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Today, mega events have become a truly global phenomenon. With international communications operating at a level of sophistication never seen before, these events have the potential to reach (and be followed in) most countries around the world.

Mega events broadly fit into two categories: sporting and cultural. The former tends to grab the media spotlight largely because they are competitions in which nations are competing against each other. This creates a level of excitement that is not experienced in the cultural mega events. Sporting mega events also tend to be held for shorter durations than cultural ones. As a consequence, the impact and legacy of these two types of mega event can differ considerably.

The increased levels of professionalism in sport linked with improvements in broadcasting have made sporting mega events a truly global experience. At the same time, countries and regions increasingly consider these events as possible lucrative opportunities for large potential tangible (such as visitor numbers, expenditure, infrastructure development) and intangible (such as national pride and country image) benefits for the host.

The tourism benefits of mega events are generally believed to be the principal legacy of hosting an event, along with world-class sporting facilities and improved infrastructure. While most studies into the legacy of mega events focus on the period afterwards, there are in fact three stages of the legacy effect: the impact before the event, the impact during the event, and its legacy after the event. Consequently, while this report is titled The Legacy of Mega Events in Tourism, it covers the period before, during and after these events.

What's included

What's included

Table of contents

Table of contents

  1. Introduction

    • Data Sources

      • Background and History

        • Definition of a ‘mega event’
          • Sporting mega events in the modern world
            • The Olympic Games
              • Figure 1: Olympic Games and their host nations, 1960-2016
            • FIFA World Cup
              • Figure 2: FIFA World Cup and its host nations, 1962-2014
            • The Commonwealth Games
              • Figure 3: Commonwealth Games’ host nations and participating countries and events, 1950-2014
            • Cricket World Cup
              • Figure 4: The Cricket World Cup and its host nations, 1975-2015
            • Rugby World Cup
              • Figure 5: The Rugby World Cup and its host nations, 1987-2019
            • Cultural mega events in the modern world
              • Expo
                • Figure 6: Universal Expos and their host nations, 1962-2015
              • European Capitals of Culture
                • Figure 7: European capitals of culture, 1995-2014
            • Impact of Mega Events

              • Tourist demand
                • Crowding out
                    • Figure 8: Change in arrivals attributed to mega events in South Africa, 1995 and 2003
                  • Changes in spending patterns
                    • Mega-event visitors
                      • Summer Olympics
                        • Winter Olympics
                          • FIFA World Cup
                            • European Capital of Culture
                              • Summary of factors affecting tourist demand
                                • Tourist supply
                                  • Thomas Cook
                                    • Sportsworld
                                      • HomeAway Holiday-Rentals
                                        • Experience Holidays
                                          • Pacific Holidays
                                          • Legacy of Mega Events

                                            • The concept of mega-event legacy
                                              • Tourist demand legacies
                                                • Summer Olympics
                                                  • Winter Olympics
                                                    • FIFA World Cup
                                                      • Commonwealth Games
                                                        • European Capital of Culture
                                                          • Economic and employment legacies
                                                            • Figure 9: Economic impact and job creation by Summer Olympic Games, 1984-2004
                                                          • Other mega-event legacies
                                                            • Transport infrastructure
                                                              • Venues
                                                                • Environment
                                                                  • London Olympics 2012
                                                                    • Figure 10: London Olympics 2012: facts and figures, 2010
                                                                  • Venues
                                                                    • Infrastructure
                                                                      • Economic benefits
                                                                        • Tourism strategy
                                                                          • 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
                                                                            • Figure 11: FIFA World Cup South Africa: Facts and figures, 2010
                                                                          • The budget and economic benefits
                                                                            • Tourism benefits
                                                                              • The public relations challenge
                                                                                • The legacy
                                                                                  • Beijing Olympics 2008
                                                                                    • Figure 12: Beijing Olympic Games: Facts and figures, 2008
                                                                                  • The budget
                                                                                    • National icons
                                                                                      • Improving the infrastructure
                                                                                        • Olympic tourism
                                                                                          • International coverage
                                                                                            • The Olympic legacy
                                                                                              • Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008
                                                                                                • Figure 13: Liverpool European Capital of Culture: Facts and figures, 2008
                                                                                              • Background
                                                                                                • Activities
                                                                                                  • Figure 14: Liverpool ECoC 2008: audience figures, 2005-08
                                                                                                • Tourism
                                                                                                  • The legacy
                                                                                                  • What Next?

                                                                                                    • Evaluation of mega events
                                                                                                      • Developing country bids
                                                                                                        • Green events will become the norm
                                                                                                          • Mega events to become more global

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                                                                                                          Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted.

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