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January 16, 2002

Study projects economic benefits of 2010 Games bid

FORT ST. JOHN - A winning bid for Vancouver/Whistler to host the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympic Games, combined with an expanded convention centre in Vancouver, could generate $5.7 billion to $10 billion in direct economic activity, a study by the Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise indicates.

The Games and expanded centre would also create an estimated 118,000 to 228,000 direct and indirect jobs across the province, plus $1.3 billion to $2.5 billion in total tax revenues, in addition to other major benefits, such as permanent community and sports legacies.

"We committed in our New Era platform and last year's throne speech to aggressively support and champion B.C.'s bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympics," Premier Gordon Campbell said. "The Olympic bid is an opportunity to showcase our province internationally - to show the world British Columbia is open for investment and ready to lead again. This study highlights the potential for what we can achieve as a province."

The study was prepared by the ministry's capital projects branch. It is based on the most recent cost and revenue estimates available from the 2010 Bid Corp. and presents a range of low- and high-impact projections. The corporation's estimates are based on the experiences of previous Olympic host cities, including Calgary in 1988. The tourism projections are based in part on the province's own experience with Expo 86.

It emphasizes that the economic rewards of hosting the Games will largely depend on how well all partners co-ordinate their efforts to achieve a balance between the total costs of the Games and the visitor volumes that can be generated before, during and after the Games.

Campbell noted options for private-public partnerships will be key in considering new infrastructure, including an expanded Vancouver Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"The bid is an opportunity for local governments, the province and the federal government to work together to build stronger communities and new opportunities for all British Columbians," said Ted Nebbeling, minister of state for the 2010 Olympic bid.

The interim study provides an initial base of financial data from which to predict the economic impact of hosting the Games. It will be updated as more information becomes available from other sources, including the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.


The study is online at


Mike Morton
Office of the Premier
250 213-8218


Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise


Findings of the study conducted by the capital projects branch, Ministry of Competition, Science and Enterprise, January 2002: Benefits of successful mega hallmark events:

- Long-term economic benefits from visitors who come as a result of an event's worldwide exposure are larger in total than short-term economic benefits.

- Hallmark events foster a public sense of economic momentum. This, in turn, fosters new investment and economic growth.

- Mega events have a profound impact on the international convention business in host cities. Sydney increased the number of international convention bids it won by 34 per cent after it was chosen in 1993 to host the 2000 Games. Barcelona achieved a 21 per cent annual compound growth in international delegates in the six years following the 1992 Games and a 29 per cent increase in the year of the Games.

Benefits to tourism:

- International media exposure increases awareness and pushes international visitor volume to a permanently higher plateau. In the 14 years before Expo 86, British Columbia's share of total international visitors to Canada was between 9.5 per cent and 11.6 per cent. During Expo 86, this jumped to more than 17 per cent. Since then it has increased every year from 12 per cent in 1987 to 17.4 per cent in 2000.

- Vancouver and Whistler in particular and British Columbia in general will have their profiles raised throughout the world, strengthening tourism. Before the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, Alberta had an average annual growth of annual international visitors of 0.25 per cent (1972-1985). In pre-Olympic years the number of visitors grew by five per cent in 1985 and eight per cent in 1986. In the Olympic year, growth surged to 12 per cent and then retained all of its post-Olympics gains, with an average annual growth of 3.25 per cent for the first five post-Olympic years. This compared with an average annual loss of 2.5 per cent for the rest of Canada, excluding British Columbia.

- International tourism in Norway increased by 43 per cent between 1990 and 1994 leading up to the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, probably as a result of increased media awareness generated by the upcoming Games.

- The Games could be expected to replicate the enduring economic and psychological stimulus achieved with Expo 86.



Communications Branch
250 952-0615

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