Edited by Larry Dwyer and Peter Forsyth
15 Economic evaluation of special events Larry Dwyer, Peter Forsyth and Ray Spurr Introduction Special events are now highly sought after in many countries, regions and cities, internationally. Special events may be deﬁned as, ‘major one-time or recurring events of limited duration, developed primarily to enhance awareness, appeal and proﬁtability of a tourism destination’ (Ritchie 1984: 2). Events are generally seen as increasing economic activity and creating new jobs resulting from the net increase in demand for goods and services they generate. Governments are often prepared to offer generous funding incentives to attract events, and to allocate large expenditure to upgrading the facilities needed for the events. Several states in Australia, for example, have now set up events corporations, to win events, to facilitate their operations and sometimes to subsidise them. In some cases, they are prepared to enter expensive bidding wars to secure footloose events. Thus, Victoria bid the Formula 1 Grand Prix away from South Australia, and also bid the Motor Cycle Grand Prix away from New South Wales, which had previously bid it away from Victoria. What can be an economic gain for one state can be an economic loss for another, and Australia as a whole need not gain because the event is held within its borders. Clearly, this competitive federalism, whereby states spend real resources in shifting events from one state to another, with little or no gain to the nation, can be very wasteful. Probably the main reason for this growing enthusiasm...
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