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Assessing the Viability of First-Time and Repeat Visitors to an International Jazz Festival in South Africa

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The Cape Town International Jazz Festival is South Africa's most renowned jazz festival and, from quite modest beginnings, has grown into a successful international event. Since its inception in 2000, attendance figures have increased from the initial 14,000 to 32,000 in the past 9 years. The festival's winning formula of bringing more than 40 international and local artists to perform over 2 days on five stages has earned it the status of being the most prestigious event on the African continent. The festival is furthermore currently ranked as the number four jazz festival in the world; even outshining events such as Switzerland's Montreux Festival and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. A research survey was done for the first time at the festival in 2009 where 432 visitor questionnaires were completed, and a second survey was conducted during the festival in April 2010 where 420 questionnaires were administered. The aim of this research is to segment visitors to the Cape Town International Jazz Festival based on the frequency of visits to distinguish between first-time and repeat festival attendees. Both first-time and repeat visitor groups play a fundamental role in the overall well-being and success of a festival and festival organizers must strive to achieve a balance between first-time and repeat visitors. Therefore, festival organizers should be aware of the festival attributes that differentiate between the first-time visitor group and repeat visitors attending the festival. Two-way frequency tables and chi-square tests as well as ANOVAs and Tukey's multiple comparisons were used to analyze the data and segment firsttime and repeat visitors based on sociodemographics, behavioral characteristics, and overall satisfaction and travel motivations. These differences should be considered when the festival program is designed and marketed. The latter will greatly contribute to the long-term sustainability of the festival.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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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