Travelling to and attending major sporting events: determinants of total spend and trip duration decisions
2011-04-05T08:33:05Z (GMT) by
The global growth of sport and major sporting events as tourism and mass entertainment in both single and multi sport formats has prompted the desire for a greater understanding of event attendees and the implications of their motivations and decisions to travel and attend major sporting events. However, research into major sporting events has generally focused on the Olympic Games and/or attendance of a single major sporting event. Currently, the major sporting event community sees the value of measuring the economic impact of major sporting events but do not understand the decisions taken by individuals that travel to and attend major sporting events due to the lack of research in the area. Thus, more robust and comprehensive research needs to be carried out to improve the understanding of individuals that travel to and attend a range of major sporting events. The purpose of this research was to develop a better understanding of the total spend and trip duration decisions of individuals that travel to and attend major sporting events with commercial companies. The research used a positivist quantitative strategy to empirically assess research questions surrounding repeat major sporting event attendance, motivations for major sporting event attendance, variables affecting total spending and trip duration decisions and relationships the between motivations, trip duration and total spending, and to econometrically model findings. Independent variables for analysis were identified through a review of literature, which informed the construction of both a conceptual model and online survey focusing on demographics, event related motivations, major sporting event profile and sporting involvement. Variable-based data collected from individual respondents on nine different major sporting events then underwent a two stage descriptive and statistical analysis. The descriptive analysis consisted of a quantitative breakdown of survey results and the statistical analysis allowed the data to be econometrically modeled and assessed through regression analysis. The research provided significant findings towards understanding the decisions taken by individuals that travel to and attend major sporting events and in doing so led to a greater understanding of total spend and trip duration decisions. Findings indicated that the demographic variables and event related motivations determined total spend decisions whilst demographic variables, event related motivations and major sporting event profile variables determined trip duration decisions. Directly implicated in these findings were relevant key variables for commercial companies to consider in the packaging and sale of major event sport travel to an existing and committed customer base. Furthermore, the results can be extended and applied to populations within a broader sport event community such as managers, planners and evaluators to enhance the economic impact of major sporting events through a better understanding of event attendees.