Russia: The centre of economic activity this summer

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is nearly here and this got me thinking about how major sporting events naturally have a large impact on many lives. For most, it’s the entertainment aspect: supporting your country, seeing your favourite players play or just watching thrilling games of sport. However these events have a much wider economic impact that many overlook.

Russia had to compete with many other countries to claim the rights to host the 2018 world cup. But why do all these countries desperately want to host such significant sporting events, especially when it has cost Russia nearly 11 Million pounds to host it? It’s all for the boost in the respective country’s economy, being in the international spotlight. Not only will the Russian economy be boosted by sales of match tickets but also by jobs in industries indirectly affected by this world cup like tourism, construction and even leisure.

World cup organisers expect around 500,000 foreign fans to attend the world cup. This is a huge boost to Russia because each of these tourists will have to spend money on accommodation, food and other necessities whilst in Russia, resulting in a large injection in revenue for the Russian tourism sector from abroad. Furthermore with all these tourists coming into Russia, there has been money spent into the development of airports in Russia (especially Moscow-based ones), which would be beneficial to the transport sector as these improved facilities will allow growth in this industry to continue even after the world cup is finished.

However, it could be argued that this economic boost could be short lived for Russia given the short duration of the tournament and the vast size of the country’s economy. The world cup will significantly improve Russia’s external accounts but i do not expect the added support to last long term.