Advances in Tourism Economics 2014 – Event motivations and attendee spending

Last week, I presented a paper on event motivations at the 5th Biennial Advances in Tourism Economics conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa campus
The Universidade Lusíada de Lisboa campus

The paper was written by four of us and my co-authors were Denise Hawkes, Emma Abson and Paul Booth.  It was an analysis of the relationship between motivations to attend events that were part of a festival, and attendee expenditure.  We carried out quite an extensive review of the literature, and found that this relationship had not really been explored before; most published research looks at the relationship between motivations and attendee satisfaction, or how to target marketing towards motivational segments.  This is the presentation that I gave at the event:

The abstract for the paper is below, if you’d like to read more, then get in touch.  We’re hoping that the paper will be published in one of the post-conference publications.

This paper explores the impact of motivation factors on spending at a local authority’s programme of cultural events.  This paper takes a closer look at the motivational and demographic data collected as part of the study and, using regression analysis, it identifies large variations in spending by different motivational groups of attendees. Attendees motivated to attend to ‘meet new people’ were found to be the highest spending group by some margin. In addition, the data shows that local audiences are the lowest spenders at these events and that there is no link between previous attendance and event expenditure.   We identify a significant relationship between event attendee motivation and event expenditure, which suggests ways in which these public sector events can be developed and marketed in the future, as local authorities balance the competing priorities of local inclusion and generating local economic impact, through their event programming.

London vs. New York: Who is winning?

These are the details of an event being run by the London branch of the Institute of Economic Development.  I became secretary of the branch a few months ago and I’m really looking forward to working with them, especially on events and where we can develop links into our work in EDReC at the University of Greenwich.

This free event is on Tuesday 4th December, at 5.45pm at the central London offices of Buro Happold. Speakers will make comparisons between the economic outlooks of New York and London and there will plenty of time for debate and networking.  Click on the image below to see the flyer for the event as a PDF and read more details.

A Sporting Chance: the legacies of mega-events for post-industrial British cities

I’ll be contributing to this event at the end of May….

The City Of Manchester stadium, a legacy of the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Now renamed as the Etihad Stadium and home to Manchester City football club.

 

A Sporting Chance: the legacies of mega-events for post-industrial British cities

 23rd and 24th May 2012

Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC), University of Manchester

Comparing the city of Manchester, ten years after it hosted the Commonwealth Games, with London – host to the Olympic Games in 2012, this two day workshop invites critical inter-disciplinary discussion and evaluation of the legacies of sporting mega-events for post-industrial British cities.

The workshop is funded by the new Urban Experiments research theme at CRESC  and brings together twelve academics whose research is concerned, in various ways, with exploring the socio-economic, political and material transformations brought about by post-industrialisation and/or sporting mega events billed as catalysts for urban regeneration.

Speakers include:

Mike Raco, Professor of Urban and Regional Governance, The Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, London.

Dr Adam Brown, Director and founder member of Substance research cooperative, Manchester

Professor John Gold, Department of History, Philosophy and Religion – Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Oxford Brookes University.

Professor John Horne, Professor of Sport and Sociology, University of Central Lancashire

Dr Larissa Davies, Senior Research Fellow Sport Industry Research Centre Sheffield Hallam University

Dr. Andrew Smith, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Westminster

James Kennell, Director Economic Development Resource Centre, University of Greenwich Business School.

Camilla Lewis, PhD candidate, Social Anthropology, University of Manchester

Beth Carley, PhD candidate, Cathy Marsh Centre for Survey and Social Research, University of Manchester

Gillian Evans, RCUK Research Fellow, CRESC, University of Manchester

Allan Cochrane, Professor of Urban Studies, Social Sciences, Open University

For more information and to reserve a place contact K.D.ho@open.ac.uk

Further Education and Local Economic Development

This is a presentation that I gave last week at the annual Teaching and Learning Conference at Thanet College in Kent, UK.

In my talk, I explored some of the language currently being used by the Government and by OFSTED when they make links between further education and local economic development.  As with much current policy rhetoric in the UK, there are a number of ambiguities in the Government’s views about the future role of FE in local economies and I picked out a couple of these as a way of encouraging the College to think about how it could start to set its own agenda for achieving an ‘excellent’ OFSTED assessment.  In particular, I noted how the culture-led regeneration of Margate and the new Enterprise Zone for East Kent show that the future of local skills development will be in the knowledge economy, meaning that across all areas of the curriculum, teaching and learning should be developing students’ creativity, collaborative skills and flexibility.

I spent half the day at Thanet College and it was a great insight into the current state of Further Education – I learnt a lot from some brief conversations with colleagues there and heard about some fantastic work that is being done.  In particular, it was exciting to hear about how a shift to a student-led, creative curriculum in one subject area had dramatically improved student retention and achievement.

 

Tourism and Local Economic Development in the UK

 Recently, I’ve been working on this topic as part of my work with the Economic Development Resource Centre.  Below are a presentation I gave at an Inside Government event on the visitor economy and the paper that supports it, which was published in the proceedings of the 13th International Research and Practice Conference of the Russian State University for Tourism and Service, ‘Tourism and Service: Education, Challenges and Prospects’, 28th October 2011.

The Future of UK Tourism: Developing the Visitor Economy

I’ll be speaking at this Inside Government event on 7th December in London.  My talk will examine the links between economic development and tourism in the UK, in the context of the economic crisis.  Click on the image below to go straight to the event booking page which has a list of all the invited speakers.  I’ve copied some of the information about what looks to be an excellent day underneath.

Tourism is essential to Britain’s economy. Government statistics show that tourism generates £97 billion each year, employs over 3 million people and supports thousands of businesses. The government aims to help tourism achieve its potential as a central part of Britain’s growth strategy.

Britain’s landmarks, monuments, countryside and culture attract visitors from all over the world. Major international events such as the Royal Wedding, Diamond Jubilee and the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games provide a great opportunity to boost tourism, showcasing what Britain has to offer, and created a sustained tourism legacy.

Developing the visitor economy is a priority for the coalition government. The Government Tourism Policy, published in March 2011, aims to harness the potential this area holds to grow Britain’s economy. Objectives include growing the overseas market across the country using London 2012 and other sporting and cultural events, strengthening the domestic tourism market, increasing private sector investment and increasing flexibility for local tourist organisations. There is also a focus on improving Britain’s international gateways and national transport infrastructure.

The tourism strategy is driven by a local agenda. Destination Management Organisations will work with Visit England, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships, and local businesses to regenerate and market their area in the most effective way.

A £100 million partnership marketing fund, co-funded by the government and the private sector, will aim to draw 4 million extra visitors to Britain over the next 4 years, which equates to a £2 billion spend for Britain’s economy, and 50,000 new jobs. The government has also announced the Regional Growth Fund (RGF), worth £1.4 billion, which supports projects that use private sector investment to create regional economic growth and employment.

Agenda

This forum comes at a time of exciting growth for the sector, and will offer delegates the opportunity to understand the implications of the new government tourism strategy in boosting the tourist industry. Key issues to be discussed include strategies for promoting the growth of the visitor economy, and best practice for delivering services, partnership working and localism.

Speakers include representatives of:

Department for Culture Media and Sport

Visit Britain

ABTA

Olympic Park Legacy Company

People 1st

National Trust

Broads Authority

British Library

Marketing Birmingham

 

*photo courtesy of Chris Campbell: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cgc/

Economic Insurgency – paper for the Future Cities 2011 conference

Graham Symon and I have had an abstract accepted for a paper we will present at the Future Cities 2011 conference, being held in London on 15th & 16th December this year.  The paper builds on an idea that came from some work  on localism we were doing earlier in the year for the Economic Development Resource Centre, in which we suggested that an economic insurgency was one potential outcome of a radical localism in economic development.  The full abstract is below:

How low can it go?  The devolution of economic development and the possibility of economic insurgency

This presentation provides a critique of the UK Government’s policies and plans for devolving economic development processes from the regional to the local and neighbourhood levels.  Drawing on economic development theory and experiences from Europe, Latin America, the United States and Japan, radical approaches to economic development are reviewed that suggest possibilities for innovative approaches to the problems of economic development in the cities of the UK.

International examples show that alternative models are available for growing the economies of our cities and towns that have the character of a challenging, bottom-up insurgency – a stark contrast to the conservative models of growth being offered by the new Local Enterprise Partnerships and Government departments[1].  In an economic insurgency, traditional, hierarchical institutions and frameworks come under attack from below as new economies take shape and start to re-shape places from within.  

Following the financial crisis of 2008, Western governments have struggled to develop consistently successful responses to stimulating sustainable growth in post-crash economies[2].  In the UK, the Government’s ‘local growth’ white paper appeared to promote a return to pre-crash methods of top-down economic development with an increased role for the private sector, despite the rhetorical references to a ‘new localism’[3] and economic ideas of subsidiarity and sustainability.[4] However, despite these contradictions, recent Government espousals have the potential to create an environment in which more radical approaches to economic development are becoming possible.  This presentation argues that an economic insurgency is a necessary next step in local economic development in the UK.


[1] Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2010) Local Growth,London: HMSO

[2] Florida, R. (2010) The Great Reset: how new ways of living and working drive post-crash prosperity, New York: Harper Collins

[3] Bentley, G., Bailley, D. & Shutt, J. (2010) From RDAs to LEPs: A New Localism? Case Examples of West Midlands and Yorkshire in Local Economy, Vol. 25, No.7, pp. 535-537

[4] Schumacher, E.F. (1973/1993) Small is beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered,London: Vintage

Seaside towns and Local Enterprise Partnerships

This is a copy of a presentation that myself and a colleague, Samantha Chaperon, were due to give at the ATHE 2010 conference last week. Sadly the weather conspired against us, but the organisers have been kind enough to let us submit the full paper for the proceedings, which I will post a link to here in Spring 2011 once they have been published.

Chris Harman 1942-2009

This is a recording of Chris Harman, the influential British Marxist and SWP activist who died suddenly this weekend in Egypt, speaking at Marxism 2009  in the summer.  Chris will be greatly missed by the left for his activism and inspiration.   You can read a tribute to Chris written by Alex Callinicos by clicking here.

Hey big spender!

Will Hutton is interviewed about the economic crisis in this week’s Big Issue magazine. Despite Hutton’s position in the mainstream media as a bit of a maverick, he normally makes quite conservative predictions about economic and social matters, trumpeting the rise of China or promoting economic / managerial approaches to social and cultural change. As director of the Work Foundation, he is certainly not a radical voice and for that reason we should look at his predctions as representative of a current within mainstream political circles, albeit one that he is able to voice publicly due to his ‘outsider’ status in the media.

 

Hutton points out that an economic recovery will require a rise in spending, by consumers or businesses. The consumer, claims Hutton, is concentrating on rebuilding savings, while businesses are becoming debt-minimizers in order to future-proof themselves against difficult economic times. Whether the British are re-building savings or merely starting to save after years of credit-fuelled spending is a moot point, but the likely outcome of this is stagnation in the economy, as happened in Japan in the 1990s after their economy crashed following a sustained boom. Stagnation of course, is even more problematic than a recession for a capitalist economy. A recession and a collapse in asset values at least offers the opportunity for growth and the restoration of the rate of profit; a prolonged stagnation denies capitalists the ability to grow their capital and limits the potential for competition, destroying the engine of the economy.

 

The stagnation that Hutton predicts however, doesn’t look like stagnation at the level of the individual worker or their communities. In order to maintain profit levels, it is likely that the current rate of job losses could continue at 60,000 per month for another three years before stabilisation is achieved. This could (should) lead to a period of social change as the economy and social provision is restructured to reflect this new socio-economic reality. Whether this period of change can be politicised to promote positive political developments remains to be seen, but already the possibilities of workforce mobilisation and collective responses to the crisis are facing up to the use of the recession to intimidate and manipulate workers. Politicians are keen to avoid taking the blame for the current crisis, as each country seeks to line up other markets or ‘the world financial system’ as the villains of the piece. This tactic creates a moving, camouflaged target for the public at large to aim at, and one that is obscured further by techno-managerial jargon and PR.

 

Will Hutton’s prescription for the crisis is a super-Keynesian level of fiscal stimulus, mainly based around a massive programme of public works similar to that which helped to lift the US economy out of the great depression in the 1930s. This might include large engineering projects and the development of a green economy. Of course, after the 1930s the US was left with a vastly expanded productive capacity which could only be usefully employed on a war footing over the following 60 years. The government funded expansion of production can only fix the system in the short-term, eventually the levels of state production work against competition and so have to be reduced and the debts incurred have to be repaid.

As David Harvey has pointed out, the current crisis offers an opportunity, as do all crises, for the reconfiguration of society within a different ideological framework. A more equitable society is not the necessary outcome of this process. Previous crises have seen the deepening and strengthening of the current system of power and attempts to provide a stimulus to return the economy to ‘normal’ are attempts to do just this.  The human costs of this will be enormous, and should shame journalists and politicians out of their current fetishisation of the fiscal stimulus as they hide behind superlative descriptions of it’s size and importance.