Local Tourism, Dissertation – Results Example
Words: 5050Dissertation - Results
In the following chapter the results of the primary research are presented and interpreted; the following objectives are also highlighted in the text of the research: legacies and impact of mega events on hosting countries, the long-term impacts of the EURO-2012 on Ukraine’s tourism stakeholders, identified factors that hinder Ukraine’s tourism, specific impact examples of the EURO-2012 and how these effect Ukraine’s tourism stakeholders. The findings will achieve the second and third objectives of the study. The chapter is divided into findings and analysis with the targeted country and stakeholders.
General Information about Participants
Participants in this study remain anonymous; however, their information is graphed/tabled so as to be more easily and readily understood.
The participants were selected randomly by entering in stakeholder information into an online data/scrambler machine. This ensured that bias, potential nepotism, etc. was not an anomaly that needed to be accounted for as a variable in the findings and the research aspect of this project. Age, race, gender, etc. were not determining factors in the pool of participants.
Source of Information
Participants were interviewed through the phone, in-person, or through the body of an email exchange. As qualitative data is easy to sort through an analyze through either of these platforms, there was no variable anomaly element in choosing either, or – the discretion of the participant was kept in mind and they chose by which platform they desired to be interviewed. There was a notation as to which platform they did choose in case there were discrepancies, or a misunderstanding potentially caused by each platform use.
Participants were usually in their early thirties to late forties, had been in the stakeholder business for at least five years, were Ukrainian citizens either by birth or through nationality, and were predominantly male. Exact titles, length of time at their current employment as well as length of time as a stakeholder, and their gender were noted on their entry form sheets. This will make up a small portion of the data collected. There were a total of 20 participants. 17 male, 3 female.
A majority of participants (16 out of 20) agreed that the major draw that Ukraine has (in terms of impact on a mega scale) currently is in the sporting arena. Many stakeholders pointed to the 2012 UEFA Euro Cup as an impactful mega-sporting event for Ukraine.
Half of the 17 participants stated that mega-sporting events like the 2012 UEFA Euro Cup was beneficial for stakeholders because it benefitted the economy through an acceleration of investments such as in the transport infrastructure. This cost benefit in turn fostered further growth for factories and other transportation departments to capitalize on the influx of productivity and cash during this sporting event timeframe.
The other half of the participants agreed that the boon for stakeholders during mega-sporting events occurred because of macroeconomic indicators such as the GDP/Euro and employment rate (though this boon was short-lived and was contingent upon the timeline of the sporting event, therefore making it equivalent to seasonal jobs). These were considered to be short-term effects. Long-term effects such as supplies were also considered to be a boon for stakeholders during mega-sporting events.
The percentage of participants who disagreed with mega-sporting events being the boon to the economy stated that the influx of capitalism and surplus such events fostered did nothing on any long-term effect. Therefore, according to their qualitative analysis, such events should not be depended on or incorporated into any schematic showcasing the rise and fall of the Ukrainian tourist economy. The participants said there were too many anomalies by which to discuss and discredit any positive outcome. Such anomalies include spectator support, business hour restrictions, traffic enforcement funds (that detrimentally affect the cost-benefit), etc. Ukrainian stakeholders also pointed out that the socio-economic background of spectators was at the lower end of the economic scale and even if resources were pooled from several mega-sporting events, the contribution of such spectators would not make a large enough dent to make a difference.
Analyzing mega-sporting events also comes with its own set of worries and concerns in relation to data collection. There are problems with isolating the impact of any one mega-sporting event within the larger framework of a complex society such as the Ukraine. Under this guise the stakeholders were asked the following questions: are the costs for infrastructure, stadia, security and marketing worth the gains from tourism, trade and tickets? The following chart fulfills stakeholders’ responses:
Stakeholder Responses to Mega-Sporting Events
Participants were then asked whether or not they believed that mega-sporting events were beneficial to Ukrainian economy in the long run. The stakeholders were asked to look at the economy before, during and after past events. Results are as follows:
Participants who agreed that mega-sporting events benefited the host country (Ukraine) stated that the event increased tourism as participant/spectator arrival into the city/country bolstered economic growth. Those who disagreed found that it wasn’t until the event actually started that participants came in droves and thereby bolstered the economy of the host country, and a smaller percentage of participants stated that these results were highest during the actual game and lessened after the game had ended.
Stakeholders that were in disagreement with mega-sporting events being beneficial to the economy of the city stated that such events also varied depending on whether or not the event was held during the country’s on or off season, what type of event it was, what other countries were participating, how well developed Ukraine was during this time (as mentioned previously participants were asked to base their knowledge off of mega-sporting events that occurred in the past).
Participants who remained neutral stated in their narrative that they were hesitant to weigh in because they did not believe that in transition countries (which they termed Ukraine) there may be a tendency to misuse economic impact estimations in order to paint the country in a more positive light than was true. These stakeholders stated that boosters’ ex ante estimates of the economic impact of mega-sporting events tend to be an exaggeration of the net economic benefit and therefore the use of such events in a stakeholder analysis was obsolete or inapplicable.
Participants were asked what their take was on the effects of the Euro-2012 European Soccer Cup in Ukraine. After taking a fairly abstract approach in the first question, the second figures question wanted to get a firmer grasp on a real mega-sporting event’s effects on stakeholders’ attitudes of tourism in the Ukraine.
Some anomalies that were included in the study are avoiding the traditional supply-oriented approach instead of a more traditional economic approach. Thus, stakeholders were asked the following: were tourists likely to come to the event again, were tourists likely to come to other events in Ukraine after first coming to this event, and finally did the stakeholders believe that tourist numbers would increase after the second year.
Part of the participants’ fear for long-term impact in mega-sporting events is that any gain received form the impact is drastically changed after the first year of the event. However, there seems to be some redemption in numbers as new studies have shown that there is a long-term impact on tourism in relation to these events. One participant stated that, “There is direct impact with these events…and we have to plan for them, all of the potentialities that are out there, the tourism department must be ready for them. For instance, we have to look at new businesses that spring up with the event, and next to old businesses. We have to look for the potential investment opportunities, the potential employment rate rise (or decline), trade, and we have to make the Ukraine clean, an ideal destination for a tourist to come back to time and again.” For the stakeholders, they put a lot of emphasis investment. All the potentialities the stakeholder was referring to depend on the destination’s prevailing economy. Thus, it’s important for Ukraine to invest in itself in order to harvest any positive long-term effects of this event.
“A tourist will continue to spend money in a location is they find the location pleasing; the imperative is to make Ukraine pleasing. We do this by making us look the way we want to look. Dress for the job you want, not the one you have. That’s what Ukraine needs to do: dress to be the country it wants to be and not the one that it is.” These two stakeholders feel that approaching this event on the long-term basis will encourage not only tourists to spend money in Ukraine, but will encourage investors (from the private as well as the state sector) to invest in the country as well. Some stakeholders stated that one thing that’s missing in the long-term plans for the country is a proper marketing/PR schematic.
“This event could be used as a great marketing tool. If we approach it the right way, then we can use this to not only promote soccer and the cup, but to promote the Ukraine.” An investment in advertising is a wise choice to make for the future of Ukraine. Advertising can be used as a destination tool in which advertisements for the event are back dropped to what Ukraine has to offer on a cultural scale. Event facilities, construction, and improvements to the infrastructure all point to positives ways in which the mega-sporting event will boost Ukraine’s economy. “It’s good for the long-term because it will boost our economy: it will attract more businesses, it will make improvements to our schools, streets, employment rate (potentially). This event has the potential to provide market expansion in a way that Ukraine hasn’t seen in…well, to be honest, hasn’t seen ever.” Stakeholders are seeing potential positive things from the mega-sporting event on a long-term basis. Some stakeholders do fear the negative side of this event.
The negative side of this event may have long-term effects as well. One stakeholder said, “Negative effects are inevitable…[but] they can be curtailed through intervention, being aware of the possibility for these negative occurrences and with proper planning.”
Stakeholders were torn between positive and negative impact (with one stakeholder maintaining a neutral stance). The stakeholders were split evenly: nine for positive and nine for negative. There reasoning were as follows:
- “We have a chance to promote our city, to make it a top-notch destination for tourists to come and visit, enjoy, then come back again for the next season.”
- “We may even find that tourists will stay after the event is over. We get an influx of tourists for the on-season months, and I don’t see a difference with hosting a sporting event: we’ll still get those tourists that come to the sporting event, then say an extra week in order to explore the rest of the country.”
- “With the extra tourism, we’ll see a spike in high tax income reported by businesses and restaurants. And if the sporting event becomes a tradition, or instills in the country a sense that we can do this with other events, then that tax spike will continue and the country may start to see a real benefit to these types of things.”
- “We’ll have a growing yield with this event.”
- “Our employment rate has gone up in recent years but with the cup coming, people need to hire people; jobs are more easy to come by these days.”
- “Globalization will happen. We’ll lose our cultural heritage in a way. We’ll have chain stores come in after they realize we generate capital on a massive scale, then we’ll lose the local restaurants and business owners.”
- “We will get damages. Damages that are difficult to pay for, and damages that will make it difficult for the city to put faith in having more events. It will be something that happens once, then never again.”
- “We are a country of habit. We don’t like outsiders. Outsiders have proven to be difficult in the past. We learn our lessons quick in the Ukraine. We know to stay away from change, from social change…from invaders.”
- “Businesses will see this as an opportunity to make extra capital, and it won’t be the tourists who suffer from this, it will be our local people: they already can’t afford to stay in hostels, and now, with this event…[well] they won’t be able to eat either.”
- “Businesses will exploit the local man. He’ll exploit him for his own gain, despite how badly it affects the community, the livelihood of an entire family is sometimes unimportant to the powerful pull of capital. Tourism can sometimes bring out the worst in business owners.”
Were Tourists Likely to Come to Other Events in the Ukraine
10 participants agreed that tourists would come to other events in Ukraine after coming to the sporting event. One was neutral on the subject. And nine stated their answer in the negative. There reasons were straightforward with most participants stating that they did not believe the tourists would come back to the Ukraine because of the weather/transportation/general xenophobia.
Those who agreed that spectators would come back said so because the event was fun, the Ukrainian food and traditions were “delightful,” and that there was a lot more to do in the city than spectators had originally thought. These stakeholders believed that word of mouth would quickly spread about their great country and that spectators would come back in droves in the following years for other events and not just mega-sporting events.
Were Tourists Likely to Come to the Event Again
Of the 20 participants interviewed delineation among reasons to answers were varied. 15 stakeholders believed that tourists would likely come to another event in the Ukraine. The more interesting answers, however, occurred with the negative responses. 5 stakeholders who disagreed with this statement gave the following reasons:
- “Spectators would likely not come back for a second event because hotel rooms were sold out, and the remaining hostels were not up to par with standard European hostels.”
- “No one will come back – the event was too chaotic. There was a lack of coherence in timetables, street parking, etc.”
- “This raises an interesting point because on my street alone Ukrainians were very rude to foreigners – most of them being restaurant owners, or small shop owners. They just didn’t like foreigners in their stores, even if they were making a profit. It is hard to have traditional people be expected to change their views.”
- “No. Simply because traveling to Ukraine is very difficult. There were so many plane and train delays because of weather or schedule confusion.”
- “I do not believe that the sporting event was the reason half of the audience showed up – it was to come see Ukraine, to steal things, to buy things, to eat at our restaurants. They didn’t need a sporting event for that. It was just coincidence.”
Would Tourists Numbers Rise After the Second Event
Similar to the first answer, a majority of the stakeholders (9 in total) agreed that spectators would come back after the second event. One stakeholder was neutral.
Figure 3: Factors Hindering Tourism in the Ukraine
As the participants had varying opinions as to what factors hindered tourism in their country a data analysis chart was made with their myriad answers and participant numbers:
9 participants believed that either cost of airfare or length of connecting flight offers to the Ukraine had an effect on tourism, and detrimentally affected the decision of tourists of whether or not they would return to the country.
8 participants believed that lack of quality museums, or quantity of museums was the reason that tourism was suffering. One participant said, “We have the National Art Museum of Ukraine, we have the National Historic Museum, we are generic; we need more culture. We have such a rich [culture]…yet it seems that we are afraid to show it, to be proud of it, to not be judged for our mistakes but rather learn from them by displaying them…” This participant’s answer seemed to echo the rest of the participants’ opinions in this matter.
11 participants believed there was a severe lack of local events and this detrimentally affected tourism. They stated that cultural awareness, identity, fairs, local festivals, all seemed to be absent from the cultural state of the country. Seven participants stated that political affairs had a lot to do with the current state of things and said that if there weren’t such hostilities right now, and such bad press about Ukraine, there would be more tourism. One participant put it very succinctly by stating that, “It is a country-wide dilemma; it is a continent wide dilemma; the world is looking at us and judging us. What should we do? Put on a commercial? Make believe? How can we expect local venues and festivals to occur when we cannot guarantee peoples’ safety. I’m surprised we get as much tourism as we do…” There was a consensus in the group of 11 stakeholders agreeing to this train of thought.
6 participants stated that there was a lack of available or pervasive transportation in the city and that this was a main deterrent in their minds to lack of tourism. Many stakeholders said that the destination image wasn’t complete enough, or had not been positively imbedded enough in the tourists mind to percolate. One participant said, “Yes, we have trains, we have busses, but where do they go?” Another participant said, “It’s all about the schedule; our lines aren’t one hundred percent on time, or sometimes we have a fair amount of delays or equipment malfunction in our trains,…and word gets around. No one wants to be stuck for 9 hours on a train with a view of nothing out the window.”
2 participants stated that the reason for a lack of returning tourists was because of restaurants. It seems that most stakeholders believe in the quality of food and its authenticity.
10 participants believed that the reason tourists wouldn’t come back to the Ukraine was because of lack of housing/hostels/hotels. This has to do with the country’s failing economy. There is a shortage of homes, so much so that homeless people are either staying in available hostels or else are camping out on the streets. Thus, the population that once occupied houses in now stuck in hostels which leaves a shortage of hostels for tourists. One participant emailed, “It’s a travesty. There is nothing worse than a country that cannot even house it’s own citizens. How does that make use look to the outside world?”
In the summer of 2012 the European Soccer Cup was hosted by Ukraine and Poland. This had a very important impact on both country’s’ tourism. The mega-sport event attracted a large percentage of tourists. Stakeholders involved in this study stated that this event was a defining moment for both countries: it offered a new venue for generating funds for tourism, and will be used as a baseline for future events (e.g. sports or otherwise). The stakeholders looked at the benefits, or lack of benefits on both the long and the short term. These stakeholders based a lot of their analysis and opinion on the opinions of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) experts who held that opinion that the sporting event won’t just benefit the country during the event, but will have lasting effects on tourism many years, or decades after the event. Some of the stakeholders were calling the event a flagship in a line of more growth.
The hope of the stakeholders who believed the event would generate tourism stated that the event would create new jobs for their country but this was contingent on how well the country was represented during the event and how well the city was perceived during the event (creating a positive destination). Many based their positive outlook on figures from Portugal in which (as one stakeholder quoting Irina Shapovalova who is head of the State Agency of Tourism and Resorts of Ukraine) tourism increased by more than 50%. This is followed by other statistics where Austria and Switzerland increased their tourism by 30%. The 9 stakeholders who believed that tourism would benefit from the mega-sporting event had very different opinions about why and how this would come to be:
- “I mean, look at Portugal. Wow. I mean, did you see those numbers. They were off the chart. And they’re so tiny!”
- “Shapovalova is a good leader, I don’t think she’s the type to steer and entire country wrong. She has faith in the Ukraine. And we have faith in her.”
- “Let’s be modest. If Austria can pull those numbers, even if we get 75 – or even half of the percentage that we anticipate, or the revenue that Portugal saw, we’re still doing pretty well my friend.”
- “It’s a statistics game. There’s no rudimentary formula on how to generate tourism. It exists on a qualitative level. We can look at everyone else’s figures and judge our own future, but the truth is, people will come to this event because of where it is…”
- “The numbers match up. And we’re catching up.”
- “In order to generate revenue a baseline has to be established, and Portugal did that for us. Now, all we have to do is beat them. Destroy the baseline, and make a new number for other countries to strive for. That’s the name of the game. Be the best.”
- “I’m in favor of this. It seems to be doing well in other countries. I think a conservative estimate says we’re going to put money in the bank on this one.”
- “We’re ready for this. We’ve been ready for this. All it’s going to take is to do it big this once, then our future is set. We can repeat ourselves. We’re lucky that way.”
- “It’s expected. Numbers don’t lie.”
It’s interesting to note that this qualitative study showed so many participants base their knowledge and their prediction off of a quantitative analysis. A lot of them compared themselves to Portugal, and stated that if Portugal’s numbers increased doubly, then Ukraine’s will either match this number, or exceed this number. Some participants were a little more conservative, and some were outlandishly optimistic, treating the numbers like a personal challenge – to see how great the Ukraine could be. And really, tourism is like this: the best country gets a great boost in their tourism revenue and these stakeholders are no strangers to this concept. These stakeholders were not too fearful of an overestimation in this mega-sport event.
The stakeholders that were enthusiastic about the event talked about mega-sporting events were profitable practices in many different forms.
9 participants stated that the influx of tourists would increase the transportation business in the city. As many of the hotels closer to the stadium were filled, tourists had to travel a little bit outside of city limits in order to find accommodations. This distance also benefited Ukraine in other areas such as restaurants, but the downside as one participants said, “Sure, they’re staying in hotels and hostels many miles away from the event…. But [don’t you] think that will make them think twice about coming back to the Ukraine?” Another participant said, “It’s wonderful! They’re getting to see another side of the country they wouldn’t normally have seen. They get the city and the country. It makes their experience authentic Ukrainian.” There seemed to be a split (as mentioned above) between the participants who said tourists would return and those who believed that after this one event they would not return after having experience Ukraine.
8 participants emailed or stated that there would be a growth in the job market that would not, once the mega-sporting event ended, decline. This was rather hopeful of the participants as they were relying on tourists returning to the Ukraine in order for these people to keep their tourists jobs.
8 participants stated that an increase in purchase power would be present during the sporting event.
5 participants stated the hotels/hostels etc., would make a profit from the mega-sporting event. Below is a chart denoting potential Tourism revenue through years and elements:
This chart shows that risk needs to be measured with high-quality infrastructure and with sporting facilities. In order to gain access to these high numbers, the Ukraine must invest in the travel and tourism section of their country. One stakeholder stated that “In post-industrial countries (mostly capitalistic) the ones with sporting infrastructure that’s strong and well-organized…those are the ones that make it. America alone invested in less than $1 billion for hosting similar events, albeit, more well organized than Ukraine’s, but we’re getting there.” The participant went on to say that places like Portugal, Austria and the Ukraine had to invest in nearly five times as much ($5 billion) in order to get the same effect that other, primary countries have to invest.
In fact, Poland (as one stakeholder pointed out) invested nearly $10.3 billion for the Euro-2012 while Ukraine was set to invest in $25 billion. In order to be ready for the event the Ukraine invested in roads, railways, hostels, hotels, airports, etc. They used the money to invest in better stadiums, or to update the stadiums they already had; therefore the cost of the event happened mostly in modernizing the country for tourism reasons; a feat that hadn’t been done in nearly two decades (as another stakeholder emailed).
9 stakeholders believed that the mega-sporting event wasn’t just good for tourism but was also good for the economy and especially in making the city more modern (this helped to establish a better infrastructure as well). There were varying opinions on this expenditure and its anticipated results:
- “Oleh Lytvyak, the Director of the National Tourism Office stated the other day that tourism in the coming years, will double in the Ukraine. And that’s coming from the horse’s mouth. She said the next 5 years will show an influx of growth for tourism because of this event. I hope she’s right.”
- “I like to think that will billions of dollars at stake that Ukraine will change drastically for the better, and it’s all thanks to soccer. I predict that the next ten years, we’ll see exponential growth thanks to sports.”
- “It’s strategy; we have a good strategy now. We have a reason to have good strategy. And we have the necessary funds to back up this strategy. And we have the state behind us too. The state makes a difference, without the state we’re still in last century with our buses, trains, and hotels.”
- “We have the chance to not only host Euro-2012 but to build our city up because of it. We get to do two important things at once; that’s what I call serendipitous.”
- “It’s the right time. Even after the event we’ll still have all of the improvements the state made to the city because of the Euro-2012. Tourism wins either way: we have a great city to show the audience and players, and once they leave, we have a great city to show tourists who come just to come and experience Ukraine for what it is: a beautiful country.”
- “It makes us look good. We look good now to the world.”
- “Once the state sees how modern most of the Ukraine is, they’ll want to improve the rest of it, and this benefits tourism let me tell you….[the state] will see to it that the trains run to out of the way places and tourists will love the authenticity of it, the charm. That’s the country’s selling point for tourism, it’s charm.”
- “The bigger and better we make ourselves, the bigger and better the world will see us.”
- “We’re lucky. It’s the right time for this, and it’s the right reason. Or maybe it isn’t – maybe it’s just what we need, when we need it.”
The stakeholders that were excited about tourism for Ukraine in relation to the Euro-2012 said that not only would the event help the country’s infrastructure, but that it would also attract an increase flow of capital from foreign investments. This in turn will help local businesses such as hotels/hostels, restaurants, etc. to prosper outside their normal means of capital.
Private investors, not just the state, geared up for the Euro 2012 by building new hotels or upgrading old ones. New international airports were commissioned. One stakeholder emailed saying that, “Our Vice Prime Minister is right, how can we host this event without having five star hotels and restaurants. It would show Ukraine as being weak.” Another stakeholder stated that, “I have high hopes for this…I think it won’t just benefit Ukraine, but will also make us feel like we’re a part of Europe, because we don’t get that feeling a lot, because of our location and the political fervor surrounding us. Now, people will feel like they’re a part of Ukraine, and Ukraine will feel like they’re a part of them.”
It is difficult to measure the future impact of the Euro-2012. It may increase social solidarity for Ukraine, it may represent in a change of infrastructure for the state tourism department, or even a social change, it may change the sense of national identity for Ukrainians. By investing so much into the event, however, some stakeholders fear that the Ukraine may not be able to recoup such exorbitant amount of losses.
With such a large focus on a sporting event, it may change how other departments approach problems, and programs. With such an emphasis on soccer Ukraine may begin to invest more money in after-school programs for youth soccer camps, or teams. More jobs may become available for citizens as the sport continues to grow and prosper over the next decade (or sooner). Promotions for such ventures may come in the form of celebrity endorsement, private sector donations, societal charities/programs, and will be bolstered by the shared identity of Ukrainians and their traditional values.
Regardless of future schemes and infrastructure plans, top stakeholders agree that through the promotion of this mega-sporting event, great things for Ukraine may happen. The advantages of the event will have a world-wide echo. One stakeholder stated that, “It’s not the event that’s going to be the determining factor in Ukraine’s tourism future…on the contrary, it’s going to be the impetus to that future. We start here, by building new stadiums, hotels, and transportation systems, and the event happens, and then we’re left with this massive improvement to our society…and it’s state supported! That’s the true gem. Tourism will grow from this event, and it will change Ukraine in countless ways and fashions. It will make us stronger and able to provide for our people on a scale that hasn’t been seen in the history of the country.”
Time is precious
don’t waste it!