South African mega-events and their impact on tourism
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.
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