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The impacts derived from major events are enormous especially when effective and efficient strategies are applied to manage the event. The Olympic Games have been held after two years during winter or summer, and for the year 2012, London successfully won the bid to host the event. An Economic Impact Assessment prepared for the event to be held in London by Blake, (2005) estimates that a low of 9,399,414 and a high of 10,388,826 tickets will be sold. This gives the estimates of how huge the visitors will be.
Bedfordshire and other cities need to be very prepared to cash in on the influx of visitors during this period. The businesses must establish themselves before the games and also remain afloat after the games; this means they must be sustainable. Bedfordshire has its strengths and opportunities to attract the visitors and make the businesses benefits in their venture from the Olympics. Such strengths include a rich historic heritage and numerous tourist attraction sites. The business described offers catering, hospitality and accommodation services which must be marketed to the countries before the event. The business will have social, economic, and physical impacts during the entire period. For the business to be successful there is need to offer quality and efficient services which will be packaged to suit various clients during and after the games.
The Olympic Games are among the world's major events in which athletes from the world over take part in different competitions. The games are divided into two; the summer and winter Olympics where the host cities manage both the Olympic and the Paralympics games. The games are held after two years alternatively, and thus occur after four years of those specific seasons. These Games have a history dating as far back as 8th century BC where they were held in Olympia, Greece. Ever since then the games have seen drastic changes including the formation of the International Olympic committee (IOC) in 1894. This committee is charged with the responsibility of overseeing the running of these games (Malfas, et al. 2004).
The impacts of the Olympic are numerous and some remain immeasurable since the may not be identified immediately. These include both positive and negative impacts. The Olympics have been very instrumental in the nurturing cooperation and understanding of people's way of life in various nations and cities. It is an event where the best of the best in sports come to prove their skills while the audience cheers them on bringing a spirit of unison, love and peace. On the other hand, it improves the economic situation of the host city where residents reap the short term and long term after the event (Malfas, et al. 2004). However, there are also negative impacts occur which necessarily do not overtake the benefits of the events; there are also direct and indirect benefits involved.
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The report focuses on the business environment, marketing, and finance elements of the impacts that will be experienced during and after the Olympic games. Its main objectives include; describing and explaining the basic functional elements of business and a range of generic and specific environments in which businesses are active. To investigate and evaluate specific effects, influences and changes deriving from environments and unique situations in Bedford during and after the Olympics. To understand the purpose and role of the concept of Management; to describe, explain and apply models, concepts and techniques to specific business and management examples, problems and contexts. To demonstrate an understanding of the interaction between the functional elements of business; and to describe and evaluate a range of organisational structures, concepts, and models and apply them to a variety of current business institutions and organisations.
The last summer Olympic Games were held in Beijing city in 2008 and the 2012 games will take place in London, United Kingdom. London got the bid to host these games that will take place between 27th July to 12th August 2012 after beating the rival cities Moscow, New York, Paris and Madrid in a hotly contested voting on the 6 July 2005 in Singapore during the IOC 117th session.
UK enjoys and indeed has one of the best world's arts, commerce, healthcare, entertainment, media, tourism, professional services, transport and fashion making it one of earths leading city. Its business potential is stunning with a high GPD and numerous financial institutions in Europe. London hosting the Olympics in 2012 came after a successful bid following a decision on 19th October 2005; the Bedford Olympic Opportunities Support Team (BOOST) was formed to further the agenda of a successful bid.
Bedfordshire is strategically placed geographically to get the benefits from the successful London bid of the Olympics. The city has to ensure that the Olympics Games benefits trickle down to them. The factors that favour Bedfordshire is the efficient transport links to London, sporting facilities that exist in the city, a 2000m rowing lake in Willington, a multi-cultural community, plenty of accommodation, and sport science facilities. Bedfordshire is a city in the central part of England; which is ceremonial and historic city. It borders Cambridgeshire to the North-East, Northamptonshire to the North, Hertfordshire to the South-East, and Buckinghamshire to the west. Politically it has three unitary authorities which are the boroughs of Luton and Bedford and the District of central Bedfordshire.
The Economic Situation in other Host Cities
In a report by Blake (2005) "The Economic Impact of the London 2012 Olympics" identifies the nature of contention on the issue of the bid. Political ideologies had been brought to figure out the impacts of mega events to cities, however the bid was successful and they have to deal with the impacts both negative and positive. An economic impact assessment (EIA) conducted involved the spending on committees and individuals; spending on infrastructure; other costs involved such as transport, accommodation, food, and entertainment. The spending is accounted for in terms of goods and services and the spending is measured on how it translates to income to the businesses, employment and output to the residents.
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Previous Olympic Games have had their economic impacts to the countries they have been held since 1984. The Los Angeles Olympic Games was estimated to have a US $2.3 billion and created 73,375 jobs (Blake, 2005). The games held in Seoul 1988 provided approximately $1.6 billion and supported 336,000 jobs; for Barcelona in 1992 the economic impact was estimated to be $30 million and supported 296,640 new jobs Atlanta in 1996 was estimated at $5.1 billion and provided 77,026 jobs. In the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games generated US $ 5.1 billion and an extra 156,198 jobs (Blake, 2005).
The Sydney games not only generated income and employment in Australia alone but also in New South Wales (NSW). In the pre games period the gross domestic product was estimated at $ 546 for NSW and $ 564 for Australia. The Real Household Consumption for the pre games period was at $ 255 and $200 for NSW and Australia respectively. The employment was estimated at 101,000 and 111,000 for NSW and Australia respectively during the same period see table 1 (Blake, 2005). In the games year the GDP, the Real Household, Consumption and employment estimated at $1237, 255, and 24,000 respectively for NSW; and $1,128, $382, and 29.4 for Australia. In the post games period till 2006 the GDP, the Real Household, Consumption and employment estimated at $291, $273, and 3000 respectively for NSW, and $309, $473, and 400 for Australia. The Olympic Games in Athens in 2004 estimated an impact of US $ 10.2 billion and an employment figure of 300,400 (Blake, 2005).
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The London Estimates
The estimated spending in the London games was based on the visitors spending, costs of infrastructure, running costs and tourism costs. The benefits must be reflected in the nation i.e. UK, then in London (host city), and other regions around London. The revenues must surpass the costs for the nation to benefit economically. According to Brake (2005) the estimates for local sponsorships would be at a low of œ 240 million and a high of œ 590 million. The ticket sales would be at a low of œ 250 million and a high of œ 350 million. Transport would be at a low of œ 30 million and a high of œ 50 million. Asset sales would be at a low of œ 35 million and a high of œ 110. Catering would be at a low of œ 7 million and a high of œ 10. Television rights would be at a low of œ 410 million and a high of œ 500 million. TOP sponsorship would be at a low of œ 98 million and a high of œ 120 million. As indicated in table 2 a total estimate low of œ 1,164 million and high of œ 1,627 million would be expected in the event (Blake, 2005).
The operating costs would be in establishing new and refurbishing existing venues and estimated at a low of œ 23 million and a high of œ 46 million. Technology would be at a low of œ 240 million and a high of œ 300 million. Establishing an Olympic village would be at a low of œ 42 million and a high of œ 144 million. Administration would be at a low of œ 210 million and a high of œ 300 million (Blake, 2005). Providing security would be at a low of œ 16 million and a high of œ 27 million. Transport would be at a low of œ 50 million and a high of œ 60 million. Ceremonies and culture would be at a low of œ 30 million and a high of œ 60 million. Advertising and promotions would be at a low of œ 70 million and a high of œ 90 million. As indicated in table 3 a total estimate low of œ 931 million and high of œ 1089 million would be expected in the event (Blake, 2005).
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For Bedfordshire organisations need to tap into the visitors markets; this will mean investing in the accommodation, catering and hospitality sector. The businesses need to start planning for the numerous visitors in this period. Such investments need to encompass the whole period and beyond thus they must be long term. The estimates given by Blake, (2005) indicate that estimates of a low 9,399,414 and a high of 10,388,826 tickets will be sold during the Olympics. The athletes are estimated to be more that 11,550 while the number of officials will range from 7,200 and 8,800. In addition, there will be approximately 22,000 media visitors, 51,700 volunteers, and 7,700 sponsor visitors. The foreign Olympic family was estimated to range from 4,500 to 5,500 while the UK Olympic family will range from 2,700 to 3,300.
The social economic impacts
The major revenue source will involve selling of tickets; however there are other revenues from various activities that will be done by businesses in and out of the host city. As the visitors troop the venues they will contribute a lot to economic growth from their spending and consumptions (Zimbalist, 2010). There will also be jobs created by the events for instance establishment of business that will need attendants and also self employment.
The social impacts on the other hand may be negative especially in the host city where people may be evicted to give room for Olympic building and accommodation. For the purpose of the Olympic numerous funds are diverted to making the preparations and the actual event from the poor and low income earners. Social services are also at times interrupted to give way for expansion or so that they may serve visitors while the locals are pushed aside. The costs of products and services increase during this period due to the upsurge of visitors or expectations and speculations leading to higher costs of living (Zimbalist, 2010). For the business it must consider whether the decision to change its structure for the event will be sustainable not only for the one time but in the long run.
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The host city becomes home to very many people of different cultures, this will definitely affect the culture of the residents. The benefits of such events will be such as the residents will change their attitude towards certain things such as sports and get more involved (Lenskyj, 2000). The events can reinforce regional traditions and values and improve regional pride and community involvement. The country has a chance to showcase its culture which might attract visitors in future contributing to sustainable tourism. On the other hand the influence of culture by those who visit is also possible and this may cause loss of culture for the residents.
The event creates a chance to create very efficient and effective services to support the visitors. These physical structure and services established during the event will stay for a longer period and serve the residents later. These include stadiums, hospitals, hotels, and social amenities.
The local regional and central government are all involved in the preparations and the administration of the event. Therefore, political decisions are inevitable since public governance has to be involved (Lenskyj, 2000). The decisions made are subject to political interests and private profit making organisations.
According to Cashman (2002) in the article "Impact of the Games on Olympic host cities: university lecture on the Olympics" the impacts can be divided into four periods; they include firstly, the period when preparing for the bid and the winning of the bid to host the Olympics; secondly the seven years required for preparing for the Olympic games, thirdly is during the staging of the games which is a short period of around 16 days; and fourthly, is the period after the games.
The impacts that are likely to be experience for the host city consist of, change in the city design, the physical environment change, the influence of the culture, the improvements on infrastructure i.e. air, rail, and road transport. In addition there are costs and expenses that are involved, changes in decision making and governance, political changes and improved relationships (Zimbalist, 2010). It is no doubt that tourism increases tremendously where businesses benefit a lot from the spending from the sportsmen and audience. The sports require increased services and products such as venues and other facilities which are present even after the games. Moreover, communities create a common situation which will create an understanding environment thus more consultations and involvement.
For Bedford the bidding period is over and London has won the bid. Maximising the business, financial and marketing benefits from the event is the next move. Tapping into being a major participant in the Olympics will play a major role in sharing the cake brought to England by the visitors and sportsmen as they celebrate the Olympic spirit.
It is evident that the benefits do spill over to other town and cities that surround the cities hosting the games. In this cases since London is hosting the games, Bedfordshire stands to benefits from the event. This means that whether the organisation is offering products or services the stand to gain if they apply an effective marketing strategy (Lenskyj, 2000). The sales can be targeted to the various visitors present during the games. The visitors may include; international, sponsor, the broadcasters, the Olympic family, athletes and officials and domestic visitors.
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Each period generates different economic, cultural, social and environmental impacts to the organisations that take the advantage. The economic benefits run high during this time and businesses are always at their peak. The organisations in Bedfordshire need to keep their plans ready and invest in the services industry since at this time services are mostly demanded. Providing high quality services and very affordable services will attract the numerous customers to the city as tourists or participants.
In order to tap this potential the borough, local and central authorities need to have a strategy to attract the visitor to the city. Biding for tenders to build training centres, and other essential facilities will be the first step in exploiting the event. The organisations in Bedfordshire have to market themselves appropriately before and during the event, so that the visitors may visit the city (Zimbalist, 2010). Re-branding the city is necessary including all tourist sites and evaluation of the services and products organisations to ensure they will impress the visitors. The political will must be present in the ideas since any unstable area will be avoided by the visitors and might even have negative effects to the whole event. The environment in Bedfordshire is safe and friendly which will act as an added advantage to attract the visitor. It has a multi ethnic community that makes it easy for all visitors to fit in the society. Technological advancements also favour the organisations in the city since it is technologically advanced.
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The city also has numerous tourist attraction sites due to its rich history. Castles, museums, art galleries, national trusts, a heritage railway amusement and theme parks, and cathedrals will form part of the tourist attractions to the city (Lenskyj, 2000). Other strengths about the city are the presence of a networked transport i.e. rail, road and air that is linked to London making it easy for the visitors to commute to the venues and back. Its central location in the UK makes it better placed to attract visitors. The city however does not have a coastal beach that can attract beach lovers. Language is a very important factor and the use of English in the UK is a great advantage not only to the country but also the city of Bedfordshire (Lenskyj, 2000). Most visitors know English as it is the most spoken language in the globe. For those who don't know English the city and organisations will offer translators in various stations to guide the visitors.
The organisations in Bedfordshire can have a successful implementation of businesses that ensure they tap the numerous benefits to their city. Strategic planning is require to ensure the business prepare adequately for the Olympic. During the seven year preparation period they should aim at focusing on setting up the services required. Setting up of training venues so that they may attract visitors to the city is an important strategy. This will involve the local government which must have ideas to invest in such avenues. For the business organisations such as those that are going to offer accommodation, catering and accommodation services, they should aim at getting as much visitors as possible.
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They can start by building extra rooms in view of the fact that the number of visitors will be large. In this venture, the seven year preparation period is enough to establish the investment. There is need for a marketing strategy which will involve selling attractive packages to the participating countries. Such packages will include high quality services, and attractive offers that will make the countries participants and visitors opt for the services. This must be done prior to the effective date of the Olympics, to ensure the hotel rooms are booked to capacity before the event.
There is also need to have a strategy to ensure the clients have easy access to the game venue or are able to view the games from televisions at accessible places. Such as strategy would involve having buses to take the visitor to the venues and back to the hotel, including tours to different tourist sites in the city. Those who love swimming will not be left out since there can be artificial beaches developed during the construction of the facilities making it all inclusive. The clients should also be assured of security during their stay and a very efficient customer care should be in place to serve the customers better.
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