Tourism is one of the most important industries in many places. It serves to boost the local economy, increasing their monetary flow. The tourism industry brings money into an area and creates jobs. For this reason many destinations have sought to increase their tourist populations…
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There may be many reasons why a destination wants to hold events, but the economic benefits derived from increased tourism serves as a prime motivation.
Yet many destinations struggle to attract more tourists. Getz (1997) and Jago et al. (2003) both concur that the primary explanation for this is the fact that the tourism industry is a highly competitive field. In addition, cities have to deal with many other issues that affect their tourist rates, such as global change and unstable economic systems as was observed by Richard and Palmer (2010). These issues inspire destinations to seek out alternative ways to attract more tourists. Events are a very powerful and popular way to bring tourists into an area. Often destinations will use events as the backbone of their city development strategy. Through the use of events a region’s economy can improve. This is because tourists come into the area and spend their money, adding it to the region’s monetary circulation. However, in order for an event to attract enough tourists, it has to be a very great event.
But great events do more than just increase as area’s economic activity. Such events also serve to improve a city’s image; boosting the amount of pride that the local residents have about their community (Moon et al., 2011). Many governments recognize these additional benefits and, therefore, are motivated to host events. Boo and Busser (2006) have demonstrated that because such events have a significant economic impact, increasing the number of tourists and the amount of expenditure in an area, the hosting of events by local governments has increased. Moscardo (2007) and Alves et al. (2010) discuss how many regions have used events and festivals as a method for increasing tourism in the last decade; promoting their region’s image and develop their regional economy. Rompf et al. (2008) has noted the billions of dollars that have been spent on events all around the world for the purpose of attracting tourists to a country as a part of a strategic tourism plan. Bowdin et al. (2011) claimed that increases in leisure time are another motivation for destinations to host events. When people take leisurely trips, many of them also attend festivals or other events that are hosted in the locations to which they travel. Many regions take advantage of this opportunity and organize events and festivals that lure in tourists. Since the tourists will not only spend money on the events, but in local shops and on hotel rooms, these activities are a very productive means of job creation. According to Getz (2008, p.403) “events are an important motivator of tourism, and figure prominently in development and marketing plans of most destinations”. For this reason, many destinations have worked to revitalize events as tourist attractions to promote their destinations. Such events play an important role in enhancing the tourist rates in various destinations (Flesenstein and Fleischer, 2003 and Kim et al., 2002). Yet, the question arises, what types of events would be most likely to attract tourists who are leisurely travelling? Furthermore, Kim et al. (2002) suggest that events and festivals are both tangible and intangible. For example, increases in income and tax revenues are some of the tangible benefits. The renewal of community pride and enhanced image of a destination are some of the intangible benefits. It could be argued that the events and festivals do not only provide positive benefits to the host destinations, but can also have a negative impact on the local communities. Twyname and Johnstone (2004) support the idea that events and f
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