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Festivals as a Short-Duration Tourism Attraction in Turkey

Gok^e Ozdemir

A Review of Events and Festivals

Today, urban tourist destinations such as capital cities, metropolitan cities, large historic cities, industrial cities, and cultural/art cities (Page 1995: 1) are facing strong competition in regard to investment, business, and tourism. Tourism is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world, and tourism actors are striving hard to increase their market share. In this respect, attractions have an important role in both representing and delivering the particular sense of a place that provides the basis for competition between destinations (Middleton 2001). In recent times, events have been added to the attraction portfolio of destinations in order to create a distinguishing property and to increase destinations’ competitiveness in the market (Dickinson et al. 2007). Thereby, special events are increasingly used as a facilitator to highlight the city as a tourist destination. As Hoyle (2002) states, history is rich with examples of creative intellects who have looked beyond the borders of the tradition in order to develop awareness for their events and increase sales from them. In this regard, events have been organized and offered as a tourist attraction for decades by nearly every community regardless of size (Kotler et al. 2006). Even smaller communities (such as some towns and tourist resorts) can organize their own special events and festivals when their infrastructure and superstructure allow this. Despite these developments, events, as part of tourism attractions, pose new challenges owing to their spatial and temporal limitations (Dickinson et al. 2007).

According to Dickinson et al. (2007), events may differ based on their aim, size, and impact on host communities and other stakeholders and have differing historical or cultural legacies. Each of these events is unique because it is the result of very specific interactions among organizers, volunteers, participants, audience, and the management systems in place (including design elements and the program) [1] [2]

(Getz 2008). Events are developed, facilitated, and promoted to serve multiple goals in tourism or in other aspects (Getz 2008). Events can enhance the image of a destination while increasing local pride in the community (Gartner 1996). Events can also be used to extend the peak season or to introduce a new tourist season (Getz 1991) as well as to extend the length of tourist stay at the destination. In this sense, tourist destinations host a mix of events, including those acquired through competitive bids and those created for tourism and various grassroots community events (Stokes 2008).

There are several studies about special events either focusing on cultural events (McKercher et al. 2006; Richards and Wilson 2004) or on sports events (Deery et al. 2004; Nishio 2013; Morgan 2007; Hede 2005). There are also substantial studies about specific festivals like wine festivals (Kruger et al. 2013; Yuan et al. 2005). Because destination branding is a strategic instrument to publicize a destination’s competitive advantages, rituals, celebrations, and other cultural assets can be communicated as competitive advantages of a destination to build a distinctive brand (Morgan et al. 2002). According to De Bres and Davis (2001), the role of festivals in challenging the perception of local identity can be very important, and in the case of small festivals, it is often the most important outcome. Since the recent phenomenon of destination branding has become a common practice to promote the destination’s history, lifestyle, and culture, festivals are used to create such a reputation by destination marketers.

  • [1] G. Ozdemir (H) Department of Tourism Management, Yasar University, Bornova, Izmir, Turkeye-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it © Springer International Publishing AG 2016 141
  • [2] Egresi (ed.), Alternative Tourism in Turkey, GeoJournal Library 121, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-47537-0_9
 
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