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All Things Travel: Boston Doesn't Need The Olympics

BOSTON (CBS) -- It's not that I am against the 2024 Summer Olympics coming to Boston and Massachusetts; I just don't think we need it to show off what we have to offer the world.

Independence Day was a good day to make this decision.

Massachusetts is consistently showing better economic numbers than most other states and attracting more than its share of visitors.

The latest numbers for May released by The Massachusetts Port Authority for travel at Logan Airport for the first five months of the year indicate that it will handle about 1.2 million more passengers this year over 2014. The number should total over 31 million.

Total international passengers will be about five million, an increase of over 10 percent. That figure may double to 10 million passengers by 2024.

By 2024, it is reasonable to assume that Logan will be offering non-stop flights to well over 50 destinations worldwide. It now offers 42. Those flights promote Boston and Massachusetts better than any sporting event.

Back in 2000, my wife and I spent a month in China. Someone suggested that I bring along small gifts for state dinners that we would be going to and suggested Harvard insignia merchandise. I brought along a dozen Harvard stick pens. They were welcomed with awe.

First- hand experience shows me that everyone knows Harvard and M.I.T. and that they are located in Boston.

However, many visitors do not understand these educational institutions are a couple of miles from downtown and you don't need to rent a car to see them.

Boston can't wait a decade and pour billions of dollars into new Olympic structures that may or may not be permanent.

Here are three things that need to be fixed in the next five years: A new international terminal needs to be built at Logan Airport. The South Station rail terminal must be expanded and more bus service added from South Station to the Seaport District and Logan Airport.

An if the government does not add more customs agents and ease visa requirements, many international visitors will decide not come to the U.S.

The Ted Williams Tunnel is already jammed at peak periods. As the city grows, its transportation system had better grow with it or the rush hour will last eight hours a day.

Greater Boston already has two worldwide sporting events annually: The Marathon and The Head of the Charles Regatta. Next year Formula One racing will come to the Seaport District.

Bringing the Olympics here is a waste of time and money. What should come out of all this debate is a new era of cooperation between the public and private sectors in facing the city's future.

Bob Weiss reports on business travel on Mondays at 5:55 a.m. on WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

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