Several senior travel industry figures have welcomed the election of Brisbane as the host city for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) members voted to elect Brisbane and south-east Queensland as host of the Games of the XXXV Olympiad overnight in Tokyo, two days before the opening ceremony for the Olympics.
The secret ballot session saw Brisbane receive 72 ‘yes’ and five ‘no’ votes from 77 valid votes.
IOC president Thomas Bach said: “We encourage Olympic Games projects which are sustainable and economically responsible, which deliver the best possible Games experience for athletes and fans, and which leave solid legacies for local communities.
“The Brisbane 2032 vision and Games plan fit into long-term regional and national strategies for social and economic development in Queensland and Australia, and complement the goals for the Olympic Movement outlined in Olympic Agenda 2020 and 2020+5, while focusing on providing memorable sports experiences for athletes and fans.
“Today’s vote is a vote of trust that Brisbane and Queensland will stage magnificent Olympic and Paralympic Games 2032. We have heard a lot of positive feedback from IOC members and international federations in the past few months.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the state’s fundamental approach is to align Games legacy with long-term plans.
“We will work with all three levels of government to embed Games legacy opportunities in existing programs and will create a special Games Legacy Fund,” she said.
“This is to ensure the effective delivery of legacy over the next 10 years – and the 10 years after that.
“That means we develop not just a new generation of Olympic athletes, but we give our small businesses the opportunity to participate too, grow their business and export to the world.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics will “forge an enduring legacy for our entire nation”.
“They will support economic growth and investment, deliver lasting community benefits and inspire the next generation of Australian athletes,” he said.
“I am proud of Australia, proud of Queensland and proud of our team that secured this win for our country. The Commonwealth government has supported Brisbane’s candidacy for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games right from the very start.
“We believe in this bid. We know it’s a huge opportunity for our nation, just like the Melbourne Games in 1956 and the Sydney Olympics in 2000.”
Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) chairman Bruce Baird and CEO Margy Osmond said Brisbane’s election as the 2032 Olympics and Paralympics was a huge victory for Australia’s tourism recovery.
“While it may be hard to picture long-term goals or achievements beyond the current major challenges in front of us, particularly for those currently in lockdown, this announcement truly is an early gold medal victory for the nation and the busy 11-year lead up to and then beyond the Games,” Baird and Osmond said in a joint statement.
“Many Australians will remember the lasting value and impact that the Sydney Olympics in 2000 had not just within NSW, but to the nation more broadly, including the large numbers of long-haul travellers visiting and spending across much of the country well before and after the event.
“We can expect a similar economic and national morale boost from hosting these Olympic Games in 2032, and they will help to put Brisbane and south-east Queensland firmly onto the global visitor map.
“It will also set up Australia well to secure our slice of the international tourism pie in the long term in what will be a highly competitive post-COVID world.”
Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said the region’s “natural advantages” and easy accessibility for international teams played an important role in securing the bid for south-east Queensland.
The Sunshine Coast is scheduled to host Olympic and Paralympic outdoor events such as cycling, mountain biking, athletics and sailing, as well as football and basketball.
In addition, the new Maroochydore central business district – currently under construction – will be the venue for a satellite athletes’ village.
“I think what the Sunshine Coast offered as a complement to Brisbane and the Gold Coast added significantly to the attractiveness of the south-east Queensland proposal,” Stoeckel said.
“Nature and sustainability play an increasingly important role in deciding where major events are held, and the Sunshine Coast is home to more individual national parks than any other region in Queensland.
“The Sunshine Coast is well-proven as one of Australia’s premier venues for major sporting and outdoor events, and with our year-round attractive climate and beautiful setting, the region is tailor-made for hosting peak-performance sporting events.
“The bid team for the 2032 Olympic Games has clearly done an outstanding job, and we will be working closely with our local Sunshine Coast Council, and the Games’ organising committee, to build momentum and excitement over the next decade.”
Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said: “As a proudly Queensland-based airline, I am delighted that the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held in our backyard.
“This is a wonderful achievement for Brisbane and the entire state of Queensland. It means more jobs in Queensland and a huge economic boost to the entire aviation and tourism industry across Australia.
“The past several Olympic and Paralympic Games have shown that host cities can expect up to 500,000 additional international visitors over the course of the games, and increased level of domestic and international tourists over the subsequent years.
“Sport is the fabric of our nation, and just as we hosted the 2000 Games in Sydney, the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games will provide Australia the opportunity to once again put our warm and generous hospitality, and unique and wonderful tourism destinations, on the world stage.
“We look forward to bringing the world to our beautiful state of Queensland, to showcase all that we can offer.”
The Aussie corporate arms of Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) collectively welcomed the announcement, predicting that business travel would take off more than ever.
“For more than two weeks, Brisbane and the Sunshine State will have the eyes of the world on it and the benefit for business, the economy and job creation are undoubtedly endless,” said FCTG’s general manager for Australia, James Kavanagh.
“South-east Queensland will be transformed into the beating heart for business in the lead-up to, during and after the Games have taken place, and it’s an exciting proposition for our corporate teams to be able to work with businesses large and small to cater to their needs.
“It’s also important to highlight that a major event such as this is a real boon for what we call the ‘bleisure’ industry – the ability to truly amalgamate business with pleasure – making it a win-win for scenario for both the business and leisure travel/tourism industries.”
Featured image source: ©IOC/Greg Martin