The 2018 Asian Games officially kicked off on the 18th of August 2018 led by a marvelous opening ceremony held in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium by numerous Indonesian artists and dancers, including a special short introduction by Indonesian president Joko Widodo which stole the show. The 2018 Asian Games will be held from the 18th of August until the 2nd of September in Jakarta and Palembang.
The Asian Games is known as a multisport event held once every four years, where athletes from all Asian countries are eligible to participate. Known for a fact, the Asian Games is considered as the second biggest multisport event right after the Olympics. The Asian Games was established after the World War II, when many Asian countries gained independence. The first ever Asian Games was held in New Delhi in the year 1951. Out of 17 Asian Games events, China has been tagged as the winners 9 times, meanwhile Japan 8 times, with the next Asian Games winner to be determined.
More than 11.000 athletes from 45 countries are expected to be participating at this year's Asian Games. Initially, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) announced that the Asian Games would feature 484 events in 42 different sports. A month later, the OCA approved the reductions of the sports in response of cost concerns and left the number to 431. A total of 200.000 tourists are expected to be drawn by Asian Games while 13.000 Indonesians volunteered to be the committee of the Games.
As the host of Asia's largest sporting event, Jakarta is expected to be investor's center of attention. Asian Games tourists are expected to spend around US$ 245 million during their stay according to Bambang Brodjonegoro, Head of Indonesian Ministry of National Development Planning (Bappenas). Therefore, sectors such as accommodation, transportation, and food & beverages are expected to grow this year. Since the number of transactions is predicted to be massive, Indonesian foreign exchanges are expected to get an earning boost as well.
To begin with, competition venues and facilities are brought up to international standard. The infrastructure and fast modes of transportation are being improved to provide rapid access for participants and visitors. The Games is expected to have a lasting impact, especially since all infrastructure have been built for future use. The construction of the Light Rail Transit (LRT), the velodrome, and a certified equestrian center are some examples of the rapid infrastructure development in Jakarta and Palembang.
In addition, the 2018 Asian Games will boost Indonesia’s tourism industry and produce economic benefits. There is an increase in international tourists’ arrival since the Games aims to welcome 250.000 visitors from participating countries which puts Indonesia in the spotlight. Bambang Brodjonegoro estimates that hosting the Asian Games will facilitate Rp 45.1 trillion cash inflow to the Indonesian economy in addition to another Rp 34 trillion worth of investment in infrastructure for the event.
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