With the London Olympic Games barely 100 days away, London’s economy is expected to get a major boost from the added tourism interest in the city and surrounding areas, due to the influx of international visitors.
While the summer 2000 Olympic Games held in Sydney failed to ignite the city’s economy, the 2008 Beijing Olympics were quite successful in boosting the Chinese economy.
The UK government’s estimated investment in the London Games is £10 billion, mainly for the construction of venues, and the completion of important infrastructure projects and hotels and new retail outlets in East London. The investment is said to have revived the economy of East London, with its effects expected to last far beyond the completion of the Games.
British Consul-General, Danny Lopez, said, ‘This is not about the 28 days of the games, it’s about what it means for the future of the country, for the future of our generations and, economically, it’s a transformation of East London. This is an area that didn’t have that before, didn’t have the transport infrastructure, didn’t have the know-how.’
The government expects to generate around £2 billion in tourism revenues from the games, as well as gaining from the development of the area with 11,000 new homes and around 8,000 new employment opportunities.
London is expecting around 800,000 extra bus passengers and will be running 4,000 train services during the games. While around 1.5 million travellers visit the UK in August in a typical year, this year, with the Games opening on July 27, 2012, the number of visitors to the city is expected to rise to 2.5 million.