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Events, Festivals and Tourism Development (Essay Sample)


Events and festivals are often a major element of an urban or seaside destination’s plan for tourism development. Using examples, discuss the challenges and opportunities of developing such a strategy.
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Events, Festivals and Tourism Development
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Events, Festivals and Tourism Development
For the tourism sector to grow, it is important to ensure that the number of tourists visiting various destinations within a country increase. In most cases, the larger the number of tourists, the larger the income to the country of destination (Cudny, 2013). One of the strategies used to attract tourists is the organisation of events/ festivals. There are several advantages associated with the organisation of these functions. These advantages include the increased profits for businesses operating within the locality of the function, promotion of the cultural heritage of the local community, and the development of infrastructure. Despite having availing some opportunities for the local people/ tourists, functions may come with some challenges. One of the main challenges that may be observed is resistance by the members of the local community. Such resistance is often observed where the function is promoting some ideals contrary to the local community's cultural beliefs/ ideals. Other challenges include potential infrastructural degradation and erosion of the cultural heritage. Although the use of events and festivals is a major element of an urban or seaside destination’s plan, the use of such a strategy provides both opportunities and challenges.
One of the opportunities created by using such a strategy is the potential preservation of national heritage. The preservation of national heritage includes not only the protection of the environment but also the protection of natural areas (Wee et al., 2017). The preservation of natural heritage also includes the protection of national values, attitudes, and ethos. Here are some examples of festivals/ events that have provided the opportunity for the protection of the national heritage. The first example is the Wlodzimierz Puchalski International Festival of Nature Films. This festival is held every year in Poland. Events and festivals offer numerous opportunities for the growth of tourism as well as the preservation of the national ethos. Take, for example, the International Environmental Film and Video Festival. The festival was held in Brazil and has been described to be the largest of its kind. The festival was dedicated towards environmental problems. The festival attracted a large number of tourists from various parts of the world. Through the festival, the natural heritage of Brazil was made known to the world. Further, the environmental problems facing Brazil were highlighted during the festival. The festival helped attract donors to fund the environmental rehabilitation plans in Brazil. Therefore, in addition to attracting tourists, the festival attracted donors willing to fund the preservation of Brazil’s national heritage.
Using the strategy of events/ festivals for tourist attractions also comes with the opportunity for the promotion of cultural heritage. Extensive evidence has revealed that the festivals/ events on urban areas/ seaside comes with a very positive influence on the cultural heritage of the people groups living in the area/ country (Tanford & Jung, 2017). The cultural heritage includes all the material and non-material things that are capable of being part of tourist attractions in a given area. An example of such a festivals is the Plateaux Festival. The festival was held in 2012 in Poland. The festival was held in one of the largest museums in the country. The museum is referred to as The Warsaw National Museum. The festival provided Poland with an opportunity to showcase their cultural heritage as preserved in the museum. A large pool of funds was collected through the festival and dedicated towards further preservation of the cultural heritage. Another example is the Slovak festival. The festival is usually held in buildings with the aim of showcasing the material cultural heritage of the people of Slovakia. Through the festival, the tourism sector receives a boost due to a large number of visitors.
Events provide an opportunity for the promotion of the material heritage of an area/ region. The location of an event becomes popular both to the visiting tourists and the local inhabitants. Events have a positive influence on the material heritage of a region through promoting tourism and increasing the profits made from tourism (Akgunduz & Cosar, 2018). Take an example with the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. The event has attracted numerous tourists, which increases the proceeds of tourism for the people of Tokyo. The event has also helped put the region on the global map. A numerous number of people have come to know of the city of Tokyo through the Olympics. The economy of Tokyo has been greatly boosted through this event. Some of the services that help boost the economy include the provision of accommodation for the members participating in the Olympics/ other tourists, the provision of catering services, and the sale of locally made items to the visitors. All these services have been made possible by the event.
Festivals and events also provide an opportunity for infrastructural development. Whenever there is a major festival/ event in a region that is intended to attract tourists, there are usually some infrastructural developments. The infrastructural developments accompanied by the events/ festivals remain even after the closure or completion of those functions. Examples of infrastructural developments include improving the road network, renovation/ building quality stadiums, and construction of accommodation facilities. An example of infrastructural developments that came as a result of events/ festivals are those in Berlin (Berlinale Palast) and Cannes (Palais des Festivals). In these regions, numerous festivals and events are organized every year. Further, the events/ festivals attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. Due to these events, there have been numerous infrastructural developments in the region.
Events and festivals also create the opportunity for local people as well as tourists to shape the tourist activities with their decisions and activities. Extensive evidence reveals that major festivals/ events provide the people of the area with an opportunity to breaks from their normal routines and get a chance to interact with diverse people brought about by the functions. These events provide the local people with an opportunity to meet new people, be entertained, and have more time to spend with their families. The events also allow the tourists to interact with new cultures, new cuisines, and new environments. A great example is the ‘Man in Danger’ film festival. The festival was held in Lodz. During the festival, both the tourists and locals showed immense interest and willingness to learn about the local culture as well as interact with diverse people.
The use of the strategy may also present various challenges. One of such challenges is transport disruptions. Major events/ festivals attract a large number of people. As a consequence, the transport facilities of the region may be dedicated towards the event causing major disruptions for local travel. As far as transport disruptions are concerned, mainly reported problems are traffic jams, challenges with parking due to a large number of people and overcrowding of the area where the function is taking place. The disruptions may cause serious conflicts between the tourists and the locals. A great example would be the country music festival help in a small town called Tamworth in Australia. The town is relatively small in size. The event attracted thousands of tourists, which caused transport disruptions in the area. Further, the event caused great conflicts between the visitors and the locals. The major reason for the conflict was that the locals felt as if they were being invaded by strangers.
Protests from the local community are yet another challenge that the strategy of events/ festivals may pose. These protests usually arise when the local community is not comfortable with some of the ideals or activities of a function (Mair & Weber, 2019). There are situations where the ideals of the event/ festivals may be against the cultural beliefs/ values of the local people. In such situations, the local people are likely to meet the function with great resistance, which may greatly derail the tourist attraction intended by the function. A great example of events that are likely to be resisted by local communities includes those festivals that promote ideas related to sexual minorities. A real-life example of such an event is the Gay Pride Festivals which were held in Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide in Australia. Most of the inhabitants of these towns vehemently objected to these festivals. The exclusion of some local inhabitants from events/ festivals may also cause serious conflicts between the local community and the visitors (Mair & Weber, 2019). In some situations, organizers of the event may exclude some people groups with the aim of maintaining a positive image. Some examples of people groups that may be excluded are the poor or those with a bad reputation. An example of a festival where such a conflict arose is the International festivals of the sea in Bristol, England.
The potential loss of cultural heritage is another challenge that is associated with the strategy of using festivals/ events to attract tourists. The potential loss of cultural heritage comes about due to the tendency to change programs and presentations to rhyme with the tastes and preferences of the tourists. These modifications may lead to the loss of authe

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