A research report of Tour Down Under event Essay Example

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Tour Down Under

  1. Abstract

The most evident impacts that sport tourism has had is the increasing level of tourism that it brings to the hosting country or region. It is this tourism resulting from a sporting event like Tour Down Under (TDU) that makes possible the impacts of such sporting events. The report finds it necessary to include a discussion on sports and tourism to present a clearer perspective of TDU. The introduction gives more details on the probable approach adopted to outline the impacts of TDU on different stakeholders, as sport tourism event. There is a discussion of sports and tourism separately to help understand there points of commonality and establish their relationship. There is continued growth of sports and tourism concurrently with reliance on the combined impacts of sport and tourism. As an independent sector, sport tourism will continue to grow as per forecasts.

Sporting encompasses all forms of usually competitive physical activities in which sportspersons participate in either casually or in an organized manner while tourism is about travelling away from home to another region for recreational, leisure or business purposes. TDU is a combination of the two and as such it has particular effects on the stakeholders of sport tourism. These stakeholders include spectators who are locals and visitors, participants, host communities and firms, sponsors and governments, media and economies. The report also looks into improvement of tourism in relation to TDU, sport tourism and its impacts.

Table of Contents

1.0 Abstract 1

2.0 Introduction 3

3.0 Event Impacts 4

4.0 Tour Down Under (TDU) 5

4.1 Impacts of TDU on Stakeholders 6

5.0 Events and Destination Promotion 9

5.1 Tourism 9

5.2 Sporting 10

6.0 TDU Strategies to Improve Tourism 10

7.0 Conclusion 12

8.0 References 13

2.0 Introduction

In the most basic perspective, sport tourism is about people travelling to experience, observe or participate in a sporting event that is held in some other country or region other than the home environment. It stands out as the fastest growing sector of the global travel industry. The most evident impacts that sport tourism has had is the increasing level of tourism that the hosting country gets to enjoy. This report seeks to detail the impacts that Tour Down Under held in South Australia had on the stakeholders. To get a bigger picture of this, the report intends to initially discuss sports and tourism separately so as to establish the relationship between them. Sport tourism events are numerous and can either be like the world cup soccer, Olympics and even regional events amongst others. The number of sports tourists continues to fluctuate on an annual basis depending on the events taking place though it is greatest during FIFA world cups and Olympics years, just like the one being held in Moscow this year. The report explores the Tour Down Under event as a factor of sports tourism. Through the details gathered there will be a subsequent outlining of the impacts of sport tourism.

3.0 Event Impacts

An event like the Tour Down Under, which was held first in 1999, plays a significantly important role in influencing the local tourism as well economy of South Australia. Apart from the social and cultural viewpoints, the other stakeholders affected also include spectators, participants, host communities, sponsors and partners, the media and the economy. The extent of its influence and impacts indicate that sport tourism goes beyond being just a sports event. Travel is the common figure between sports and tourism industries, which are key sectors of both local and global economies. This report explores Tour Down Under as a sports tourism event relative to the extent of its impacts in South Australia.

Contribution of travel and tourism to the gross domestic product is expected to continue rising in the next decade. This draws from the fact that sport tourism continues to grow as an independent sector in the global travel and tourism industry (Cooper 2005). Relatively the economies of cities, regions and countries that attract mega events like Olympic Games, athletics and world cup sports also grow and increase (Brown et al. 2011). This growth is reliant on the combined impacts of sport and tourism. Jump-starting the economy or facilitating socio-economic developments is just a major impact of sport tourism events like TDU. It is used here in to help understand the essence of sports tourism and the necessity of evaluating the two aspects separately before getting the point of commonality in effect. The figure below shows a continued growth in sport tourism in select regions and a forecast of the same.

a research report of Tour Down Under event

Figure 1 Source: WTO (World Tourism Organisation)

3.1 Relationship between Sports and Tourism

The relationship between the two sectors is quite evident given that tourism is almost physically embedded in sports. Sporting events come with mobility of people who travel to follow such events for varying purposes. Effectively, Tour Down Under is no different in this respect and so it brings an element of both local and international tourism to South Australia. The relationship between the two can be better put into perspective by exploring Sport Tourism. The Commonwealth of Australia (2000) postulates that sport tourism has social, economic and cultural aspects, which verify the possible impacts on the interactive activity, the people and places involved (Green & Chalip 2000). Tourism in this facet results from sports-related travel of people following the sporting events. The continuous shift in patterns and strategies of tourism evidence a gradual embracement of sports in many more societies, hence, rise in sport tourism.

4.0 Tour Down Under (TDU)

As indicated by Lee and Brown (2013), Tour Down Under is sporting event of cycle racing that has been held in South Australia since 1999. The event is an organized sports that professional cyclist take part in as the major participants. The event has become essential to the region because it plays a major role in the local tourism and subsequently the general economy of South Australia. It is worth noting that the event impacts the social and cultural lives of the locals, as one of the stakeholders under its influence. TDU can be viewed on different scales from a local event to an international sporting event organized in South Australia. The point of interest is the range of impacts that it exposes the different stakeholders to. This report explores these impacts with the aim of evaluating them and thereby proposing ways that it can be used to enhance tourism in the region.

4.1 Impacts of TDU on Stakeholders

According to Kohlmorgen (2013), the Tour Down Under event of 2013 attracted close to close to a million people in the six days of racing in January only. The sport has six race stages that are held throughout the state of South Australia. In includes street parties, charity challenges, and recreational rides for kids, team presentations and even night dinners. The fundamental nature of all these herein is to give a picture of the scope of impacts that Tour Down Under could have of any entities in association or interaction with it. As a sport tourism event, Tour Down Under has impacted various entities as will be seen in the following evaluation.

Host communities

To start with, the TDU event operates on fully closed roads with detour signs placed at all start and finish locations. The road remains closed as the cyclists pass by and is only open after the green light vehicle and police have passed by. This implies that the locals are inconvenienced in way as they have to use other alternative roads, which disrupts their lifestyle, brings traffic congestion, noise and crowding. On the brighter side, it brings community development, civic pride and event production extension as social benefits. As put by Ntloko and Swart (2008), viewing the event as an entertainment, it provides a chance for the host community to meet new people and increase entertainment opportunities for locals. It’s therefore necessary to give the host community and residents a treat and reason to find preference in the event and its benefits (Andriotis 2005)

Sport tourism sector

The Tour Down Under in South Australia has had significant impacts on the sport tourism sector itself. This sector remains one of the fastest growing divisions of travel and tourism as an industry. In South Australia, the event has received increasing attention from all over the world due to its social, economic and environmental development opportunities. Sport tourism has therefore grown extensively in Adelaide and spread to gain national and international recognition (Hritz & Ross 2010). To this effect, it is receiving governmental support to improve it and ensure that the positive outcomes of the event are maximized and the unwanted occurrences are minimized, avoided or dealt with responsively. Figure 2 indicates activities in which the tourists engage as they visit Australia.

a research report of Tour Down Under event 1

Figure 2 Source: Roy Morgan Research (2005)

Economic impacts

As sports tourism, TDU continues to be a key component of the substantial economic growth, not only for the state of Adelaide but also for the whole nation of Australia. These economic growth from hosting TDU as a major event is one reason why the state spend a lot of money to hold this event, attract more participants and spectators and organize other tournaments of the same nature (Gago 2010). The tourism industry in South Australia has experienced a substantial boost, which is an indication of strong business confidence. It pursues tourism for the benefit of the whole country. Support for sport tourism in Australia can be shown by the increase in the number of imported racing bikes. Figure 2 shows an increase between the years 2000 and 2004.

a research report of Tour Down Under event 2

Figure 3 Source: Australian Bicycle Industry (2004)

Environment benefits

In relation to cycle tourism, researches on TDU present the finding that bicycle tourists are more environmentally sensitive. This is on the basis of assumption that the visitors do not only come to participate in the cycle races but also engage in cycle tourism. Such tourists choose more environmentally friendly accommodations and cause less damage to the environment. Subsequently, through TDU the South Australian government is able to sensitize both locals and visitors (participants and spectators) on the importance of environmental conservation (Faulks, Ritchie & Fluker 2007). The environment is not only conserved as it is but the wastes from this event are managed appropriately, alongside proper management of traffic, noise and visual pollution.

The Tour Down Under has grown enough to attract the attention of both local and international media. Resultantly, the sport has received increased media exposure over the last number of years, thereby raising the profile of the activity. Consequently, it has raised the profile of tourism and other sporting events held in South Australia through the television, which has a better coverage now than it did in the past. As more people get to see the event on television, an increasing number of sport fans want to experience live event of the same. Sporting icons and winners of the races receive national and international recognition. In effect, it generates demand as fans get interested I seeing their sporting icons perform. Due to the media, the overall sport tourism market is expected to grow eventually with acceptance and informed perceptions from the communities involved (Andereck & Vogt 2000).

5.0 Events and Destination Promotion

5.1 Sporting

In a general sense, sporting encompasses all forms of usually competitive physical activities in which sportspersons participate in either casually or in an organized manner. The main aim of sporting is to improve, maintain and make use of physical ability and skills and at the same time entertain both spectators and participants (Lacey 2007). There is professionalism in sports and it is about engaging is sporting activities for profit. Such sports are under regulations and rules of competition as set by leagues or associations in authority (Gammon & Robinson 2003). The reasons for which people engage in sports can be used to evaluate the influence and impacts that sporting events have on stakeholders. Such reasons are the factors of motivation for these participants and observers.

The aspect of social construction and basis gives sports different meanings in various societies. The idea is that event the current high level organization of sports borrows the fundamental idea from the informal origins. Away from the general idea of most sports to be involving physical activity, competition and rules, other sporting activities such as jogging remain informal. According to Smith, and Stewart (2010), participants in a sporting event are not only those who take part in sport by performance but also include those who observe and get entertainment out of it. That of importance to this report is the presence of spectators at the event, which has had an important influence on the nature and development of sports and other stakeholders as well.

5.2 Tourism

Relevance and importance attributed to travel and tourism as a sector can be drawn from the important role that the sector plays in today’s employment, job creation and economy. Therefore, on its own, the travel and tourism sector has potential influences and impacts of a given country (Blanke & Chiesa 2013). Most of these impacts are positive and for part of the reason why every country desire to increase inflow of tourists. Contextually, tourism is travelling away from home to another region for recreational, leisure or business purposes, at the end of which one returns home. Therefore, a tourist is a person who travels to a place outside their usual environment for a given period of time (McCabe 2005). However, according to the World Tourism Organization, this period is not supposed to go for more than one consecutive year. The appeal of destinations and the experiences that tourists get are critically important in their decision-making. The hosting country, therefore, has to give the tourists a reason to visit their regions. This is important to this report since tourism influences a country’s marketing strategies and perspectives of tourism.

6.0 TDUand Strategies to Improve Tourism

Local and resident management

Improvement of tourism has to be a government initiative with the aim of not only showcasing the beauty and features a country’s geography and culture to the world but also to generate benefits for its people. Using sporting tourism to improve tourism touches on enhancing the quality of life for the locals. Enhancement of life quality is facilitated by the evident cultural demography and tourism (Avgoustis et al. 2005). The strategies of attracting tourists to South Australia will have to start with making the sport facilities available to local residents. This necessary since the government want the local residents to appreciate the initiative and welcome the visitors.

Training and retaining employees

Tourism is a more labour dependent industry as evidenced by its growth in the number of employees which increases annually. As TDU continues to grow and more sport tourism activities continue to be organized across Australia, the government has to lay down strategies of retaining the employees in this industry. The first level of implementing the retaining strategy is to offer much higher wages than other industries that the employees may opt for. It is also important for the governing authorities in this industry like Tourism Australia to implement FIFO modes of operation, which will reduce geographic restriction for the industry to source workers.

Accommodation improvement

As the regions experience growth of TDU, there is need to improve accommodation I the region for the tourists to international levels. Noticing that visitors who come for this event do not only intend to participate but also to tour the region, it is important that accommodation around Adelaide becomes their only choice. This can be achieved by high levels of hospitality and service delivery. In this way, the comfort gives the tourist a reason to stay longer and tell about the good treatment when they return home. Investment in accommodation is a high risk opportunity yet it offers high returns (Hinch & Higham 2001).

Investors and operators

As government strategy, the South Australian Tourism Commission has a clear vision of future tourism. A part of this is the intention to seriously work with investors and operators in the sport tourism sector. Collaboration of the TDU organizers and the tourism department can help achieve the tourism vision of growth and development of the sector. It only requires recognition of the raw ingredients for world class tourism development in the state. Such include availability of good food, accessible coastal and natural experiences as well as an enviable lifestyle. The government is to make the region and sport tourism attractive for investors and operators. Such cooperation will facilitate tourism developments and experiences. These, in turn, will enhance conservation of the natural environment and building of the sectors strengths (Pham, Bailey & Marshal 2003).

7.0 Conclusion

The study achieves an evaluation of the impacts of Tour Down Under as a sports tourism event. The discussion achieves the objective by adopting the approach of discussing sports and tourism separately before obtaining the relationship between them. In this way, it becomes easier to understand the ways in which TDU impacts the outlined stakeholders. Subsequently, the report uses these impacts to suggest ways in which TDU can be used to enhance tourism. Evidently, sport tourism is growing and needs to be appreciated. Relevance and importance attributed to travel and tourism as a sector can be drawn from the important role that the sector plays in today’s employment, job creation and economy. TDU is a combination of the two and as such it has particular effects on the stakeholders of sport tourism.

8.0 References

Andereck, K.L.and Vogt, C.A. 2000. The relationship between residents’ attitudes toward tourism and tourism development options. Journal of Travel Research, 39.

Andriotis, K. 2005. Community groups’ perceptions of and preferences for tourism development: Evidence from Crete. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, 29, p.67–90

Australian Bicycle Industry. 2004. Australian Bicycle Industry Report 2004. Victoria.

Avgoustis, S.H. Cecil, A.K. Fu, Y. and Wang, S. 2005. Exploring a relationship between quality of life, enjoyment of cultural tourism and demography. Tourism Today 5(1), p.35-48

Blanke, J. and Chiesa, T. 2013. The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2013. [online] Available at: http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_TT_Competitiveness_Report [Accessed 10 August 2013].

Brown, G., Jago, L., Chalip, L., Ali, S., and Mules, T. 2011. Events and destination management. Destination Marketing and Management. Oxford: CABI.

Commonwealth of Australia. 2000. Towards a National Sports Tourism Strategy [online] Available at: http://www.ausport.gov.au [Accessed 10 August 2013].

Cooper, C. ed., 2005. Tourism: Principles and Practice. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Faulks, P. Ritchie, B. and Fluker, M. 2007. CYCLE TOURISM IN AUSTRALIA: An investigation into its size and scope. CRC for Sustainable Tourism Pty Ltd.

Gago, G. 2010. Tourism Investment: South Australia. [online] Available at: http://www.tourism.sa.gov.au/assets/documents/Industry/tourism-investment-brochure.pdf [Accessed 10 August 2013].

Gammon, S. and Robinson, T. 2003. Sport and Tourism: A Conceptual Framework. Journal of Sport Tourism, 8.

Green, B.C. and Chalip, L. 1998. Sport tourism as the celebration of subculture. Annals of Tourism Research, 25(2). p.275-291.

Hinch, T. and Higham, J. 2001. Sport tourism: A framework for research. International. Journal of Tourism Research, 3(1).

Hritz, N. and Ross, C. 2010. The perceived impacts of sport tourism: An urban host community perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 24, p.119-138.

Jago, L. Chalip, L. Brown, G. Mules, T. and Ali, S. 2003. Building events into destination branding: Insights from experts. Event Management, 8(1).

Kohlmorgen, J. 2013. Tour Down Under stage one preview. [online] Available at: http://www.theroar.com.au/2013/01/22/tour-down-under-stage-one-preview [Accessed 10 August 2013].

Lacey, D. 2007. It takes a bad loser to become a good winner, The Guardian. [online] Available at: http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport.html [Accessed 10 August 2013].

Lee S. and Brown, G. 2013. The Event-scope Experience: Conceptual insights from the Tour Down Under in Australia. South Australia: University of South Australia.

McCabe, S. 2005. Who is a tourist? A critical review. Tourist Studies, 5(1). p.85-106.

Ntloko, N. J. and Swart, K. 2008. Sport tourism event impacts on the host community. South African Journal for Research in Sport, Physical Education and Recreation, 30(2) p.79-93.

Pham, T. D. Bailey, G. and Marshal, J. 2013. The economic impact of the current mining boom on the Australian tourism industry. Canberra: Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism: Tourism Research Australia.

Roy Morgan Research. 2005. Holiday Tracking Survey, July 2004-June 2005 (Data provided to researchers by Tourism Australia).

Smith, A. C. T. and Stewart, B. 2010. The special features of sport: a critical revisit. Sport Management Review, 13, p.1-13.