SBD/Issue 241/Olympics

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  • Vancouver Seeing Early Benefits From Hosting Winter Olympics

    Vancouver Benefiting From Increased Foreign
    Investment, Tourism Following Olympic Games

    There is “growing evidence that in the first six months after the Olympics, Vancouver and British Columbia have been accruing benefits faster than anticipated, in community facilities, jobs and business investment,” according to Jeff Lee of the VANCOUVER SUN. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson Friday said that the Games have so far “delivered more than $70 million in direct investment into Lower Mainland companies, creating 120 jobs and helping boost the region’s reputation as a place for progressive small and mid-sized companies.” Robertson: “The result have vastly exceeded what we expected. This is the gift that will keep on giving.” Foreign investment “spinoffs aren’t the only measure of the benefits of having hosted the games.” There is also the “impact on international tourism, the growth of large-scale convention bookings, and benefits the new sport facilities are providing both as community recreation and training centres of elite athletes.” Tourism Vancouver VP/Marketing Communications & Member Services Walt Judas said, “We don’t expect to see the full benefit of the Games for some time, but what we are experiencing now is a pretty phenomenal growth.” North American tourism in B.C. is up 6%, and Judas said that that is a “trend that is directly attributable to the Games.” Meanwhile, Lee noted one of the “most enduring legacies from the 2010 Games is knowledge transfer.” A consortium of B.C. education facilities specializing in tourism and “mega-event hospitality training” this year began “helping organizers of the 2014 Sochi Olympics prepare for employment and volunteer opportunities” (VANCOUVER SUN, 8/28). Vancouver 2010 Exec VP/Venue Construction Dan Doyle recently traveled to Russia and “left convinced the Russians would be ready to throw the world’s next winter extravaganza.” Doyle: “I looked at the quality of the workmanship, the quality of their scheduling, whether they’re getting it done ahead of time. There’s no doubt they’ll have the venues ready for the Games” (Vancouver PROVINCE, 8/29).

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