Olympic Games and Tourism Development

 

Recently, mass media pays attention to a new international design competition to choose a new stadium for Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This became news because the old design is over-budgeted and criticized by many prominent Japanese architects. However, the controversy on a new stadium may not be more important than attracting more people to visit Japan because the tourism development is their long-term strategic plan.

The Japanese government has set up a goal to increase the number of foreign tourists per year to 20 million by 2020. Mega-events such as hosting Tokyo 2020 Olympics is absolutely a catalyst to help Japan reach the goal. Just nearly two years after the 2020 Games announcement, some exciting data have been release by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). A total of 13.4 million international tourists visited Japan in 2014. This means nearly 30% increase from the previous year. By May 2015, the accumulated number of tourists have already reached over 7.5 million which means the total of tourists will reach over 15 million by the end of 2015. This indicates that it is possible to reach 20 million tourists by 2020.

It is undoubtable that tourism helps economy, builds country image, and improves infrastructure. United States is also working hard to make a successful bid to host an Olympic Games. Unfortunately, both New York bid for the 2012 Olympics and the Chicago bid for the 2016 Olympics were disappointed. Although America’s previous two attempts are embarrassed, the third attempt is coming. Boston is chosen as candidate for 2024 Olympics. As Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said, the selection is “an exceptional honor” and it recognize Boston’s talent, diversity, and global leadership.

After Budapest became the fifth city to announce a 2024 Olympic bid, Boston has four strong competitors including Hamburg, Paris, and Rome. Before IOC members vote on the 2024 Olympic host city in September, 2017, Boston still has two years to promote and improve herself, Unfortunately, Boston pulled out of Olympics bid on July 27, 2015.  U.S. is a role model for diversity and global leadership for rest of the world, I want to see a U.S city is chosen to host 2024 Olympics.

Dr. Erwei Dong is the Chair of Recreation Management at the Academy and can be reached at edong@ussa.edu.

 

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