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Economic impact of the Olympic Games Report



Olympic Games are among the popular sports events that bring people across the globe together. History indicates that Greece was the first country and the initiator of the games. The games that take place after every four years bring all the member countries together. Approximately 200 countries who have competitive athletes participate in the games (Nola, Sheranne & Heather 2012, p. 125).

Owing to the popularity of the games, many spectators across the globe travel to the host countries to experience these spectacular games. Countries that have hosted the games have testified the various impacts in terms of economy, social, and environmental that these games have had.


This report aims:

  1. To identify the economic, social, and environmental impacts resulting from hosting of Olympic Games
  2. To give a detailed analysis of the identified economic, social, and environment effects of Olympic Games


The report revolves around the realm of the various economic, social, and environmental implications that come with hosting of Olympic Games. These three variables are important, as they get a lot of attention from both the organisers of the event and the host countries.

The report gives a brief history of Olympic Games, which is important in laying a foundation of the report besides evaluating the various issues relating to the game in the host country. Furthermore, the report provides some findings and suggestions that can be of great use in the future games.


In compiling of the report, information was obtained from various credible sources. Both secondary and primary sources of information were used for both information and analysis. Secondary information was obtained from books, magazines, manuscripts, and newspapers. Adequate and reliable information was also accessed from the World Wide Web such as information from the government websites, electronic libraries, among others.

Primary information was also used in compiling the report. This information was found through observation, interviews, and administration of questionnaires to the relevant persons and organisations. They provided their opinions about the economic, social, and environmental impacts they believed to be associated with Olympic Games.

Analysis of findings

Economic effects of Olympic Games

In the recent past, various countries expressed interest in hosting the Olympic Games. The interest of many countries was due to perceived economic benefits that they could reap while hosting the games.

However, the athlete’s body has come up with guidelines that enable it to select a country that hosts the games after every four years. From appendix one, it is true that indeed hosting Olympic Games comes with economic benefits on the host country (Chengli, Huai, & Hsiou-Wei 2011, p. 11). The games attract a large number of people, spectators, and even commercial companies.

The hosting country needs to set aside colossal sums of money to enable successful hosting of the games. The costs include those related to construction of tracks, accommodation houses, improvement of transportation, and ensuring that there is enough food and consumables to cater for the visitors. This early preparation requires heavy capital investments. Therefore, those countries with stable economies are able to meet these standards.

Because of these heavy initial expenditures, most countries that host the games expect that their economy will get a boost when the games are hosted. The cost of hosting these games runs into billions of shillings. For instance, for the last 50 years, the most expensive Olympic Games were those that were held in London. The games cost 50 billion US dollars (Chengli, Huai, & Hsiou-Wei 2011, p. 12). Part of this expenditure went to the advertisement of commercial products: the products and services of the host country.

The games, however, have positive economic impact on the economy of the host country. These games are popular and, therefore, attract huge audiences: spectators, media houses, sponsors, participants, and all sorts of people from both within and without the host country. The amount of revenue that is received from these people is far much higher than what is used in preparing for the games.

Revenue comes from the services provided to the visitors such as catering, accommodation, transportation, and game tickets among many others. Furthermore, this event allows a country to market its tourist services, landscape, fauna, and flora boosting its level of income (Dick & Qingwei 2010, p. 861). Various people who visit the host countries spend much money touring the areas of tourist attractions. This enables the host country to get more foreign exchange that helps in increasing its gross domestic product.

The host country enjoys wider media coverage. This allows the host country to be known to the international countries across the globe. These spectacular scenes such as historic landmarks like Hampton Court, Greenwich, and Buckingham palace among others are broadcasted to the media hence helping in promoting tourism.

This game gives a country an opportunity to sell itself to the outside countries. Income from tourism may begin to trickle in after the events are over. This helps to promote the economy of the host country. For instance, in the case of the recent Olympic Games hosted by London, it is estimated that new visitors are expected to bring £2 billion between 2008 and 2017 (Dick & Qingwei 2010, p. 863).

Two thirds of this revenue will be generated after the games are over. Therefore, these games are associated with positive economic growth. A country may spend more than what it expects to get. This leads to economic downtown. Hence, even if the games are of benefit, proper planning is a prerequisite in achieving positive economic growth (Shina, Adam & Rhodri 2011, p. 19)

Social impacts on Olympic Games

Olympic Games play a vital role in socialisation. These games host many people from different works of life. The competition gives an opportunity to all people across the globe to participate without any restriction or discrimination. People of all races, ages, status, education, and marital status are brought and united together to compete for different awards.

This resonates with the goal of the Olympic Games, which calls for unity and respect of all humankind. The goal reads, “Place everywhere sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, with a view to encouraging the establishment of a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity” (Nola, Sheranne & Heather 2012, p. 127)

According to Ion, Elena, Denisa and Daniela (2011), one of the fundamental reasons that compel or make states to request to host these Olympic Games is the obvious potential inherent positive impact on people coupled with an improvement of the social status of the hosting country (p.1806).

This is an indication of how these games help in transforming, developing, and promoting social cohesion among people from different communities. The games provide a platform upon which people with different socialisations come to share and appreciate one another.

The games, therefore, increase the social integration and cooperation of people. This integration is achieved through partnerships and collaborations that ensue between different people during the games. This cooperation is also reached through the development of local enterprises and other initiatives that are in line with the Olympic Games. The games also allow empowerment of the disadvantaged members of the society.

These people are provided with employment opportunities, as they are contracted to assist in the construction of infrastructure keeping the country’s environment clean while others sell products to the visitors hence enabling them to get money for their self-upkeep. Such individuals are likely to be employed in different regions because of having a wide spectrum of the social life (Ion, Elena, Denisa & Daniela 2011, p. 1806).

Related to social aspects is culture. Every society has its own culture that it conforms to, or which helps it to be differentiated from other communities. The host country has its own culture in terms of the way of dressing, talking, working, or even building houses. Events such as Olympic Games allow people to meet, learn, and appreciate other people’s culture, which helps to enhance social integration (Nauright 2004, p.1325).

There are also negative social impacts that Olympic Games have on the host countries. The visitors may influence negatively on the morals of the citizens. During such games, tourists and other visitors behave badly. They engage in immorality, drunkardness, and drug abuse, which may lead to the spread of such behaviours to the locals thus affecting the moral decency of the people (Buhalis 2001, p. 441)

Environmental effects of Olympic Games

Environmental conservation is one of the critical issues that have surfaced in most of the arguments when a host country is being selected. The environment of the host country is expected to be conducive to support human life (Andrea, Calvin, & Max 2008, p. 828). The city or the country needs to have sufficient water, abolitions, and general clean environment.

However, it becomes difficult for countries to ensure that the environment remains clean when these games are going on because of the large number of people in the country. Most rules and bylaws are ignored by the visitors, which compromises on the need to ensure that environment and surroundings are kept clean. In most countries that have hosted the Olympic Games, instances of spoiling the environment are experienced frequently with some happening without the knowledge of the people.

For instance, during the construction of the stadium and other social amenities that are going to host the visitors, air is polluted through emission of dust. This dust may cause health problems to the workers especially those that have a history of suffering from asthma (Konstantaki & Wickens 2010, p. 337). The construction and demolition of structures, cutting of metals, and iron produce a lot of noise that is a nuisance to the people.

This pollutes sound, which may have a negative effect to the life of the workers. Looting, hooting of vehicles, and the increase in transportation of both wastes and people from one area to another causes a negative influence the environment. This noise pollutes sound through the movement of vehicles from one point to another, thus, causing air pollution because of the burning fuels that emit carbon dioxide to the atmosphere (Xing et al. 2009, p. 4536).

Another environmental effect that is related to environment is the increase in soil and ground water contamination. This contamination occurs due to the frequent disturbances exerted on the soil during construction. This disrupts the existing ecosystems besides causing relocation of habitats and loss of waste management infrastructure.

One more environmental result of hosting of Olympic Games is the level of pollution on the environment with litter may increase. This litter may cause health problems to animals such as cattle and goats that may feed on them. Furthermore, they make the surrounding look indecent.


From the report, it is evident that, Olympic Games have both positive and negative impacts on the economic, social, and environmental status of the hosting and the participating countries. The games attract the attention of the whole world and participants from all lifestyles.

Even though the initial resources required to prepare for the games are enormous, the economic befits that come later and during the games are worth. However, there is a need for planning and budgeting for the expenses to ensure that high expectations are achieved.

An important boost to economy is publicity, which enables a high number of tourists to visit the country hence bringing foreign exchange that increases the gross domestic product of the host country. Olympic Games have some social impacts on the host country. During the games, people interact, and share their ideas with others. This experience helps to enhance social integration between people from different communities and cultures.

Environment is one area that faces challenges when these games are hosted. Environment is at stake from the time the construction of infrastructure begins to the time the games end. Dust from the construction sites poses a health hazard to the workers. It may even cause diseases such as asthma (Xing et al. 2009, p. 4536). Therefore, proper policies should be enacted to ensure safety and promotion of environmental conservation.


Andrea, C, Calvin, J, & Max, M 2008, ‘Assessing the environmental impacts of mega sporting events: Two options?’, Tourism Management, vol. 30 no. 6, pp. 828-837.

Buhalis, D 2001, ‘Tourism in Greece: Strategic Analysis and Challenges’, Current Issues in Tourism, vol. 4 no. 5, pp. 440-480.

Chengli, T, Huai, C, & Hsiou-Wei, L 2011, ‘The Economic Benefits of Mega Events: A Myth or a Reality? A Longitudinal Study on the Olympic Games’, Journal of Sport Management, vol. 25 no. 1, pp. 11-23.

Dick, C & Qingwei, W 2010, ‘The economic impact of the Olympic Games: evidence from stock markets’, Applied Economics Letters, vol. 17 no. 9, pp. 861-864.

Ion, l, Elena, l, Denisa, M, & Daniela, L 2011, ‘The Psychosocial Impact of the Olympic Winter Games Organisation on the Romanian Tourism’, 2nd World Conference on Psychology, Counseling and Guidance – 2011, Procedia – Social and Behavioural Science, vol. 30 no. 1, pp.1806-1810.

Konstantaki, M & Wickens, E 2010, ‘Residents’ Perceptions of Environmental and security Issues at the 2012 London Olympic Games’, Journal of Sport & Tourism, vol. 15 no. 4, pp. 337-357.

Nauright, J 2004, ‘Global games: Culture, political economy and sport in the globalised world of the 21st century’, Third World Quarterly, vol. 25 no. 7, pp. 1325-1336.

Nola, A, Sheranne, F, & Heather, G 2012, ‘Considering legacy as a multi-dimensional construct: The legacy of the Olympic Games’, Sport Management Review, vol. 15 no. 1, pp. 125-139.

Shina, L, Adam, B, & Rhodri, T 2011, ‘Modeling the economic impact of sports events: The case of the Beijing Olympics’, Economic Modeling, vol. 3 no. 1, pp. 19-23.

Xing, W et al. 2009, ‘Evaluating the air quality impacts of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: On-road emission factors and black carbon profiles’, Atmospheric Environment, vol. 43 no. 30, pp. 4535-4543.

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