Do the Olympics Create Sustained Increases in International Tourism?

Kathleen H. Gruben, Georgia Southern University
Steven E. Moss, Georgia Southern University
Janet Moss, Georgia Southern University


The purpose of this study is to examine international tourism as a legacy of the hosting the Olympics. Sustained tourism after the Olympics is hypothesized to be a result of the massive media coverage of the event and the host city. The media exposure is thought to create a positive image of the host city and generate international tourism. The largest media market for the Olympics is the US. In this study air passenger traffic from the US to eight Olympic host cities is analyzed pre and post event. Time series models are used to forecast the trend in US air passengers to each city. Tests for increases in passenger volume during and post Olympics are performed. The results show no sustained increase in international tourism from the US to the host city in the post Olympic period.