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Pyeongchang Olympics may generate $61 billion

‘Sapporo suggests that Pyeongchang will experience a boom in tourism.’

July 08,2011
Korea’s hosting of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics is expected to be a boon for the domestic economy, with economic institutes forecasting massive economic effects for years to come.

A Hyundai Research Institute report estimated on Wednesday that the games will generate 64.9 trillion won ($61 billion) in direct and indirect benefits.

Hyundai Research Institute’s analysis is the most recent to date. It forecasts direct economic effects of the 2018 games to come in at 21.1 trillion won, more than double the economic benefits reaped by the Korea-Japan World Cup in 2002. In addition, the institute predicted indirect financial gains to reach 43.8 trillion won in the decade after the Olympics.

Included in the indirect benefits, the institute sees Pyeongchang county reaping tourism gains of 32.2 trillion won, not including costs. Benefits to the brand image of Korea and Korean companies are estimated to hit 11.6 trillion won.

“In the case of Sapporo, Japan, the city emerged as an international winter tourist destination after it hosted the Sapporo Winter Olympics in 1972,” said Park Tae-il, chief researcher at the Hyundai Research Institute. “Sapporo’s precedent suggests that it is likely that Pyeongchang will also experience a boom in tourism in the next 10 years after the Winter Olympics have ended.”

The sense of euphoria is shared by all Korean research institutes.

The state-run Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade thinks the event will create 230,000 jobs. It also suggested that in Gangwon, where Pyeongchang is located, industries will enjoy production gains of more than 11.6 trillion won. It projects that the construction, airlines, lodging and hospitality sectors stand to benefit the most.

The Korea Culture and Tourism Institute predicts 195,000 international tourists will visit Korea to watch the Pyeongchang games, spending 392 billion won. The institute estimates that over 2,600 people from 80 countries will attend the games.

Corporations, particularly retailers, were fast to get on the Pyeongchang gravy train, having already introduced elaborate marketing campaigns. Hyundai and Lotte department stores kicked off a three-day sale today and gave away gift certificates to customers who spend over 200,000 won.

The convenience store Family Mart will start selling a 500 milliliter bottle of Gangwon Pyeongchangsu mineral water for only 100 won today through Ticket Monster, a social commerce site, which is an 86 percent discount from the original retail price of 700 won.


By Kim Mi-ju [mijukim@joongang.co.kr]



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