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Analyzing the Role of Festivals and Events in Regional Development

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While tourism has a long history of use as a tool for regional development, events and festivals are a more recent policy option. In both cases the emphasis is often placed on the potential positive economic impacts. In both cases there has also been little research conducted into a wider range of outcomes or into the factors and processes that contribute to these outcomes. This article examines the potential role of festivals and events in regional development with a particular focus on effects other than economic. The study reported here used a conceptual framework developed to describe regional tourism development to explore 36 case studies describing festivals and events in a regional development context. The content analysis identified 13 themes as associated with the effectiveness of festivals and events in supporting regional development. These themes were further organized according to their connections to the three key constructs of building social capital, enhancing community capacity, and support for non-tourism-related products and services. These constructs are then used to build a preliminary conceptual framework to understand the role of festivals and events in regional development.

Keywords: COMMUNITY CAPACITY; EVENTS; FESTIVALS; REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT; SOCIAL CAPITAL

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • Event Management, an International Journal, intends to meet the research and analytic needs of a rapidly growing profession focused on events. This field has developed in size and impact globally to become a major business with numerous dedicated facilities, and a large-scale generator of tourism. The field encompasses meetings, conventions, festivals, expositions, sport and other special events. Event management is also of considerable importance to government agencies and not-for-profit organizations in a pursuit of a variety of goals, including fund-raising, the fostering of causes, and community development.
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