Insular Tourism: Profile and Consumption Patterns of an International Football Event Held in Madeira Island

Insular Tourism: Profile and Consumption Patterns of an International Football Event Held in Madeira Island

Margarida Mascarenhas, Bruno Rodrigues, Ivo Sousa-Ferreira, Elsa Pereira
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3156-3.ch016
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This chapter aimed to analyse the profile and patterns of consumption of non-resident spectators of a sporting event that took place in an insular tourist city: Funchal (Madeira Island, Portugal). Data collection was performed at the entrance of the football stadium where 108 (n) spectators were randomly surveyed. Data were analysed based on descriptive and inferential statistics. Results showed that on average, each tourist spent 231 euros in the city; the highest cost was due to accommodation and secondly to tickets; ‘arrival time at the stadium' was the variable that most positively influenced the total expenditure; individuals with higher education/wage levels had a greater predisposition to spend more money on food/drink and accommodation. As spectators' opinion on the city/stadium showed high levels of satisfaction, the event improved the visitors' perception and image of the city. This study highlights how sporting events can increase the insular tourism. Future research should replicate this study in similar events hosted in comparable destinations.
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Over the last decades, the research that has been developed around the theme of the sporting events’ economic impacts has provided a varied range of studies (Agha & Taks, 2015; Dixon, Backman, Backman, & Norman, 2012; Gómez-Bantel, 2015; Kelley, Harrolle & Casper, 2014; Ratten, 2016b). As stated by Sanz, Moreno, and Camacho (2012), sports events have aroused high interest among scholars for their ability to provide both positive and negative impacts.

The literature has emphasized the importance of this type of studies (Carneiro, Breda, & Cordeiro, 2016; George & Swart, 2012; Ratten, 2016a), because it allows the: a) knowledge of the impact of an event that has already occurred; and b) analysis of potential advantages and disadvantages in a future scenario of hosting an event. Although the studies carried out provide a great deal of information on the economic impacts of mega-events (Getz, 2008), there is a gap regarding the knowledge of these impacts generated in the host region by a special event (George & Swart, 2012; Getz, 2008). In fact, much less attention has been given to the analysis of the economic impact of small-scale sporting events (Gibson, Kaplanidou, & Kang, 2012).

Regional development is an important focuses of sporting events, being the subject of analysis by local councils in view of regional policies’ framework (Kwiatkowski, 2016) and tourism development issues (Agha & Taks, 2015). The motivations to host events include improving the perception of the image of the city / destination (Pereira, Mascarenhas, Flores, & Pires, 2015), using the event as a catalyst for economic regeneration with sociocultural benefits, job creation, marketing benefits and the development of local infrastructures (Diedering & Kwiatkowski, 2015; Thomson, Schlenker, & Schulenkorf, 2013).

The entry of ‘new money’ from the influx of non-resident to the sports event is of paramount importance. It is therefore imperative to understand the attractiveness of this type of events, both to draw conclusions about the consumers’ profile and to better visitors’ capturing in future events (Crompton, 2006; Gratton, Shibli, & Coleman, 2006; Gursoy, Chen, & Chi, 2014; Halpenny, Kulczycki, & Moghimehfar, 2016). Thus, it is possible to create bases for the loyalty of visitors to the destination, and consequently to promote its economic sustainability. It is necessary to understand what influences the spectator and what desires seeks to satisfy for a correct organization and definition of appropriate marketing strategies. If an event is adapted to what spectators are looking for, it is expectable that in the medium/long term it will generate an effect of economic benefits and catalysts of local tourism (Auger, 2014).

In this sequence, the identification of market niches will allow the adaptation of the characteristics of the event to the desires of the spectators, providing a better experience of the event - and by association, of the destination - thus strengthening visitors’ retention (Barajas, Coates, & Sánchez-Fernandez, 2016; George & Swart, 2012). Given the importance of knowing who visits and what benefits these events provide, both for tangible and intangible values (Kaplanidou, Kerwin, & Karadakis, 2013), these studies aim to give decision makers an important tool for the realization of marketing strategies according to the visitors’ niches. For example, one of the challenges of this line of research is to realize that if a visitor buys a service/product whose production is not entirely originated in the region of the event, there will be a ‘leak’ out of the community of that money (Crompton, 2006; Ziakas & Costa, 2011). As such, to ensure the maximization of economic benefits, it will be up to the event’s organization - in cooperation with local businesses/suppliers - to devise a strategy to ensure that all products and services provided at the event come from its host region (Chalip, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Tourism Seasonality: The seasonality of tourist destinations results from the concentration of tourist activities in short periods of time (i.e., a few months); this peak in tourist demand causes inefficient use of tourist infrastructures and overload in the ecological, social and cultural systems of destinations.

Sport Event Consumer’s Profile: Characterization of variables associated with the individuals (e.g., sport participants, spectators, etc.) and their consumption of products and services during/in the time of the events.

Sport Event’s Economic Impact: The net change that occurs in the economy of a city, country or region, resulting from hosting a sporting event; multiple effects - direct, indirect and induced - give rise to this economic impact of expenditure.

Football Fan: An enthusiastic and active follower of football; a person truly passionate about football; a person extremely interested in accompanying a football team and / or football icons.

Destination Loyalty: Extremely important for the sustainability of tourist destinations, it is determined by a wide range of factors, which may or may not be mediated by satisfaction, such as destination’s unique attributes, destination’s image, co-creation of pleasant emotional experiences during the visit, desire for learning opportunities, etc.

Leveraging of Sport Events Tourism: Articulated set of strategies aimed at maximizing competitiveness and developing a tourist destination through hosting sporting events.

Sport Tourism: The consumption (active / passive) of sport (recreational / competitive) integrated in a touristic system; e.g., a spectator who travels outside of his residence to attend a sporting event is a passive consumer of recreational sport tourism.

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