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Title: An exploratory study of stakeholders' perspectives of a mega event in Barbados : the Golf World Cup 2006
Author: Sealy, Wendy
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 0248
Awarding Body: Brunel University
Current Institution: Bucks New University
Date of Award: 2009
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Although much has been written on the benefits of hosting 'mega events' including the Olympic Games and the Football World Cup, smaller but still significant sport events of global significance such as the Golf World Cup have received hardly any attention by researchers. This dearth in knowledge has inspired the direction of this study, that is, to explore the stakeholder perspective of the Golf World Cup which was hosted in Barbados in 2006. This event was part of a national development strategy aimed at diversifying the tourism product in the light of the increasing competitiveness of the tourism industry. Consequently the research methodology adopted for this study was eclectic in nature as it sought to obtain a holistic understanding of the issues associated with hosting mega events on a small island microstate. An approach to data collection and analysis was therefore utilised including semi-structured interviews, participant observation and the examination of documents and promotional materials in order to understand the expectations and perceptions that specific stakeholder groups (including local tourism officials, international tourists and local residents) have of the Golf World Cup. The 85 participants in this study highlighted a diversity of views. From the tourism authorities' perspective, the reasons for staging the Golf World Cup were rather cliched. These included using the Golf World Cup as a tool to promote the island as an upmarket golfing destination. The authorities also expected that the Golf World Cup would stimulate tourism demand during a traditionally slow period and provide the island with much needed publicity in overseas tourism markets. However, the fieldwork revealed that the event was unsuccessful due to the poor attendance by both international tourists and local residents. From an international perspective many participants felt that the event was poorly attended due to a lack of awareness in overseas markets and the 'lack of atmosphere' and auxiliary attractions at the golf course. From the local perspective many participants felt that the event lacked appeal and cultural relevance to the host society. Locally, a significant finding is that the event projected an image of catering to an elitist clientele. This image created the perception among local residents that the event was socially exclusive and only served to perpetuate social divisions in society rather than to ameliorate them. Furthermore, many felt that the failure of the event authorities to solicit local participation was because local residents were not part of the decision-making process. This finding further augments the argument that events cannot be successful without local support and participation. The findings in this study can make a worthwhile contribution to the marketing, management and design of future events and the direction of policy formulation for sport events on the island of Barbados. It has illuminated many issues that direct the perceptions, expectations and subsequent purchase behaviour of international tourists and local visitors regarding a mega event on the island of Barbados.
Supervisor: Wickens, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sports events ; Tourism ; Marketing ; Stakeholders ; Barbados