Tokyo 2021 – How the Olympics look like in the post-pandemic world
In March, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were postponed to July 2021. It was the first peacetime postponement of the Olympic Games in history. Recently, Japanese officials and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) made clear that there will be no further postponement. The Olympics will take place as scheduled between July 23 and to August 8, 2021 or not at all. A final decision shall be made this October.
The Games are important for Japan and its suffering economy. Sponsorships, TV rights, merchandising, ticket sales and Olympic tourism are important revenue sources associated with the Toyko Olympics. Currently, the Covid-19 pandemic is slowly being contained. But how will the Olympics look like in the post-pandemic world?
Downsizing the Tokyo Games
It seems to be obvious and has been acknowledged by officials that the Tokyo 2021 Games will be reduced in size. They will focus on the must-haves and skip some nice-to-haves. Opening and closing ceremonies will probably be stripped down. The size of the audience and the number of tourists admitted to Japan will probably be reduced. There might be less staff and fewer games officials. Toyko 2020 organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto:
“The actual games we will have one year from now may not be the same conventional Olympic and Paralympic Games that we have come to know.”
While this is depressing news for the organizers, it can be an opportunity for everyone interested in seeing the beach volleyball event in Tokyo next year. With less tourists travelling to Japan, the city of Tokyo will be less crowded. Public transport to the event venues will be accessible more easily. Prices to travel to and within Japan will be more reasonable.
Airlines offer travel flexibility for free
We’ve already covered the topic of making travel plans for the Tokyo Olympics. While this information is still true, some updates have to be considered. Major airlines are now offering discounts and free flexibility when purchasing tickets in the upcoming weeks. Travellers will be able to change travel dates and even destinations for free. German airline Lufthansa announced that everybody travelling with Lufthansa is guaranteed a safe return trip. Considering that the flexible booking options are usually quite expensive, beach volleyball enthusiasts ready to commit might now get some great deals with some of the best airlines.
For accommodation, prices have already picked up compared to March but are still far from the level before the postponement. There are still some affordable options. Rates for private rooms in Tokyo next summer start from US$ 100 per night. With the Covid-19 situation, many travellers haven’t made their bookings yet. If you are bold and want to take the opportunity to see the Olympics in Japan, you should now keep your eyes open on how airfare and room rates evolve.