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Are you being served?: The impacts of a tourist hallmark event on the place meanings of residents

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2007
<mark>Journal</mark>Event Management
Issue number4
Volume11
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)161-177
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Tourist hallmark events can dramatically impact a host community and their livelihood. Previous research, however, has not examined hallmark event impacts on residents' place meanings. A case study was undertaken in Brugge. Belgium, to understand how the 2002 European Capital of Culture program impacted the place meanings of residents. A mail survey and interviews examined residents' perceptions of the hallmark event and the city. Findings revealed that residents did not feel their needs were being met before and during the hallmark event. Many residents believed that tourists were the main focus of the cultural year and that host ideas and local culture were spurned in favor of outside initiatives. Meanings for Brugge were mainly negative or neutral as a result. Recommendations from this study include working with hosts early on in hallmark event organization and carefully considering the short- and long-term consequences of hosting hallmark events in small, tourist-historic cities.