The 2012 Olympics was a massive boost for the UK. The games generated a buzz across the country that lasted the entire year and, in some areas of Great Britain, can still be felt now. Not only was it good for the economy and the vast majority of native industries, it also inspired and encouraged a generation of younger people (and some older) to get active and pick up new activities they had perhaps never thought of before or not done for a while.
Give sport a chance
Although the Commonwealth Games don’t hold the same prestige as the Olympics, it does allow sports – specifically athletics – to grab hold of the limelight and enjoy the attention it wouldn’t normally garner. It helps produce a momentum that encourages a generation to rediscover a love for all sport that can easily be pipped to the podium by social media and games consoles.
Sports and activities are becoming more popular; we saw this at Center Parcs during and after the Olympics. Some of the 200 activities available throughout the year vastly increased in demand, particularly those affiliated to the games. For instance, bookings for canoeing increased by 30 per cent, rowing boats by 16 per cent, table tennis by 15 per cent, fencing by 6 per cent, badminton by 6 per cent and target archery rose by 4 per cent compared with the same period from the previous year.
Short break revival
Events such as the Commonwealth Games and the Winter Olympics keep all sport at the forefront of the nation’s mind and boost the feeling of achievement and pride within the country, especially when Great Britain win medals like we have in the Sochi Winter Olympics recently. The same feel-good factor is not just important for UK sport, but for a lot of other industries. The tourism industry in Scotland, specifically Glasgow and Edinburgh, will receive a huge boost while the Commonwealth Games take place between July 23 and August 3. The country will host up to 6,500 athletes and officials from 71 Commonwealth countries; around one million tickets will be sold for more than 250 sports events.
The games will leave a lasting legacy in more areas than sport. Tourism is expected to rise 4 per cent, with 100,000 additional tourists estimated to visit Glasgow in the three years following the Commonwealth Games. According to Clyde Waterfront, the anticipated net economic benefit to the city is £26m, while the benefit to Scotland will be £81m.
The additional exposure from media coverage and the influx of sporting enthusiasts will highlight the excellent facilities and picturesque scenery the UK has to offer. Although this year’s Commonwealth Games are held solely in Scotland, tourists are expected to explore the myriad cultural offerings further afield. Could this be a winning combination for the revival of short breaks in Scotland and the north of England?