Hosting the Olympics has always been a risky venture. The hope is to bring in enough money through tourism to offset the costs associated with the games. But some people are skeptical South Korea will be able to pull this off.
Currently, South Korea has spent approximately $13 billion, which is nearly double it’s original estimation of $7 billion. These costs might be associated with the extra transportation routes that needed to be added to the region so that it would connect to Seoul. It also doesn’t help that the Pyeongchang is one of the least populous cities to host the games and only about 60 percent of tickets were sold.
The country could also stand to lose money after the games because of the tendency for Olympic venues to go unused. These unused venues are called “white elephants” and could cost them a whopping $8.5 million annual deficit. However, South Korea is hoping to continue using these venues and have already expressed their plans to turn the figuring skating rink into an indoor gym and the Olympic stadium into a museum and park.
The Olympics Aquatic Stadium from the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Overall, if South Korea successfully hosts the games and brings more tourism to their country then they could add anywhere between $18.5-60 billion to the South Korean economy over the next decade.