Distinguish between a Mega-Event and a Hallmark Event

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Mega-Event and Hallmark


Tourists tend to be attracted to some factors such as the natural environment, climatic condition, and unique cultures. However, there are a number of specific social activities and events that have been major tourist attractors since many decades (Susic & Dordevic, 2011). Most of these activities include sports event that may occur during certain times and follow a specific routine. The routine and occurrence of the sports events provide tourists with accurate information on the exact time that an event is set to happen. The events that have been major influencers when it comes to tourist attraction include football events such as world cup and general sporting events such as Olympics. Information on the frequency and duration of unique events help event organizers to put together their logistics in readiness for tourist. However, many questions have been asked concerning the impact of the huge events on tourism. Some researches may have failed to recognize such visit as tourism while others group the visitors as a tourist. Two types of events, the mega-events, and the hallmark events, have been selected in an attempt to establish how they influence tourism. This paper will provide a case study highlight for both the types of the events; establish the differences and their specific impact on tourism.

Hallmark events

Hallmark events have been discussed in various literature with several links created to connect the type of event to tourism. According to Getz et al. (2012), the first recognition of Hallmark events came from Ritchie, who described the event with the aspect of seasonality being recognized. According to his definition, Hallmark events are distinguished by unique themes and aim to attract tourists, offer recreational opportunity. The events are scheduled to take place during the specific period of the year and have effects on the economy, culture politics. At some instances, Hallmark event can be referred to as the events that take place during a specific time of the year to solve a certain seasonal problem. The events can be held once or on a regular basis but still have to maintain an international status. Hallmark events help an economy or community to market its potential tourist attraction sites and events. Some of the major Hallmark events in history include Indiapollis 500 car race, events organized by the Melbourne major events company and the Quebec’s Winter Carnival.

A case study by William (2000) established that the City of Brandon experienced tremendous economic development after a Hallmark event. The Hall market event hosted by the city in 1979 was a major youth winter sporting event. The even came along with funding from the government that helped the city develop some social infrastructure like the Sportsplex. The city prepared adequately for tourists who came in the form of participants, coaches or technical staff, relatives of major participants and fans from various parts of the country. The fans managed to spend time in the city that coincided with the time the event took place. Evidence was retrieved from hotel records and the number of people attending stadia to watch the sporting events. The city officials were impressed and worked out on a way of forming another event that would attract tourists and possibly contribute to economic development. The determination by the city official implies that Hallmark events have a significant impact on attracting tourists to places events are hosted. The case study has provided a list of Hallmark events that followed after the first success. As stated before, tourist attend to Hallmark events inn different categories. The major participants are considered as tourists and either take part in the event or help in various areas as the event proceeds. Another group of tourists is the relatives to the participants who may have come to support their family members. The last category of tourist who come in the capacity of fans ahead of the event.

Mega events

Fourie and Santana-Gallego (2010) note that mega events have been defined as large-scale episodes that incorporate the cultural, commercial and sporting events. In most cases, theses events have established a global recognition and are considered significant around the globe. Major events such as the Olympics, Rugby world cup, cricket world cup and the FIFA world cup are among the mega events that most people around the globe recognize. According to Fourie and Santana-Gallego (2010), mega events do not only have a global recognition but also play an important role shaping the tourism patterns around the globe. Mega-events have a tendency of establishing legacies that can survive for many years. However, enough proof has not been collected to establish whether Mega-events have an impact on cross-country tourism.

A study by Fourie and Santana-Gallego (2010) was conducted to establish if mega events have an impact in shaping tourism patterns. The study focused in tourism flux in the same year a mega-event is hosted. The study used three types of analyzes that included input-output, cost benefit and computable general equilibrium (CGE). In addition, the study also concentrated on tourism arrival and therefore prompted the use of a gravity equation model.

Results established that some mega events resulted in the increased arrival of tourists in the host country. The study compared with previous studies on the same topic, and it was determined that there is a change in the arrival of tourists in a country. All the Mega-events mentioned before were included in the. Various countries such as Germany, France, and South Africa have been used to prove that the idea of mega-events. However, the varying results may also imply that the study was either faulty, or the mega events have no effect on tourism. In addition, the study overlooked the aspect of local tourists and only focused on international arrivals.

According to Barclay (2009), there is a tendency of economic analysis tools to amplify the benefits accrued from the Mega-events. He points out that focusing on international benefits may not provide information concerning the intentions. Whatever the case, the fact that people will attend to a mage event is enough proof that the mega-event is an attractive phenomenon. The aspect of local tourists should not be under-estimated as they are equally treated as visitors during the event. All the sporting events have been cited to be characterized by huge fan turnout. Just like in the Hallmark event, the Mega-events are good tourist-attracting events around the globe. Tourists also come in the form of active sports participants such as players and technical staff. While other people may visit the stadium as fans of a particular team or individual. The main facts remain that the Mega-event attracts more tourists than the Hallmark event due to the difference in magnitude of fame.


It is an undisputed factor that tourism is one of the most complex social activity to study and quantify. The reason for this challenge is the ability of a single tourist to express more than one interest. Any attractive event would welcome fun to visit as a tourist while others may visit out of curiosity. Two events have been discussed that vary in magnitude as well as global recognition.Hallmark events are more localized while the Mega-events are internationally recognized events. In both cases studied, there is enough proof to indicate that the number of visitors remains high in the respective cities where the events are hosted. In both occasions, people who visit to actively or passively participate in the event are considered as tourists. These tourists can either be a local or international tourist, and since the main aim was to establish the impact of the two events on tourism, only one conclusion can be made. Both Hallmark events and the mega-events are a great influence in the tourism industry.


Barclay, J., 2009, Predicting the Cost and Benefits of Mega-Sporting Events: Misjudgment of Olympic proportions. Retrieved from The Author. Journal compilation: http://www.iea.org.uk/sites/default/files/publications/files/upldeconomicAffairs340pdfSummary.pdf

Fourie, J., & Santana-Gallego, M., 2010, The Impact of Mega-Events on Tourist Arrivals. Retrieved from Working Paper Number 171 : http://www.econrsa.org/papers/w_papers/wp171.pdf

Getz, D., Svensson, B., Pteressen, R., & Gunnervall, A., 2012, Hallmark Events: Definition Goals and Planning Process. Retrieved from International Journal of Event Management Research Volume 7, Number 1/2, http://www.ijemr.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Getzetal.pdf

Susic, V., & Dordevic, D., 2011, The Place and Role of Events in the Tourist Development of the Southwest Serbia Cluster. Retrieved from Economics and Organization Vol. 8, No: http://facta.junis.ni.ac.rs/eao/eao201101/eao201101-06.pdf

William, H., 2000, Municipal Economic development via Hallmark events. Retrieved from Journal of Tourism Studies: https://www.jcu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/123064/jcudev_012720.pdf