Management the Objective of This Work in Essay

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The objective of this work in writing is to conduct a critical assessment of the negative and positive impacts of cultural events or festivals upon the host community and destination. This work will be specific to the United Kingdom.

There is an increase in the growth of popularity of culturally-based events and festivals and because of this, these types of festivals and events are becoming more commonplace. Included in these events are "a diverse range of themes from the specific, food and wine, through to multi-faceted celebrations, such as multicultural festivals. Characteristically, they originate within the community in response to a need or desire to celebrate their unique identity." (Small, Edwards and Sheridan, 2005, p.86) The work of The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference: Nottingham: December 16th, 2003 entitled "The Impact of Festivals on Cultural Tourism" defines cultural tourism as "Travel directed toward experiencing the arts, heritage, and special character of a place." (p.1)

I. Previous Studies in the Impact of Events and Festivals on Host Community

The impact of events and festivals on host communities has been examined in research and reported and the work of Small, Edwards, and Sheridan states that there has been "only limited empirical research on the difficult to measure, yet very important socio-cultural impacts." (Ritchie & Lyons, 1990, Soutar & McLeod, 1993, Mihalik, 2000; Fredline & Faulkner, 2000; and Fredline & Faulkner, 2002) This is stated to be because the festival or event success "is commonly measured in terms of its economic contribution to event stakeholders." (Small, Edwards, and Sheridan, 2005, p. 86-7)

II. Measures Used in Assessment of Event Impacts and Benefits

The stated measures that are used in conducting an assessment of impacts and benefits of events is reported by the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network to include the impact areas stated as follows:

(1) Physical infrastructure;

(2) Environmental impacts (often linked with physical infrastructure);

(3) Economic impacts;

(4) Tourism destination impacts;

(5) Image enhancement;

(6) Social impacts;

(7) Cultural impacts;

(8) Political impacts; and (9) Urban renewal (Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, 2007)

The Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network (2007) reports that measuring the 'legacy' is a measurement of the "actual impacts for the host destination of holding the event." The legacy is reported to be generally "conceptualized as the positive benefits rather than the negative impacts that might arise. The legacy is commonly thought of in terms of tangible benefits such as physical infrastructure or new jobs." (Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, 2007) There are stated to be other intangible benefits in the work of Ritchie (2000) who states:

"Regardless of the actual form that a legacy may take, the idea underlying legacy creation is that it represents something of substance that will enhance the long-term well-being or lifestyle of destination residents in a very substantial manner -- preferably in a way that reflects the values of the local population." (p.156)

Chalip (2004) defines leveraging as "the processes through which the benefits of investments are maximized." (p.228) Leveraging is stated to be in relation to "aspects around the actual event or the long-term benefits both before and after the event has taken place." (Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, 2007)

III. Positive Impacts of Cultural Tourism

USA Today Travel states that the economic effects that are positive in nature on cultural tourism includes those related to "direct employment within the tourism industry and indirectly in sectors such as retail and transportation. When these people spend their wages on goods and services, it leads to what is known as the "multiplier effect," creating more jobs. The tourism industry also provides opportunities for small-scale business enterprises, which is especially important in rural communities, and generates extra tax revenues, such as airport and hotel taxes, which can be used for schools, housing and hospitals." (Simm, 2012)

Positive social effects of cultural tourism include "The improvements to infrastructure and new leisure amenities that result from tourism also benefit the local community. Tourism encourages the preservation of traditional customs, handicrafts and festivals that might otherwise have been allowed to wane, and it creates civic pride. Interchanges between hosts and guests create a better cultural understanding and can also help raise global awareness of issues such as poverty and human rights abuses." (Simm, 2012)

Positive environmental effects from cultural tourism are reported to include the promotion of "conservation of wildlife and natural resources such as rain forests, as they are now regarded as tourism assets. It also helps generate funding for maintaining animal preserves and marine parks through entrance charges and guide fees. By creating alternative sources of employment, tourism reduces problems such as over-fishing and deforestation in developing nations." (Simm, 2012)

IV. Negative Impacts of Cultural Tourism

Negative economic effects of cultural tourism is cited by USA Today Travel to be related to the costs associated with basic infrastructure including roads, visitor centers and hotels, an expense that generally "falls on the government, so it has to come out of tax revenues. Jobs created by tourism are often seasonal and poorly paid, yet tourism can push up local property prices and the cost of goods and services. Money generated by tourism does not always benefit the local community, as some of it leaks out to huge international companies, such as hotel chains. Destinations dependent on tourism can be adversely affected by events such as terrorism, natural disasters and economic recession." (Simm, 2012)

It is reported that the behavior of visitors crate negative social effects as their behavior "can have a detrimental effect on the quality of life of the host community. For example, crowding and congestion, drugs and alcohol problems, prostitution and increased crime levels can occur. Tourism can even infringe on human rights, with locals being displaced from their land to make way for new hotels or barred from beaches. Interaction with tourists can also lead to an erosion of traditional cultures and values, alternative sources of employment, tourism reduces problems such as over-fishing and deforestation in developing nations." (Simm, 2012)

Finally stated as negative environmental effects is that tourism presents a threat to "a region's natural and cultural resources, such as water supply, beaches, coral reefs and heritage sites, through overuse. It also causes increased pollution through traffic emissions, littering, increased sewage production and noise." (Simm, 2012)

V. Case Study Report: The Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festival is reported as a "major calendar event for the city of Edinburgh" which has resulted in the city developing the cultural tourism and creating a cultural image for all groups of the communities. The Edinburgh Festival began in the late 1940s and has since "become a major hotspot for artists and tourists to enjoy multicultural events during the month of August each year." (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003) The programs developed to attract visitors worldwide and which demonstrate the multicultural image of Edinburgh are included in the Edinburgh International Festival and Fringe Festival inclusive of the "Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Hogmanay celebrations, International science festival, International book festival, Jazz festival and Film festival. " (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003)

The Edinburgh Festival includes six weeks of arts and culture. (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003) It is reported that the Edinburgh Festival "attracts tourist from all over the world, over the last decade the cultural tourism have increased in large numbers. According to official Edinburgh International Festival Audience Research (2002): 43% of the Festival's audience comes from Edinburgh and the Lothians, 18% from the rest of Scotland, 21% from the rest of the UK and 17% from overseas. Visitors stay an average of 8 nights in Edinburgh." (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003) Edinburgh has experienced economic growth due to the festivals and it is reported that in 1995 that Edinburgh "was outside ICCA's destination league table's top 20, yet jumped to 13th position in 1998, and in 2001 was placed 12th. This steady rise followed the opening of the EICC on 17 September 1995." (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003)

Positive impacts are realized by the city due to the spending of visitors on local goods and services however, it is reported that "soft cultural tourism does not take into account the loss of local beauty, environmental degradation and efforts it crates on the local people of the host communities through their direct and indirect involvement with tourists." (The 2nd DeHaan Tourism Management Conference, 2003)


The findings in this study have been based upon the measures as stated in the first section of this study or specifically those including (1) Physical infrastructure; (2) Environmental impacts (often linked with physical infrastructure); (3) Economic impacts; (4) Tourism destination impacts; (5) Image enhancement; (6) Social impacts; (7) Cultural impacts; (8) Political impacts; and (9) Urban renewal (Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Network, 2007) These elements for the 'legacy' of the event or festival associated with cultural tourism and its impact on the hosting community. There are found in this study to be both negative…[continue]

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