Sport mega-events and tourism: contrasting the influence of host country and event

N O'Reilly, A Armenakyan, IRR Lu, J Nadeau, LA Heslop, E Cakmak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This is an empirical, descriptive study of tourists at sport mega-events. Its purpose is to describe tourists who attend sport mega-events. As an empirical study, it surveys tourists at two major sport mega-events in two different countries: the 2008 Olympic Games in China and the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Building on a growing body of literature related to the marketing of sport mega-events, results support that both the place (China versus South Africa) and the attraction (Olympic Games versus FIFA World Cup) influence - across a number of place image variables - the nature and composition of the tourists who are attracted to the sport mega-event. The findings suggest that the sport mega-event can be used by the host country to target potential tourists who have limited interest in the event. Further, this research finds that the tourist view of the sport mega-event is influenced by the host country and the nature of the event. The research responds to a key need in both the literature and in practice, where understanding of tourists in the SME context is needed for countries, regions and communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)280-296
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Management and Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • FIFA World Cup
  • mega-event
  • olympic games
  • place image
  • tourism destination


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