Economic impact of The World Games difficult to predict for tourism leaders

They point to large crowds and great merchandise sales as factors to a potential boom
Economic impact of the World Games so far
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 7:49 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There are only a few days of competition left at The World Games 2022, and tourism leaders are starting to focus on the economic impact of the international competition.

Still, officials stress projecting the final dollar amount has always been difficult and they won’t have a lot of answers until after the international competition.

It is difficult for a number of reasons. In Thursday’s presser, tourism leaders pointed to the lingering impact of COVID-19 as well as how long ago it has been since The World Games took place on U.S. soil.

It has been over four decades since The World Games were held in the states.

For the sake of context, that was back when Reagan was president and the last two world games sites have been in Columbia and Poland.

Two vastly different cultures, with very different hopes for their bottom lines, and city tourism leaders believe the differences make economic impact harder to forecast.

“It has been difficult to forecast, but I will tell you this. The numbers of people we have seen and the hoteliers that are giving us positive feedback in terms of what their occupancy has been. To me it speaks to a significant economic impact,” Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Vice President of Sports Sales & Marketing David Galbaugh.

Some officials predict 30,000 international guests are spending time in the Magic City.

Still, city and tourism leaders stress extensive studies will be done following the games conclusion before we know just how well Birmingham did during the international competition.


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