Russia’s has spent an astounding $50 billion on Sochi Winter Olympics games to be labelled as the most expensive games ever at a time when Russian economy is moving at a snail’s pace. Security across the borders and for these games is of prime concern and the issue of human rights keeps raising its head.
Despite these odds Russia is hoping to turn the event into a great public relations exercise and present to the world, trouble- free and commercially attractive Russia.
Olympic Games in addition to be a public relations campaign for Russia, also an investment decision. As per various reports, up to $44bn has been invested in non-sports related infrastructure.
Russia is aiming for maximizing profits from inflow of tourists and hoping Sochi will return to its former glory of being a key resort destination.
As the newly built infrastructure in the region could unlock tourism potential in wider region. The famous resort city and the region will benefit from the new hotel and transport infrastructure by attracting more visits from Russian and former Soviet states where it does not need to be marketed as it is already well–known destination. As for the long-term goals, the Olympics is to showcase Russia’s attractiveness as an investment destination.
But these high hopes may not be fully materialize. The vast resort network may remain underutilized for a long time after the games. The quality of hastily built infrastructure is a cause of concern due to poor supervision along with numerous allegations of corruption.
The real truth about Sochi is being tweeted by journalists who are covering these games and feeding the world with hard facts. None the less Sochi has indeed become the costliest public relation exercise for Russia government who is aiming hard to change the perception of Russia.