Former Host Cities Continue to See Olympic Gains

Cities across the globe vie for the chance to host the Olympic Games. Remember the stiff competition surrounding the most recent bid among Chicago, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo and Madrid?

It's no surprise that many destinations would welcome the Games with open arms. Not only do they tend to bring a big economic boost, they also carry the so-called "halo effect" that puts many destinations on the map for years to come.

Just consider Atlanta, which hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics. Despite the recent downturn in corporate business, the city has kept doing well thanks to its leisure and sports appeal, both of which were established during the Games.

"We now have major sporting events, whether it’s an NCAA Final Four or an NBA All Star Game," Lauren Jarrell, director of communications for the Atlanta CVB, recently told Hotel Interactive. "And we just hosted the largest cheerleading competition in the U.S."

Kimberly Rielly, director of communications for the Lake Placid/Essex County Visitors Bureau, which hosted the 1932 and 1980 Winter Games, agrees that hosting the Olympics encouraged the construction and improvement of venues that keep the destination popular today.

"Fall leisure travel has increased steadily, and the venues have allowed us to host groups such as Can Am hockey, which fills in the 'shoulder' seasons in spring and late fall," Rielly told Hotel Interactive.

"This has really helped to keep Lake Placid's name on the map," added Sue Cameron, administrative assistance in the visitors bureau office. "We have a very successful tourism business here."
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