for the Olympics and the event itself generate a considerable number of jobs across various sectors, such as construction, event management, hospitality, security, and transportation. The increased economic activity and job opportunities can have positive effects on employment rates in the region.

Small Business Opportunities

The Olympics provide a platform for local small businesses to showcase their products and services to a diverse international audience. Small businesses in the host region can benefit from increased exposure and potential business opportunities during the event.

Enhanced International Reputation

Hosting a major sporting event like the Olympics can enhance the international reputation of the host region. Positive media coverage and exposure can attract more tourists, investors, and businesses to Queensland in the future.

Cultural and Arts Promotion

Alongside the sporting events, the Olympics often include cultural and arts festivals, showcasing the region's creativity and cultural heritage. These events can draw local and international visitors, boosting cultural tourism and supporting the local arts community.

Potential Negative Effects of The Olympics on the Queensland Economy

There are challenges that come with hosting a major event like this. Every country that has hosted the Olympics in my memory have had issues with completing projects on time. Let's look at some other potential challenges that hosting the Olympics pose for the economy.

Economic Challenges

Hosting a major event like the Olympics also presents economic challenges. The upfront costs of infrastructure development and event management can be significant and may require careful financial planning. There is also a risk of overestimating the long-term economic benefits, leading to disappointment if the projected economic impact falls short of expectations.

Cost of Housing Pressures

We have already felt the affects of rising rents and limited availability of housing. Hosting the Olympics will put even more pressure on locals as visitors seek short term accommodation. Couples with rising interest rates, this may push some locals past breaking point. This could lead to increased homelessness and more people seeking social housing.

Environmental Impact

Hosting a large-scale event can put pressure on the region's natural resources and environment. Careful planning and sustainability measures are essential to minimize the environmental impact and leave a positive legacy for future generations.

High Cost

Organizing a major international event like the Olympics requires substantial investment in infrastructure, stadiums, transportation, security, and marketing. These costs can often exceed the initial estimates, leading to budget overruns and putting a strain on the host country's finances.

Opportunity Cost

The money spent on hosting the Olympics could have been allocated to other sectors or projects that might have a more significant and sustainable impact on the economy, such as education, healthcare, or poverty alleviation.

Short-Term Benefits

While there might be an influx of tourists and increased economic activity during the Games, these benefits are often short-lived and may not be enough to justify the long-term investment.

Strain on Local Businesses

Small and local businesses can face challenges during the Games, as they may have to compete with large-scale sponsors and face increased regulations. Some businesses may even be forced to close temporarily due to disruptions caused by the event.

Infrastructure Oversupply

In some cases, host cities build new stadiums and facilities specifically for the Games. However, after the event, these facilities may become underutilized or even abandoned, leading to a waste of resources and maintenance costs. Personally, I think Brisbane needs a major investment in infrastructure, particularly roads and public transport, so hopefully this lead to a positive. We have a huge growling population due to many people leaving Melbourne and Sydney to come to our beautiful sunny state - and not enough has been invested in infrastructure to meet the demand.

Debt Accumulation

If the host country relies heavily on debt to finance the Games, it can lead to a higher debt burden and potentially affect its credit rating, making it more challenging and expensive to borrow money in the future.

Displacement and Gentrification

Preparing for the Games can lead to the displacement of local communities and gentrification of certain areas, resulting in social issues and inequalities. Woolloongabba and West End are great examples of this already.

Uncertain Returns

The economic impact of hosting the Olympics is not always guaranteed. There have been instances where the expected economic benefits did not materialize, leaving the host country with a financial deficit.

Diversion of Resources

Hosting the Games can divert attention and resources away from other important issues and long-term economic development strategies.

Image and Reputation Risks

If the Games face logistical issues, security concerns, or other negative incidents, it could damage the host country's international image and reputation, impacting future tourism and investment.

In conclusion, the Olympics can have substantial economic impacts on the Queensland economy, with potential benefits such as increased tourism, job creation, infrastructure development, and enhanced international reputation. It has also contributed, I believe to the upswing in house prices. However, it is crucial for the Queensland Government to manage the event efficiently, plan for potential challenges, and maximize the long-term benefits to ensure a successful and sustainable outcome for Queensland's economy. And I don't know if you've had anything to do with the Queensland Government recently, but we can only hope they are up for the challenge.

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