Transport and Tourism Investments for Hosting Big Events: the Case of the 2013 Meditteranean Games in Volos, Greece
M Vougioukas, S Divane, G Thymiakou, EuroTrans Consulting, GR
The likely impacts of bidding for and potentially hosting big sporting events, on transport and tourism development investments: the case of the Meditteranean Games to be held in Volos, Greece, in 2013
Cities bidding for and potentially hosting big sporting events can benefit from transport and tourism development and investments that otherwise would not be possible. The example of the Athens Olympics in 2004, which left an advanced and high-quality transport system implemented in record time for Greece, is clear. Tourism transport facilities also benefited by the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In London too, several transport and tourism improvements are anticipated for the 2012 Olympics currently in preparation. In all cases, there is a need for such investments to be safeguarded for future use after the end of the event they are aimed to serve initially. In some cases adaptations are also required for the use of transport facilities during the events (the so-called 'overlays').
The paper after reviewing the experience of the Athens 2004 Olympics transport infrastructure and facilities four years on (ex-post), also reviews the preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games in terms of tourism transport planned facilities (ex-ante) and draws some comparisons between the two cities and lessons for other cities that aim to host similar big sporting events.
The case of the Mediterranean Games to be held in Volos and Larisa, Greece in June 2013 will be assessed on the basis of similar events in medium-size cities. The Mediterranean Games are considered as small Olympics, given that they include several games at various venues simultaneously. In this respect it may be argued that the Mediterranean Games for Volos will be what the Olympic games were for Athens as far as the transport and tourism development and facilities are concerned.
A combined transport and tourism development strategy is put forward in order to capitalise on the expected benefits of the 2013 Mediterranean Games in the city of Volos for an early stage. In particular, the case for a new, light Tramway system linking several sport venues in Volos urban area and a Suburban Railway linking Volos, the Mediterranean Village and the city of Larisa is assessed.
Conclusions are drawn on how similar cities can exploit the benefits and the legacy of hosting big sporting events for their transport networks and tourism development.
Association for European Transport