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South African mega-events and their impact on tourism


  • Karly Spronk

    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Johan Fourie

    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)


The 2010 FIFA World Cup, one of the largest mega-sport events, has stirred renewed interest in the benefits that a host country can derive from these events. While most predict a large increase in the number of tourist arrivals, the recent international literature suggest that ex ante studies are often too optimistic. South Africa has played host to numerous mega-events since 1994. Using a time-series auto-regressive model, we identify increases in tourism numbers for most of these events, controlling for a number of variables standard in predicting tourism flows. However, smaller events, especially those held during summer months, show little increase in tourist arrivals. We disaggregate tourism arrivals to show that, as expected, tourists from participating countries increase the most. Contrary to the international literature, we find little evidence of displacement. This could be as a result of off-season scheduling or because the relative size of these events does not reflect that of the FIFA World Cup or Olympic Games.

Suggested Citation

  • Karly Spronk & Johan Fourie, 2010. "South African mega-events and their impact on tourism," Working Papers 03/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers102

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    Blog mentions

    As found by, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Counting tourists
      by Johan Fourie in Johan Fourie's Blog on 2012-08-31 12:20:30


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    Cited by:

    1. Beria, Paolo & Laurino, Antonio, 2016. "Determinants of daily fluctuations in air passenger volumes. The effect of events and holidays on Milan Malpensa airport," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 73-84.
    2. Stan du Plessis & Wolfgang Maennig, 2012. "The 2010 FIFA World Cup High-frequency Data Economics: Effects on International Tourism and Awareness for South Africa," Chapters, in: Wolfgang Maennig & Andrew Zimbalist (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Mega Sporting Events, chapter 27, Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    sport; tourist arrivals; World Cup; developing countries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L83 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Sports; Gambling; Restaurants; Recreation; Tourism
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other


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