The world was witnessing with bated breath as the sportsmen at the Commonwealth Games, 2018 were creating waves with their record-breaking performances and historic wins. But Gold Coast, Australia, where the CWG was hosted, was the news for all the wrong reasons.
It was reported by the UK Based news agency Reuters that, the local business owners are less than pleased with the footfall that their shops and restaurants are getting, owing to the inauguration of Commonwealth Games in the region.
These locally owned establishments, which on any normal day are brimming with tourists and local people, were considerably empty since most of the tourists or locals reportedly grabbed the opportunity to watch their favourite sportspersons, fighting it out to clinch coveted spot of the winner at the Games.
According to a report published by The Guardian, some shop owners are also not ruling out the possibility of the local government’s role in driving the crowd away from the local establishments. These business owners reported that the people are influenced to “stay away” from the areas surrounding the venue of the Commonwealth Games.
Around the time of Easter, these local shops and restaurants usually host the flurry of locals and domestic tourists in this part of the country. But since the time preparations for the Commonwealth Games started, airfares and hotel prices have sky-rocketed which is deterred many people from setting foot in the part of the land down under.
According to a report published in The Australian, more than 20% of hotel rooms on the Gold Coast remained empty on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Games.
Before the CWG had started, the chief executive of Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, Mark Peters reportedly admitted that over 140,000 tickets have remained unsold, which includes the 20,000 tickets that were allotted for the Basketball events. However, it was also reported earlier that, the CWG authorities in Australia remained confident that they would able to sell the 140, 000 tickets by the time opening ceremony takes place.
Even though the local businesses were promised a huge amount footfall, the reality turned out to be quite the opposite.
All things said and done; the Commonwealth Games 2018 was the talk of the town, irrespective of whether it was due to the losses incurred by the local businesses or the stellar performances of the athletes.
This 11-day event saw the sportspersons and athletes from Australia, England, and India clinching the top three spots in the medals tally respectively. Even amidst the controversies, Australia got a reason to celebrate as it emerged at the top for the fourth consecutive time in the past five years.
The country won 80 golds, and 198 medals as a whole, followed England which won 45 golds and 136 medals in total, and India which won 26 golds 66 medals in total.
Of all the sporting events that Australia participated in, it clinched the winner’s spot in swimming, cycling, triathlon, gymnastics, lawn bowls, weightlifting, athletics, basketball, hockey, shooting, diving, boxing, rugby sevens, netball squash, table tennis, beach volleyball.
So even as the opinions of the nation seem to be divided between the predicaments of local business owners and the extravaganza that was the Commonwealth Games 2018, it has sure put the spot on the land down under.
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