Small-scale event sport tourism: A case study in sustainable tourism (2012)

This study examined the three pillars of sustainability, economic, social, and environmental within the context of six small-scale sports events hosted in Gainsville, Florida using a combination of the following data types: economic indicators (e.g. hotel nights, overall direct spend), social indicators (e.g. motivation to attend the event, degree of involvement of local residents) and environmental indicators (e.g. types of facilities used, promotion of environmental quality within the community).

Economic: expenditures by the participants on hotels, restaurants, and other goods and services constitute direct economic impact for the community. All of the events generated substantial overall direct spending amounts from the expenditures of the event participants, with the strongest impacts coming from youth softball and soccer tournaments as these generated multiple overnight stays for large groups (and families). It was also found that in terms of consistency of tourist flows, it may be that in times of economic uncertainty communities focus more on youth sports in their event portfolio as parents may be more likely to continue to fund their child’s travel to take part in various tournaments than individuals may be to pay for their own activities.

Social: The primary motivation reported by both spectators and athletes across the six events was competition, followed by enjoyment. Among the youth events, parents cited ‘‘supporting my child,’’ and among the archery participants, in particular, socializing was mentioned. Across the six events, participants reported high satisfaction with both the event and the community as an event tourism destination.

Environmental: All of the events in this study used existing facilities ranging from municipal parks and recreation facilities, private sporting facilities, and those of the university. The recycling policy for each of the events was tied to the practices implemented at each individual facility and as such might be something to consider standardizing in the future.

CITE: Gibson, H. J., Kaplanidou, K., & Kang, S. J. (2012). Small-scale event sport tourism: A case study in sustainable tourism. Sport Management Review, 15(2), 160–170.

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