There are only two mega sport events namely the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics based on the scale of media interest. It means mega-sport event has unique natures such as outstanding reputation, adequate attention and worldwide scope already. A well-managed mega-sport event such as FIFA World Cup will attracts millions of visitors to a place.
The tourism related to mega-sport event can be classified as sport event tourism that Foo L. M (2000) defined sport events tourism as the main purpose of the travel is to take part in an ‘organized’ sporting activity, either as a spectator, participant or official. For example, the diverse preparations in Sydney for the 2000 Games not only cater for the 11,116 athletes, but also take into consideration the potential tourism inflow from Olympic spectators (which could number in the millions), athletes’ families, and estimated 15,000 media personnel (Groote, 2005).
During the event holding, tourists spend money in related tourism businesses like restaurant, shop and hotel, and they may also visit surrounding tourist destinations and attractions. Obviously, tourism obtains benefits directly and indirectly from mega-sport event; while these benefits are various and long-term. In case of 2000 Sydney Olympics (Australian Tourist Commision, 2001):
Worldwide Olympic TV audience: 3.7 billion in 220 countries (IOC)
Worldwide Olympic Internet audience: 20 million (IOC)
The ATC’s media relations program generated an addition A$3.8 billion in publicity for Australia between 1997 and 2000 (ATC)
The ATC’s partnerships with major Olympic sponsors, such as Visa, McDonald’s, Kodak and Coca-Cola generated in additional A$300 million in additional advertising exposure for Australia (ATC).
In late 1999, the ATC launched the Australia 2000 – fun and games campaign to encourage visitation to Australia in 2000. This was aimed at insuring against avoidance, as had been the experience of other major event host cities and countries. In 2000, visitor arrivals to Australia increased by 10.9% to almost five million according to preliminary Australian Bureau of Statistics figures (ABS).
In excess of 100 business events, generating millions of additional export dollars for Australia can be directly attributed to the ATC’s New Century. New World, Australia 2001 campaign aimed at capturing business tourism for Australia off the back of the Games. (ATC) etc.
Furthermore, Hudson S. (2003) summarized relevant benefits for the host as follows:
Major sport events can be catalysts for new facilities and new or improved infrastructure
When sport facilities are built, they become permanent event venues
Major sport events can be catalysts for attracting training sessions and other types of events, such as meetings and exhibitions
There is potential for various sport events year round
Sport events can reflect and enhance culture and local traditions, helping to create a unique and attractive sense of place
Media coverage and its impact on developing a sport destination image can be more important than actual visitor spending
Sport events can assist in destination branding by providing powerful, active lifestyle images and making cultural themes come alive
However, hosting a major sports event also has high risks that mainly affect the sustainability of the tourism. For example the Olympic Games of 1976 in Montreal, it was a financial disaster for the city that almost bankrupt (Newton, 2012) and afterwards they were still faced with the financial debts until 2006 (CBC News, 2006).
2.2 Marketing in tourism
2.2.1 Mega-sport event marketing
Funk D. C (2008) believed that effective marketing activities are able to shape the image of the city and stimulate the economy for the host; to reach specific target markets and position the destination to non-residents for the tourism marketers; to build community identification and create jobs for governments; to increase brand awareness, launch new products and services, and open new markets for sponsors.
In terms of mega-sport event which is in essence experiential, interactive, targeted, and relational; these features are highly relevant and desirable given the modern marketing environment (Crowther, 2011) which can be explained as “events create a social setting for attendees and help raise attendees’ involvement level; therefore, attendees are apt to be more receptive to marketing messages and images associated with the event than they are to those presented via other methods (Pope & Voges, 2000; Meenachan & Shipley, 1999)”.
Therefore, event marketing is defined as a tool for experiential marketing that focuses on consumer experiences, and treats emotionally and rationally driven consumption as a holistic experience (Vel & Sharma, 2010) and it offers an additional advantage, in that it actively engages the consumer with the brand and its personality (Sneath, et al., 2005).
2.2.2 Motivation of sport event tourist
MacInnis D. J, Moorman C. & Jaworski B. J (1991) defined motivation as an internal factor that arouses and prompts goal-directed behavior. Furthermore, Schiffman L. G & Kanuk L. L (2001) detailed a motivation process which includes five stages: needs, tension, drive, want and goal. (Figure 1)
Tension reductionFigure 1
Sport and event consumer motivation process
Source: e.g., Schiffman L. G & Kanuk L. L (2001)
In the first stage: need recognition, Reisinger (2009) mentioned that potential consumers recognize a need when faced with a “problem”, we can understand the “problem” as a catalyst. As mentioned above, the “problem” of sport event consumer is the desire to seek the experiences.
Second stage is the customers are considering how to satisfy this need and at the third stage, people will consider the pathways by their preference to reduce or eliminate the unpleasant state. Want pathway can be considered as decision-making processes and finally the goal behavior which can be understand as the acquisition satisfy people’s need, reduce tension and restore balance.
A well-understanding of motivation process will help the marketer to know (Horner & Swarbrooke, 2007):
When to attempt to influence consumers (focusing marketing activities at the time when most consumers are making decisions to buy a particular product)
The choice of advertising media based on which media the majority of consumers use to gain information about tourism products
The selection of appropriate distribution channels or marketing intermediaries
For example, the VisitBritain’s strategy for 2012 London Olympic Games focused to inspire visitors to explore Britain (VisitBritain, 2010)
As the figure shows, the marketing strategy of VisitBritain focuses Awareness (inspire) and Intention (explore) stages. The marketing challenges are:
Inspire: (long-term develop):
Address the loss of market share and maximise the value of tourism working with the nations and regions of Britain
Develop new product offers to stimulate demand in partnership with the nations and regions
Gain market share
Grow Britain brand awareness
Challenge negative perceptions of welcome, value and quality
2.2.3 Marketing strategy related to tourism
Foxall (1981) defined marketing strategy as being an indication of how each element of the marketing mix will be used to achieve the marketing objectives. It is simple but easily to understand. Normally, the marketing objectives in tourism of mega-sport event host should be:
To maximize the economic benefits for tourism across the host city/country
To enhance the image of the host as a visitor destination
To deliver- and showcase – a world class welcome in and after the event
A widely used marketing mix is the 4 Ps that product, price, place and promotion.
Funk (2008) summarized unique aspects of the mega-sport event product: it is an intangible product; social facilitation via sport and reliance on product extensions. Intangible means it is an experiential product and social facilitation via sport means it has great impacts as mentioned above. However, these features are natural.
Therefore, exploring on extension product is the key to stimulate and meet the demands of tourist. Such as UK launched new 50p coins to commemorating the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (BBC, 2010) and create new travel routes for tourists as an event-related tour products and etc.
Furthermore, as sport has the ability to directly and indirectly influences a number of aspects in a person’s life (Beaton & Funk, 2008), sport marketers are likely to package themselves as the forefront in the battle to improve quality of life as sport and leisure activities become central components of promoting health lifestyles, and building more integrated communities (Funk, 2008).
Price can be understood by if it is valuable. Getz and Cheyne (1997) found that focus group participants identified important quality factors that can influence a decision to travel to an event, including reputation of the event, caliber of participants (the best in their field), international scope, and the presence of celebrities, rarity is also a factor. Obviously, mega-sport event has all these factors: outstanding reputation; national caliber; international tourism market; celebrities (NBA stars etc.) and once in four years.
As mentioned above, mega-sport tourists pay for an experience which often involves sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioural and relational values that replace functional values (Schmitt, 1999). A well-managed service system should be marketed to the audience as favourable factor. In adverse, weakness of service will lead tourist doubt to come. For example, a safety doubt emerging after the news that “with one week remaining before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, it only has 4,000 guards trained and ready which was expected to provide over 10,000 security personnel for the event (Bartnik, 2012)”.
It refers to the place where the customers can buy the product and how the product reaches out to that place. The most effective way is media such as Internet, PR and TV. Many scholars believe that media coverage of sport events will help countries to present themselves in favorable terms (Whitson & Macintosh, 1996), and will assist destinations in building a positive image that helps to generate future tourist demand (Faulkner et al., 2000).
Social media such as Facebook, Flickr and TripAdvisor are increasingly being exploited within mega-sport event marketing campaigns. For example, Facebook has more than 300 million active users, 50% of whom log on everyday. The internet provides a worldwide platform to distribute the information.
Recently emerging channel is mobile. According to VisitBritain (2010), “400m are already using the mobile internet – and this will double by 2012; 87% of people are already using their mobile for media consumption at home”, and 2012 London Olympic Games became the first mobile internet Games.
Development of technology help marketers delivers the information more effective, however, traditional media still important such as newspaper, which are still widely used by old peoples; TV, which covers lots of computer illiterate and broadcast, which can reach the people who have no time to look such as taxi driver.
Promotion is the business of communication to the customers such as what benefits the company or organization has to offer rather than exhibit the features.
Hosting the mega-sport events means a valuable promotion opportunity as it can improving a destination’s image and building a destination’s brand for sustainable development (Getz, 1997; Hall, 1992; Jago, et al., 2010; Prentice & Andersen, 2003; Ritchie, 1984) . This means that the city can show off its tourist attractions and the infrastructure that has been generated (Chalip, 2002; Owen, 2005; Whitson & Horne, 2006). Awareness of the region is also positively impacted which again brings in domestic and international tourists and potential investors (Gursoy & Kendall, 2006; Solberg & Preuss, 2007).
For example, in a study examining the effect of special events on a country’s brand building, Jun and Lee (2008) reported a positive relationship between the role of special events on the attitudes of young Korean students towards Germany, specifically, the more exposure Korean students had to special events held in Germany, the more likely they were to form positive attitudes toward Germany. These findings supported Chalip and Costa’s (Chalip & Costa, 2005)general theory that special events can be an extension of a destination brand or can be promoted as certain features of destination brand.
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2.3 Destination service quality
Even though marketing strategy is well managed, tourists’ experience of a hotel, restaurant, or casino will imparts a different sort of knowledge than simply reading or hearing about it (La Tour, et al., 2009).
Destination management includes how competition in tourism increasingly involves geographical systems where suppliers of hospitality, transportation, entertainment, and cultural services collaborate to increase the attractiveness of the destination and improve its ability to acquire customers (Bieger, 1998; Bieger, 2000; Buhalis, 2000; Ritchie & Crouch, 2000; Go & Crompton, 2000).
Event managers are often preoccupied with delivering a high quality program (Getz, 1998), which is basically what visitors come to experience, but equal attention to service quality is essential for ensuring visitor satisfaction.
SA Tourism (2008) concedes to the following ten challenges for 2010: 1) poor access to channels of tourism information, 2) insufficient accommodation, and 3) compelling attractions and activities, 4) inadequate service levels and skills shortage, 5) inadequate public transport, 6) insufficient focus on tourist safety and security, 7) limited institutional capacity, 8) managing expectations, 9) demand management and 10) displacement of general tourists.
In the public eyes, hosting an event is a stimulator of tourism industry to the host city. Fourie and Santana-Gallego (2011) did a research on the impact of mega-sport events on tourist arrivals and resulted at there will be 8% increase of the arrivals on average to the host. The Olympics and FIFA World Cup are more than the average.
For instance, by the data from ForwardKeys (2012), “bookings made by 12th May show a 13% increase in the expected number of arrivals to London during the Olympics Periods” and the rest of UK also receive 4% increase.
Such a rapidly inflow of tourists will bring lots of problems such as transport disasters. Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic Game has provided a cautionary tale of mega-sport event travel chaos: “with bus drivers getting lost, athletes arriving moments before their events and overloaded trains that couldn’t get residents home (Wheatley, 2011).
Therefore, how to provide quality destination service to tourists’ experience, while an influx occurs during the mega-sport event is one of the key factors of the successful tourism operation in mega-sport tourism marketing.
Gronroos (1983) described service quality construct relates the level of experienced quality to both technical and functional dimensions of serve provision (see figure 10.1):
Technical quality – refers to the result of the service and/or the question, what has been provided?
Functional quality – on the other hand, refers to the way the service has been delivered and relates to the question, how has the service been provided?
2.3.1 Technical quality
Technical quality refers to the relatively quantifiable aspects of the service such as “The hotel guest will get a room and a bed to sleep in, the consumer of a restaurant’s services will get a meal, and the train passenger will be transported from one place to anotherâ€¦” (Gronroos, 1984). In terms of mega-sport event, as influx of tourists, the capability of original infrastructure is not able to meet the needs. That is why Terret (2008) mentioned cities are interested in hosting of the Olympics Games as they can accelerate infrastructure projects.
For example, Olympic experience shows that a highly robust and resilient public transport system is a prerequisite to handle exceptional Olympic mega event traffic demands (Bovy, 2006). In terms of London, it struggles with constraints on the Tube, which handles 12 million trips a day during normal times and the Olympics is estimated to add three million trips on the busiest days (Kirka, 2012). Therefore, it invested £80m in permanent transport improvements for DLR (Media centre – Press release, 2008), we have seen new rail links created in East London, and improvements to existing underground and overground train services (Pettinger, 2009) and the increase of capability achieved that a train arriving in the Olympic Park area every 15 seconds (London Olympics Transport Upgrade, 2012).
This improvement will shorten the time that tourist move in and out the Olympic Park and reduce the crowd risk. In other hand, a strong public transport will also encourage tourist to choose so that avoid general car traffic on the primary Olympic transport network accordingly.
2.3.2 Functional quality
Local human resource support
Functional quality creates a competitive edge by focusing on the more personal aspects of the service encounter such as “The accessibility of a teller machine, a restaurant or a business consultant, the appearance and behavior of waiters, bank tellers, travel agency representatives, bus drivers, cabin attendants, business consultants, plumbers, how these service firm employees perform, what they say and how they say it do also have an impact on the customer’s view of the serviceâ€¦ (Gronroos, 1984)”
In terms of mega-sport event, a special group – volunteers – was critical to the successful staging of mega-event because they provided the substantial amount of unpaid additional labour that was needed and also the outstanding service that help the tourists.
For example, in Beijing 2008 Olympic games, there were 70,000 volunteers (Associated Press, 2007) applied in various positions such as translation and interpretation, protocol and reception, contest organization, food and beverage, medical services, security and transportation et al (Volunteer Positions & Requirements, 2008).
To ensure the service quality of the volunteer, a series of training was made before volunteers officially starting their services. In terms of Beijing 2008 Olympic Game, the training includes 4 parts (Organization and Administration of Olympic Volunteering, 2008)
1. General training: basic Olympic knowledge, brief introduction to the Beijing
Olympic and Paralympic Games, Chinese history and traditional culture, history and cultural life in Beijing, knowledge and skills necessary to serve the disabled, etiquette norm, medical knowledge and first-aid skills.
2. Professional training: professional knowledge and skills required in voluntary services.
3. Venue training: venue functions, knowledge concerning the sports held in the venue, internal facilities, organizational structure, rules and regulations.
4. Job training: job responsibilities, specific work, business procedures, and operating norms.
These well-trained volunteers helped the foreign visitors overcome language and cultural barriers, and provide professional service so that enhance the satisfaction of tourist’s experience in great extent and assist Olympic Games operating smoothly.
However, Bejou et al. (1996) mentioned that there are non-standardized services in which the knowledge, behavior and commitment of the service providers are crucial. O’neil et. al. (1999) believe that this experiential “product” (such as event) is produced and consumed simultaneously, is highly heterogeneous and very difficult to store and/or control, but basically, if expectations are met, service quality is perceived to be satisfactory; if unmet, less than satisfactory; if exceeded, more than satisfactory.
In contrary, poor events may causes by such as an emphasis on quantity rather than quality, a product rather than a market orientation, poor physical conditions and lack of information, and poorly selected or inadequately trained personnel (Jackson & Schneider, 1990).
2.4 Sustainable tourism development
The evaluation of the sustainability impacts of any mega-sport event is a complex and difficult task and it involves far more than simply estimating its potential revenue and expenditure (Dodouras & James, 2004). As hosting a mega-sport event can also constituted a unique opportunity for the diversification and enrichment of the host’s tourism product, this legacy will benefit the tourism development in the future. For example, the building of tourism infrastructure in the case of Barcelona significantly enhanced its image and credibility as an international tourist destination (Duran, 2005).
Musgrave & Raj (2009) summarized the three sustainable aspects that influenced by mega-sport event as Figure 1:
Induced development and construction expenditure
Long-term promotional benefits
Increased employment opportunities
Raising awareness of environmental issues
Development of waste land
Long-term conservation of area
Increased property value due to regeneration
Additional trade and business development
Induced development and construction expenditure
Event product extensions
Future use of infrastructure not maximized
Interruption of normal business
Disruption of lifestyle
Community apathy and antagonism
Increased risk of security issues
Unequal distribution of wealth
Site/location damage – short- and long-term
Waste and pollution
Traffic disruption and congestion
Increase in energy demands and other natural resources
Cost of event failure to local/national economy
Inflated price of products, services and amenities
Unequal distribution of wealth
Fig. 1. 1. The ‘three pillar impacts’ of events (Musgrave & Raj, 2009)
Consequently, the objectives of sustainable development are: optimizing socio-cultural impacts; minimizing environmental impacts and maximizing economic impacts (Smith-Christensen, 2009). Specifically, in terms of tourism, these impacts can be operationalized in the post-event period to attain, magnify and sustain their objectives as a sustainable sport tourism legacy. And accordingly, the sustainability of strategies that originate from sport tourism development policies, which according to sustainable development principles should maintain economic efficiency, social equity, and environmental integrity (Campell, 1996; Fitzgerald & Leigh, 2002).
2.4.1 Social impact
“By social impacts we mean the consequences to human populations of any public or private actions that alter the ways in which people live, work, play, relate to one another, organize to meet their needs and generally cope as members of society. The term also includes cultural impacts involving changes to the norms, values, and beliefs that guide and rationalize their cognition of themselves and their society (Interorganizational Committee on Guidelines and Principles, 1994)”.
To achieve the outcome that optimizing socio-cultural impact, the organizer should reduce the negative impacts and magnify the positive impacts. Tassiopoulos & Johnson (2009) summarized the social impacts that brought by event tourism as follow:
Negative impacts of tourism:
The sexual industry has grown rapidly rely on the mega-sport event due to some event attendees’ travel abroad to enjoy uninhibited casual sexual encounters and result on a bad impact of the local. For example, as many as 40,000 women could enter South Africa to work as prostitutes during this year’s football World Cup 2010 (The Telegraph, 2010). The grave danger of this growth has led to the spreading of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (Cooper, et al., 2005).
There are diseases such as swine flu should be noted when people from different countries interact. For example, the recording of more than 8500 cases of malaria infections in the UK, which have been a result of tourist and visiting friends and relatives (VFT) traffic to malaria-infected destinations. These diseases may not fatal but they can cause social and economic stress to the host community.
Commodification implies that the demands of tourism (inclusive of events) have led to the mutation and sometimes the destruction of the meaning of cultural performances and special events. Staged authenticity refers to simulated experiences that are developed to satisfy the needs of the visitor. Standardization refers to where the visitor attending an event searches for the familiar, leading to a loss of cultural diversity (Cooper, et al., 2005).
Disruption of lifestyle of residents
Sherwood (2007) refers to increases in traffic and noise and the general disruption to normal daily routines caused by the hosting of an event in the destination. Furthermore, overcrowding, congestion and noise are ascribed to an influx of event visitors in the host destination. This may cause that resident exodus, for instance, third of Britons holidaying abroad this summer have deliberately chosen dates to avoid London 2012 (Gerges, 2012).
Crime and vandalism
Many scholars such as Mathieson and Wall (1982) have suggested that large numbers of visitors to an event carrying relatively large amounts of money and valuables with them will provide a source for illegal activities including drug trafficking, robbery, vandalism and violence. For example, only 10 weeks before the FIFA World Cup 2010, in South Africa, there were 50 murders happened in one day while the South Africa’s murder rate actually dropped slightly last year (Tay, 2010).
Positive impacts of tourism:
The fostering of community/civic pride
Events can be used to put new life into ceremonies and rituals, making them come alive, combining them with skills and crafts. This can inspire and assist with fostering local pride of a host community and provides the best possible experience for the event attendee (Tassiopoulos & Johnson, 2009).
Creating sociocultural awareness and peace
Events take people to new places and can broaden their understanding and knowledge of other cultures and environments. This can be regarded as an educational process and, if channeled properly, this education can lead to greater awareness of, and sympathy and admiration for, other societies. Cultural exchange that takes place between the event attendee and the host community can assist in fostering peace. The belief in the relationship between tourism and peace is so strong that in 1986 the International Institute for Peace through Tourism was set up.
When developments for events take place, for example, the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa, the local infrastructure is often enhanced to meet the needs of the developments. The host community can find that the quality of their life is enhanced through being able to enjoy this improved infrastructure. This type of infrastructure can include upgrading sporting venues, improvement of airports and general transportation.
Direct sociocultural support
The funding generated from various events can provide funds to assist to restore heritage sites, conserve natural and cultural sites, or assist local charities. The proceeds earned from these events in terms of registration fees and goods sold are donated to various charities within the local community.
2.4.2 Environmental impact
The environmental impact indicates that (Mathieson & Wall, 1982; Jenner & Smith, 1991; Boers & Bosch, 1994; Puczko & Ratz, 2002; 2005):
Impacts on the natural environment, i.e. air quality, geological factors, water quality, depletion of natural resources, flora and fauna;
Impacts on the man-made environment, i.e. buildings visual impacts, changes in land use, infrastructure;
Impacts on the ecosystem.
The depletion of natural resources is accelerated by the use of fossil fuels in transportation, the heating of accommodation and the operation of catering facilities (which are usually non-renewable energy sources like coal, crude oil or natural gas). In more environment-friendly solutions, heating and energy consumption is based on hydro, solar or wind energy.
Wasteful and careless use of the drinking water supply significantly impairs the effectiveness of water management, and decreases available freshwater resources. The wasteful use of the water supply could be avoided by a more environmentally friendly attitude and modern technology.
The positive elements of the environmental impacts most commonly catalogued relate to the new facilities that might not have been politically or financially feasible without the event.
On the negative side, growing attention is being focused on the environmental damage due to development for mega sports events (Tolios, 1997).
2.4.3 Economic impact
Event tourism can generate positive economic impacts, in addition to longer-term place marketing benefits and media exposure for destination, along with sporting or cultural policy benefits (Musgrave & Raj, 2009).
While these impacts are extremely relevant and often very important, an honest assessment of the value of a particular mega sports event must also include estimates of the negative impacts, such as commodity price increases a