Economic Impacts of Olympic and Paralympic Games

As the countdown to the XXXIII Olympic Games continues, the question of their potential impact is becoming more pressing. While the full impact will only be measurable after the event, lessons can be learned from the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the most recent major international sporting event to be hosted by Paris and by France.

During the Rugby World Cup, more than 420,000 international visitors stayed in France for an average of ten days. A staggering 98 percent of those surveyed said they were satisfied with their stay in Paris and 80 percent said they intended to return. This positive experience is reflected in the economic impact of the event, which generated spending of €1.8 billion. Of this, €585 million was spent on tourism, with 39 percent benefiting cities and regions outside the host cities. In Paris alone, foreign visitors contributed €102 million in spending during this period.

An interesting aspect of the study is its focus on the environmental footprint, noting that the carbon emissions of the Rugby World Cup were three times lower than those of UEFA Euro 2016. This reduction was largely due to the use of existing infrastructure — a strategy that will also be used for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games, with 95 percent of the venues being either existing or temporary structures.

Beyond the tangible financial and environmental impacts, there are also intangible benefits to be considered, such as the positive impact on inclusion, employment and health. These aspects, although initially difficult to quantify, are being methodically assessed through a sophisticated evaluation process. This methodology is already reported to beyielding promising results.

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