Events and Festivals' Importance for Communities

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Events and festivals have always been an essential part of culture and society itself and helped to increase peoples awareness of certain cities or cultures for a very long time (Shone and Parry, 2015).

In the past the main attraction of creating events or festival was religion. The connection between religion and celebration of festivals was very close, but as the humanity progressed further in time, this connection became thinner as the society was exploring all other reasons of celebrating (Shone and Parry, 2015). According to Yeoman et al. (2004) festivals and events taking place in destination entice people to visit the destination and thus they take a significant part in attraction’s development of tourism. Festivals and events can be used to bolster potential tourist knowledge and awareness of destination (Yeoman et al., 2004), but not only for enhancing destination tourism, the festivals and events can be used as a source of developing the community a great example of development could be the creation of new job opportunities (Getz, 2008).

In Edinburgh’s example Carlsen, Ali-Knight and Robertson state ”In the period immediately after World War II, festivals were used as an aid to reconstruction and economic regeneration (Harvie, 2003; Waterman, 1998). Garden festivals were held in early postwar Germany to encourage the regeneration of war-damaged areas (Ward, 1998). The Edinburgh International Festival was founded in 1947 with the purpose of bolstering the sense of European identity by supporting the revival of culture and the arts (Harvie, 2003). In addition, the Edinburgh festivals have brought economic benefits both to Edinburgh and the rest of Scotland and have assisted with the transition from an economy strongly dependent on heavy industries to one increasingly based on services and tourism (Harvie, 2003).

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” This statement can be used as a great examples theory mentioned above. Purpose of this essay is to critically consider how important it is for the destination to have a successful strategic planning approach.

This essay will firstly analyse the wide spectrum of festivals and events and how they are related to culture, heritage and also tourism in the United Kingdom. It will also highlight the benefits of the festival and events tourism at local, regional and national levels and will focus to also highlight benefits and importance of events regarding the city of Edinburgh. The work will examine the United Kingdom’s public sector policy regarding festival and event tourism with focus on the United Kingdom. Analyse the importance of destination branding, lay out importance of having balanced strategic event porfolio

The relationship between festivals, events and culture and heritage is very narrow. The festivals involve the culture in many different ways (Bladen et al., 2018). Regardless the central theme of the event or festival being it music, film, art, religion in every way there is a connection between them and culture, society, heritage or area (Bowdin et al., 2011). Festivals can also contribute to the preservation or revival of local culture. (Bowdin et al., 2011). As a revival of local culture could be used Turkish Nomad festival, which featured traditional nomad rhythms, dances and authentic nomad lifestyle.

To set an example of how big impact festivals and events have on culture, destination’s economics. However there are countless types of events, so it is mandatory to use some typology to divide the events into groups. Getz (2016) categorises events into seven categories: Cultural celebrations, Bussiness and trade, Arts and entertainment, Sport and recreation, Political and state, Private functions. The stakeholders and target market in each of these types will differ as examples could be used Sports events such as Football championships or any other league play. These events will focus on a wide range of potential attendees and other stakeholders.

Moreover, because of the scale of events, planning is much more critical, because of the impact on destination economics, environment, which is caused by a high number of visitors (Getz, 2016). However this typology is not the only one, that is used in events tourism. Finkel (2009, p. 5) sets another way to categorise festivals, and that is by the size of the event. He divides them into three classes: Small festivals whose visitor count will not exceed 10,000 as an example of small festivals in the United Kingdom could be Gottwood or Wilderness festival, medium, where the number of visitors is from 10,000 to 50,000 here we can assign Let it roll festival. Moreover, the last category is large festivals, whose number of visitors overcomes 50,000. Getz also uses the typology focusing on the scale of the event (2016) he claims that they can also be classified into four categories with emphasis on their demand and value: Mega-events with high demand, with the only, occasionally arranged, then there are Hallmark events, which also boasts with high demand, Medium events with medium demand and local events that usually contain low demand. Naturally as the size of the event rises, so is the demand. Getz (2016) and with demand increased demand there is a high increase of stakeholders and also the planning of the event (Getz, 2016).

Event tourism is recognised as being inclusive of all planned events in an included part of marketing and development. Event tourism is viewed from two sides supply sides and demand. Demand is what the consumer wants to do and what they spend on. The demand is the assessment of value in promoting a positive destination image (Getz, 2008). The supply side contains a destination’s resources and promotion to attract tourists to visit. (Getz, 2008). The events tourism benefits the destination, region or national level in many aspects. Assuming that the organisation has done marketing right, the destination will prosper in an increase in numbers of visitors, before, during or even after the event has taken place. It would also motivate tourists to spend more of their finances. Created a high level of awareness on regional or even national scale, develop a positive image of the destination, region or host country or establish a link which will contribute to future tourism development (Getz, 2008) and then if the festival leaves a positive impact on the visitors, it can become synonymous with destination (Getz, 2008). According to Allen et al. (2006) tourism is an industry, that is considered by governments as capable of delivering job creation, economic profits and as image-maker, that can create a profile for a destination and position it on the market and hence provide a competitive marketing advantage. On the other hand, according to Hall (2008) festival and event tourism can also cause and negative impact on destination. It can create greater seasonal employment, increase the income gap between wealthy and poor, localised inflation.

As the benefits of the festival and event tourism were laid out, to achieve them, it is mandatory to firstly promote the destination well, to attract visitors (Getz, 2016). Marketing a destination is different Robinson et al. (2010) state that marketing enables event organisers to capture customer data and understand what motivates event attendance, it also allows customers to tell event organisers their dislikes, in order to improve future events. Qu (2011) states that destination brands serve two main functions: identification and differentiation. As with single product brands, a destination brand is also made up of the components of awareness and image. Without some level of awareness, the consumer cannot have perceptions of the destination’s image, qualityetc. Many destinations want to develop new images about themselves, especially in order to change negative images that they have (Rainisto, 2003). One of the most significant challenges when creating a distinctive destination brand is the need to understand the nature of a place’s identity and to recognise the core attributes that define its character. These are very much related to its culture and core values (Cai, 2002; Marzano and Scott, 2009 cited in Campelo, 2014). Creating a destination brand also affects future visits, awareness (Getz, 2016). Culture and heritages located in the destination significantly support the tourist’s attendance of the destination. Those attributes should be used as the main attraction and also help with building the image of a destination (Getz and Page, 2016). In Edinburgh’s example, the marketing organisation for the city is named Marketing Edinburgh. The organisation aims to promote the city as leading leisure, heritage learning and business destination on both regional and national level, but also trying to enhance internationality (, 2019).

According to Getz (2016), the staging of planned events cannot ignore the many public policies and result in regulations or laws that impact on the events sector. It is used as laws, regulations or decisions of governments to resolve any problems regarding public concerns (Getz, 2016). Getz (2016) states that policies stated by government are often based on ideology, arising from party-political manifestos. According to Robertson and Wardrop (2012) policy goals in tourism strategies are connected to one another by six different factors such as quality of life, place identity, culture, tourism, economy and social capital. The public sector is responsible for a large proportion of the special events provided for the community, and the majority of local governments in Britain now have a substantial and varied events program (Thomas & Wood, 2004). VisitScotland co-ordinates the national public sector approach and works closely with the relevant local authorities, recognising their different relative strengths and resources. This is in addition to bids being secured within the private sector and other organisations. (VisitScotland. 2019)

According to Getz (2013) portfolio of events should have structure and balance, shaped by long-term strategy: “A full portfolio will consist of various types of events, for different target markets, held in different places, and at a different time of the year, in the pursuit of multiple goals.” Ziakas (2013) also supports this statement, by describing an event. portfolio to be strategic pattering of events taking place throughout the year in host community and should include events that sustain a range of elements that meet key goals, set out in the tourism strategy. The authenticity of an event portfolio can be transferred to strengthen the authenticity of the destination and its tourism product (Gibson et al., 2012). The coordinated implementation of events in a portfolio can help the effective and efficient use of a destination’s integrated set of resources and assets (Getz, 2013). In Edinburgh’s example, the city’s portfolio is following the standards. The city boasts itself with over 3,000 festivals and event over the year (Edinburgh festival city, 2019). It hosts themed festival such as Science Festival, Internation Children’s Festival, International Film Festival, Jazz and Blues Festival, Art Festival, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, Edinburgh International Festival, Festival Fringe, International Book Festival, Scottish International Storytelling Festival, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay. City of Edinburgh mostly focuses on hosting hallmark events, that support local communities. Which has positive impact on local bussinesses as well as on the local community, this impact also strenghten local economy, community pride and bonds it together (Shone and Parry, 2013). Most of these events take place at different time of the year and are focused on ofmany target markets. The portfolio also follows the Scotlands events strategy, that consists of selected free or paid events of all types and categories across Scotland and aims to be recognised nationally and internationally (EventScotland, 2019). Having balanced portfoilo is a great advantage for the the destination. (Getz 2013) Hosting event. on every scale benefits the destination in lot of ways. For instance hallmark events provide jobs and also helps to build community pride in the destination (Bowdin et al. 2012) as well as aiding destination image and increase number of tourist visits (Allen et al, 2012). On the other hand, hallmark events on natinal scale do not always cause only positive impacts. According to Bowdin et al. 2012) they increase traffic congestion and polution. Smaller events such as local events also play a part in events portfolio (Shawn and Perry, 2015). Local event. do not require that much of a planning as the ones on regional or natinal scale (Bowdin et al, 2012). Shawn and Perry (2015) suggests that in most cases evaluation of the organizers on local area and its need is enough. But measuring of the success of local events might be harder, because they do not take big part on economic impact for the destination. Black (2016) suggests that measuring of success of local event should be done through visitors number or community participation.

According to Bowdin (2011) a strategic approach to a destination’s event. tourism developement efforts offers significant benefits. These benefits lie primarly in the areas of coordination and in the building of an event tourism capacity that represents the best strategic fit with the area’s overal tourism effort and its current and projected bussiness environment. Bowdin (2011) presents an strategic approach in steps, that should be followed to develop an succesful event tourism in the destination. Step one analyses the key stakeholders of the event area for example what kind of tourists visit the the city, their motivation, next it also focuses on destination’s community, government policies.

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Events and Festivals' Importance for Communities. (2019, Dec 07). Retrieved from

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