Assessing the economic merits of hosting a major international sports tournament needs a long-term view, says a new QNB Group report released here Saturday.
Hosts of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar could benefit from such a perspective. The long-term perspective starts years before the sports event.
Preparations to host World Cup call for major investments in sports and infrastructure such as roads, transport network, hotels and services.
These investments provide a major economic boost like higher GDP growth. They also create employment opportunities, the QNB report says.
The resulting increase in income provides a second-round boost to growth. The infrastructure-building stage can help the economy grow faster for a few years up to the tournament.
It is important to transform this temporary economic boost into a permanent gain for the economy, lasting well beyond the sports event.
A vision for the economy beyond the World Cup should consider three important issues.
First, the World Cup provides a clear milestone to carry out investment projects. Many projects may not link to the World Cup, but the host country needs them nonetheless.
The World Cup provides a focal point and clear deadline to complete these investment projects.
Second, hosting a World Cup can transform the country's image resulting in long-term benefits. The event can increase global awareness of the host country and make it an attractive tourist destination.