How Can Events Contribute to Destination Image Enhancement?

Introduction The image of a country or destination is vital to the growth of the nation. By using the right forms of efforts, the destination can be greatly enhanced. Countries used their forte to attract tourists to visit them. While countries with breath-taking scenes, unique cultures or wonders of the world attract their own lovers, others create their very own “scenes” which are called, events. An event is something that happens in a place and time. A successful event not only benefit in terms of profits, it also enhanced the image of the particular location.
In this paper, some successful events will be looked at, telling us how these events sculpt the image of the destination and how they have helped to enhance the image of those destinations. Anuga, Cologne, Germany During World War Two, much of the city of Cologne was destroyed, by the end of the war, only 40,000 people were still living in the city. In 1947, the city was rebuilt, keeping the face of the post-war Cologne. Cologne is also the fourth largest city in Germany and one of the most travelled destination in Europe.
Each year, Koelnmesse host more than 50 international trade fairs, attracting two million people. Amongst them are Anuga; the largest food show in the world and Cologne Carnival; known as the “fifth” season for the locals. In 2011, Anuga 2011 attracted 6596 companies from over 100 countries with a take up rate of 284,000 square meters of space. 86% of which were foreign exhibitors and over 155,000 trade visitors attended the show. Cologne had to accommodate to the influx of visitors each year. Infrastructure was built around the cultural landscape of Cologne to do just that.

It is also a one of the most important traffic hub with all high-speed trains stopping there. Accommodations were abundance to house the millions who travel to Cologne for the trade fairs and there was no lack of restaurants and shopping. However, McCannell (1973) questioned the authenticity of what are portrayed to tourists in a destination, the building of such infrastructure may affect the overall landscape of the original Cologne, which is immense in a strong cultural vibe, hence portraying a different kind of city from what it is supposed to be.
While the focus is put on international trade fairs for the city, the history had to make way for the development. Cologne has reflected some of the platforms on Jafari (1990). The advocacy platform, “the good” is the economic benefits that the industry brought, the amount of tourist money spent in the city during the event is high, the hotels benefitted during the period, translating into economic gains.
The cautionary platform, “the bad” indicates the negative impacts which the event may bring to the city in opposition, social problems such as theft becomes common and monuments could be greatly depreciated with more people. The adaptancy platform, “the how” brings out the good and reduces the bad of the industry, it focused on the host country and at the same time, satisfying the visitors. In order to do so, much of the infrastructure in Cologne builds around the monuments and not demolishing them.
In the knowledge based platform, “the why”, the importance of knowledge is the main point. Anuga, today, has become the must visit or must participate food event of the industry, the co-existing platforms of Jafari (1990) should help enhanced the image of the city. ? Beijing Olympics, China In 2008, the Olympics was held in Beijing, China. Ever since the announcement was made in 2004, China has been in preparation for the event. To do so, Beijing had planned building of stadiums, hotels, malls to house the athletes, coaches as well as audiences from around the world.
The now world-renowned “bird’s nest” stadium was built by 7000 workers and can house up to 91,000 audiences at one time. It was reported that China had made a profit of over 1 billion yuan for hosting the 2008 Olympics. These profits came from sales of broadcasting rights, souvenirs, tickets and sponsorship. Countries from around the world compete to host the Olympics to “put their country on the map” and increased the country’s international exposure or to tell the world to anticipate something big from the country, which makes sense to a large extend.
China has thus become an emerging huge market for the world, with a huge demand for imported goods as well as a strong presence in the export of China products. The event serves as a trailer to inform the world of its coming. The 2008 Olympics not only created state of the art infrastructure within oriental Beijing, but it also attracts the attention of international stake holders, boosting the image of Beijing, China. F1 Grandprix, Singapore
F1 Grandprix began way back in the early sporting days, it features some of the best race cars in the world and have created legends on the tracks. Today, the race has gone on to 19 countries in the world including Singapore. Singapore hosted the F1 Grandprix in 2008, the first ever night race. The television viewership was estimated at 350 million. While many watches the race through various media platforms, some would seek, as said by McCannell. D (1973, 1976), authentic experiences, by visiting the destination to experience the live event.
However, Boorstin (1961) would say that the visitors already expected to see what they already know will see. Although it may not make much of difference for viewers as it would just be another race in another country, which is predictable. Ritzer and Liska (1997)’s mcdonaldization would support that, tourism destination or in this case, the event, is predictable, with expensive tickets, similar race tracks, crowded places and even the racers are the same but the Singapore race is unique on its own.
By organising the F1 Grandprix in Singapore, the “Singapore Brand” would greatly benefit from it. Instead of a normal day race, which many would expect it to be, the race is done at night, which makes it the first ever F1 night race to be held in the world. It would also show the world how Singapore is capable of transforming the busy downtown roads into race tracks for the car racers, in a matter of weeks. This would in turn benefit the tourism sector in Singapore.
In an opening statement by Minister in Prime Minister’s Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry, Mr S Iswaran, it was said that F1 has helped Singapore attained a firm standing as a global city. From the economic point of view, the race has attracted more than 150,000 international visitors since its first race and approximately $140-$150 million tourism receipts each year. The race would be hosted in Singapore till 2017, in the coming years, the multiplier effect of the race would be significant. ? Conclusion
A destination is a place where someone or something is going or being sent, and in this paper, it is the event that attracts people to the destination and at the same time, the event going to various parts of the world through different medium. More often, events are being organised in a single destination to benefit both the country and the organisers, they complement each other in their own ways. Some examples are the events elaborated above, Anuga helps bring in business people from the food industry to Cologne, and Cologne introduces itself to the world through Anuga. The F1 Grandprix in Singapore does the same.
In the past, many may not know where Singapore is, some never even heard of the name, but through the hosting of F1 Grandprix, Singapore is able to showcase its wonderful skyline and its much boosted capabilities to the world. These events not only generate popularity to the destination, it also generates revenues, and many intangible benefits which can roll over many years. The three events discussed above has proven that a world-renowned event can contribute to a destination image enhancement and most importantly, allow the destination to inked its identity on the world map.

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