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Culture and Tourism

Positive, Negative Impacts Of Sports Tourism Events On Host Community

Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing market segments in the tourism industry and is receiving increased attention for its social, environmental and economic impacts upon destinations. Mega and small scale sport tourism has the potential to contribute to the social, cultural, economic and infrastructural development of the host country or city. Sport tourism involves the travel of persons for non-business reasons to participate and or observe sporting activities. Mega sporting events include the hosting of World Cups for such sports such as football, cricket and rugby. Small scale sporting events include triathlons, marathons and a leg of the formula one grand prix. According to research, sport tourism involves a number of activities. In addition to either participating and or observing sporting events, persons who travel for sport tourism may also have a vested interest in visiting state-of-the-art sporting facilities such as stadiums. Sport tourism offers several economic benefits to local communities, the region and or the country. An estimated 680,000 persons from overseas attended the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. These visitors generated enormous economic activities through different forms of expenditure on sporting and non-sporting activities. There was an increased demand for various forms of accommodation-hotels and guest houses. Sport tourism also results in negative impact on host cities, they include local community displacement, crowding, hooliganism, crime and disruptions in the normal life of the local people etc. The impact of sport tourism on the environment can be negative as a result of clearing of trees, building ski huts, congestion, built-up construction areas, noise pollution, light pollution and overcrowding. Speaking recently with sports fans on the impacts of sports tourism event on the host community, fans had these to say: "I do agree that there are two sides for hosting a sport events- good and bad. However, which side is more dominant? Indeed, all the negatives you have mentioned such as noise pollution, overcrowding can have a negative impact on the society but also it creates many jobs and helps create economic recovery. So it can be argued whether it is good or bad to have the big matches hosted in cities as some of the cities do not think about the future and how all the facilities can be re-used. "I agree with you, mega events bring everyone together, but they leave so much damage on host destinations and they leave a negative cultural exchange. For instance, crime and intercultural misunderstanding. Besides, they also lead to things like crime, litter, pollution and traffic congestion. On the other hand, they leave legacies in certain destinations, and leave a positive long term economic effect for the host community.” Another fan said, "I agree with you on the negative and positive impacts of sport tourism events on the host community, however, I believe though there are both positives and negatives, the overall sports tourism event brings more positive impacts on the host community. For example the various matches played in the Nest of Champions had been very successful which I believe brought a lot more positive impacts than negative impacts on the community.” The third fan on his part said, "I would say sport tourism events such as mega football matches like the just-concluded one in Uyo, the state capital, have huge positive and negative impacts on the community. From the economic side, much had been budgeted for the match for various logistic issues which came from the government. I will also say that aside the negative, there also abound the positive. For the fact that a community is given a chance to host a mega event is a very big plus to them. Having the chance to host a mega football match creates an avenue for the host community to draw in people into the place and this itself can bring a lot of benefits into the community”. The last fan, a female, spoken to, said, "though there are many negative aspects formed from mega sports events, I think the positives of the event overweigh the negatives. A lot of the examples of negative impacts can be controlled such as hooliganism and overcrowding. I think that should be expected at an event like that and there should be people placed in some positions to control these situations. The overcrowding issue can be blamed on the planning of the event. For me I think there should have been resolutions for such issues before the event even began. The positive impacts on the host community are many, as mega sports event have more of the positive impacts on the host community than the negative. Firstly, things in that community will begin to change for the better. Secondly, the community is given the chance to host more sporting activities. Thirdly, more economic activities are bound to take place in that community, and lastly, through the event, more tourists visit the community in the course of watching those matches or other sporting events.” These were their different opinions. But in all, mega sporting events have both positive and negative impacts on the host community.

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