Ukraine splendidly and successfully hosted the 61st edition of Eurovision in Kyiv from 08th of May to 13th of May with the grand finale being a spectacular show of stunning acoustics and light effects and was enjoyed by millions of viewers worldwide through television and thousands by those who were fortunate to see the event live. It was an amalgam of music, magic, innovation, creativity, awe-inspiring human talent and amazing technological advances. In short, an event to remember for its wonderful organization, synchronized effects, coordinated gala activities, liveliness, excitement, and enjoyment.
Soon after the show, there were murmurs in a section of press and spate of online discussions about the amount of money spent (some termed it as wasted/blown up) on conducting the event. People voiced their opinions on how the money could have been spent elsewhere like social projects, public initiatives, poverty support, pension hike and other such Government schemes, then frittering it away on the costly annual European musical show “Eurovision 2017” that Kyiv got to host due to the victory of Jamala in last year’s contest in Stockholm, Sweden.
Well, there is no denying, that quite an amount is spent on such events, shows and concerts because of their status, prestige, international repute and colossal appeal in the hearts and minds of the fans, followers, and stakeholders associated with the events. For countries like Ukraine that are going through tough times economically and the majority of people are living in hardships and face financial constraints in their daily lives, such shows do appear a little extravagant, flamboyant and out of the ordinary. But that is one side of the coin; there are a multitude of reasons that go in favor of staging shows, big-time international events even for the economically constrained nations like Ukraine – simply because cost incurred is one thing but the range of benefits that accrue (not all the time tangible financial payoff) are long term in their range and affect.
As no country exists in isolation or lives in vacuum devoid of interaction and collaboration with other nations, it is a matter of significance and priority (and even national pride) to participate and organize international events in different spheres like sports, media, show-business, culture, politics, education, science and technology, industrial and commercial to retain a position of eminence in the global comity of nations. Not only it is about global recognition or friendly association with other countries it is in the interest and benefit of the host country for the following simple reasons:
Enhances country’s prestige, reputation, and image across the world raises its status and provides friendlier, closer ties with various countries.
Revamp of the infrastructure, especially modernization/renovation of the existing road network, railways, airports, and the civil structure.
A net tourism promoter as thousands of fans, aficionados, and lovers of the game, activity, event or whatever the occasion/reason come to participate, attend, enjoy and in the process enhance the tourism potential and prospects of the country.
Such events are a big booster to nurture new talent and infuse interest and excitement in the youngsters, and amateurs who through such events develop their competencies and capabilities and emerge as future champions and winners.
Country builds upon its expertise, know-how, technique; develops competencies, capabilities, to stage even bigger and larger events, which are commercially more viable and financially lucrative. Steadily, over a period of time, the world recognizes the prowess and potential of the country to hold various events of different scales ranging from some regional cultural fairs to globally fascinating Olympic Games.
Such events definitely provide a boost to local culture, cuisine, art, handicrafts, and craftsmanship.
Popularizes the country amongst tourists, travelers, and lovers of sports, activities, events, shows, musical concerts, conferences, seminars, summits, etc.
Creates latent demand for all the ancillary, complementary industries related to hospitality sector and boosts value-chain connected services associated with travel and tourism.
Fetches the much needed foreign exchange which perks up the economy.
The local and regional economy where the event is organized also benefits economically as throngs of crowd consume all the services like boarding, lodging, sight-seeing, transport and products like food, consumer goods, eatables, local delicacies, farm produce sourced locally.
Sponsorships, endorsements, by multinationals, business organizations and other interested parties often provide huge financial support that lessens the cost of hosting and organizing big-ticket events and shows. In many cases, financial support by companies often cover the entire costs and even provide a neat profit.
Integrates and connects the country to world and opens its vistas to new visitors, foreign travelers who then become indirect publicist(s) and promotes and markets the country to their acquaintances, family, friends and relatives which are priceless, invaluable and propitious in its impact due to the veracity and legitimacy of its information.
And loads of indirect advantages and benefits, like publicity, wide media coverage, entrepreneurial development, Government initiatives, structural reforms, makeover and facelift of the city/region, investment opportunities, online trending, enhances socio-cultural awareness, aids technological innovations and artistic creations, etc
As can be visualized the gains and benefits are tremendous though not immediately visible or obtainable. Nonetheless, over a period of time rich payoffs come in the form of elevated international image, development of local economy, improvement in the infrastructure, fresh infusion of talent, skill amongst youngsters and overall advancement in the capabilities of the people in particular and the country in general.
So, ‘Get Set Go – let's never say no – for we are always ready to host a new show’!!
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