You’ve Seen it on the TV – Now Would You Go?

Hidden Paradise in Brazil

A hidden paradise in Brazil. Will the country see ongoing increases in tourism following the World Cup?

Over the period of the 2014 World Cup, HotelsCombined has seen an 1800 per cent increase in the number of international hotel bookings in Brazil, when compared year-on-year.

While this high number of bookings will not necessarily be sustained over time, it prompted us to ask the question – do world class sporting events, like the Olympics or the World Cup, genuinely translate into increased ongoing tourism in the country?

We decided to look back at some of the most historic sporting events to see the effect they have had on host countries.

1984 was the point in which major international sporting events started to become profitable and ultimately beneficial for their host country.

It appears that 1984 was the point in which major international sporting events started to become profitable and ultimately beneficial for their host country. Sarajevo and Los Angeles hosted the Winter and Summer Olympics in 1984 and both events turned a profit for their host countries for the first time since 1932.

Prior to then, it wasn’t particularly desirable to host the Olympics – Montreal was famous for racking up a $1.5 Billion debt after hosting the 1976 Olympics.

A flame runner in the Sochi Olympics

A flame runner in the lead up to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014

The Summer Olympics of that was different from the previous Olympics in the sense that it wasn’t sponsored by a country’s government. Instead the funding for the 1984 games came from corporate sponsorship and exclusive TV deals and ultimately, the result was a $250 million profit and an economic boost for the city.

The LA Olympic Games showed the rest of the world how to run sporting events. Since then most international sporting events have turned a profit and hosting international sporting events has been shown to have positive side effects on the economy.

Research shows that hosting a mega-sporting event like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games can have a permanent positive impact on the country’s national exports and trade.

Some research shows that hosting a mega-sporting event like the FIFA World Cup or the Olympic Games can have a permanent positive impact on the country’s national exports and trade. Our data shows that these events do tend to create an increase in both international and local hotel bookings at the time of the event and during the period after.

The 2012 London Olympics were very profitable for London, generating an increased and more sustained growth in tourism and in international hotel bookings in the year following the Games.

Tower Bridge in London

The London Olympics generated an ongoing boost to tourism

Following the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Russia saw an 80 per cent increase in local traffic and an 80 per cent increase in international traffic during the summer period following the Olympic Games.

Brazilian Regional Manager of HotelsCombined, Bruno Trindade says that the ongoing effect of the 2014 World Cup on tourism in Brazil will be difficult to measure so soon after the event, but that consumers will ultimately benefit.

“Cities like Rio de Janiero and San Paulo in particular will continue to see the effects of the global focus of the World Cup. These cities already boast high numbers of tourists year round. While the amount of tourists visiting the smaller cities, like Manaus, will likely decrease following the completion of the games, we predict that the larger cities will continue to benefit,” Mr Trindade said.

Cities like Rio de Janiero and San Paulo in particular will continue to see the effects of the global focus of the World Cup.

“During the world cup, hoteliers saw an increase in the number of international bookings close to stadiums for game-day and then a dramatic decrease in the number of bookings until the next game. It will be interesting to see if the global attention from the World Cup will translate into increased tourism in the next few months as hotels lower their prices to maintain bookings”.

What do you think? Would you be more likely to visit Brazil now, given the publicity in the region during the World Cup?

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