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Appraisal of Potential Sporting Event & Destination

Info: 4331 words (17 pages) Essay
Published: 10th Nov 2020 in Tourism

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In this Report there will be a detailed proposal critically analysing why a British Gymnastics World Championship should be held in Croatia. The event will be held in city centre of Croatia in Zagreb during the summer time. It will also be critically analysing Croatia as a tourist destination and why it would be an appropriate host destination for a Gymnastics event. This will be looked at through the use of a destination analysis, current market analysis and what further development might be needed.

Event Proposal

Croatia is a large tourist destination that attracts many people. Events are a main factor to sports tourism, and could be seen to be the most important factors of tourism numbers and economic impacts. Sporting events tourism is globally well known and can be looked at having a large target market (Hudson, 2003). A hard sport tourist is where individuals or groups purposely travel for either active or passive involvement in the sport, which therefore leave a motivational reason to travel (Gammon & Robinson, 1997). This will therefore be a great way to promote Croatia and bring them to the country.

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The event that will be held in Zagreb is a British Gymnastics World Championships. Sporting events as a whole are entertainment. This could be with or without an audience, because the participants such as the gymnasts take part for their own enjoyment (Mastrman, 2014). Croatia has a lot of positives towards it being a host destination for holding a British Gymnastics World Championship. Osijek a city in Croatia has held the FIG World Challenge cup in gymnastics, which was held from 23rd- 26th May 2019 for Men and Women Senior gymnasts (Gymnastics.sport, 2019). This means there is already great advertisement for gymnastics. This could also mean that British Gymnastics and FIG could combine together to help with the funding and sponsorship of the competition.

Destination Analysis

Standeven and De Knop (1999) suggested, “The experience of place is a key component of the sport tourism experience”. This implies that tourist’s are not only attracted to the characteristics and the qualities of a destination but also the resource’s and facilities (Higham, 2004). Recognised sport tourism can happen within a hierarchy that can be seen as dynamic (Bale, 1989). Holding a Gymnastics event in an already built arena in Zagreb would come in high within the hierarchy.

The resources that Croatia has will allow them to cater for the needs of the different participations and the spectators (Higham, 2004). Small sports facilities would not work due to the demand of tourists. Therefore an arena would be the perfect location for this kind of event.

Physical Characteristics and Qualities

Croatia is a large country, which can allow people to visit for many different reasons. It is really known for its beaches, walled towns, local culinary specialties, roman remains, outdoor activities, nightlife, national parks, islands and religious buildings (Planet, 2019).

As Clawson et al. (1960) suggests a user-orientated area is where areas are close to the users, which has a small space demand and there could occasionally be artificial features.  Croatia has some user-orientated aspects due to the number of arenas and stadiums that are around the country. There are six alone in Zagreb. Resourced based areas, involve the importance of physical resources, which consist of large land areas (Higham, 2004). It does seem that Croatia is home to resource-based aspects. Croatia had 1246 islands of which tourists can sail through and this is only a small part to their islands and seas. It is also full of natural wonders; approximately 10% of Croatia is made up of eleven nature parks, eight national parks and two nature reserves (Adriaticpearls.com, 2019). These lands are really important to the country and it is a huge selling point to any tourist, but also a development in the country and their cultural heritage (Petric and Mikulic, 2012).

Accessibility and Infrastructural Arrangements

Croatia is a known country, popular to tourists traveling for their summer holiday. It is known for its coasts and seas and is really inspiring (Adriaticpearls.com, 2019). Traveling in and out of Croatia is not an issue for event tourists. This is due to the high number of flights that fly in and out of Croatia. There are nine international airports, which have commercial flights majority of the year. The most popular airport that tourists would fly in to is Zagreb. This then leaves 15km from the airport to the city Centre (All about buses, 2019).

There are many different transport networks, which all tourist can use when reaching their destination. Looking at Appendix 1 you can see the three main forms of transport that is available for the tourists. Having different ways for tourist to travel means that it is easy to manage the number of tourists flying in for the event.

The number of hotels through Croatia is not an issue for the event weekend. Looking at Appendix 2 you can see the five star hotels for tourists looking for a luxury stay a three star hotel for a medium budget and a two-star hotel for a budget trip. These prices would be based on a weeks stay at Zagreb looking at one persons cost. This is just some of the hotels available but it does therefore show the different qualities and prices available.

For Croatia being the perfect host destination for an event it needs to also have the catering facilities for them to be able to fully accommodate all of the tourists. Looking at Appendix 3 you will be able to see a mixture of different options reflecting different tastes and prices. There are options for fine dining, moderate dining, cheap dining and local cuisine.

The entertainment and leisure facilities are key for a host destination in order to entertain the tourists. In Zagreb there are many different facilities that tourists can attend such as tourist attractions, bars, stadiums, and theatre. Looking at Appendix 4 there is a list of suggested entertainment and leisure facilities that are around Croatia. Having these facilities close to the event location allows Zagreb to look a lot more attractive to tourists.

Political Resources and Economical Resources

There are many reasons as to why there is an increase in to tourism development; however, the economic benefits provide a huge drive in to the tourism development (Fletcher et al., 2008). To get an increase in the economic benefits Croatia can increase the amount of money the tourists are spending and this can be easy due to the amount of entertainment the country has to offer (Keyser, 2002). Expenditure by international tourists in Croatia was 45.5 billion in 2016 meaning it was around 19% of their GDP (Ec.europa.eu, 2019). Another economic benefit for Croatia is that the tourist industry is the worlds largest and will bring them more employment, taxation revenue along with profits through transport (Ryan, 2006). The multiplier concept links to the local economy for Croatia, as there is always a demand for local suppliers and companies. By hosting the event in Zagreb there will be a positive change in the economy as there will be more tourist in the country creating a change in production, employment and government revenue (Fletcher et al., 2008).

Weed and Bull (2004) have suggested that larger cities like Zagreb will be able to gain the local and community support form bringing in such a large event to the country. There will also be a large amount of support for the event itself creating forthcoming achievement. From getting this there will be a more political inclination in to the event becoming popular and being held in the host destination. The power and political authority that can come from the country will determine a successful production of a sporting event.

Cultural and Perceptual Aspects

Standeven and De Knop (1999) discuss that a sport is a cultural experience of physical activity and tourism is a cultural experience of place. Holding events in different locations does convince tourists to travel for events because of a favoured environment (Higham, 2004). There will be a new opportunity to watch gymnastics from a country that has never hosted for the British Gymnastics before. It allows them to visit a country with many new and exciting attractions and cultural experiences. It would be unique with the islands along with the natural beauty and natural history.

Current Market Analysis

Higham and Hinch (2018) suggest that sport tourism is the main incentive for travel such as to watch the World Championships. Tourism sport is the secondary reason to travel to a country. In order to motivate people to travel for a sporting event there needs to be different reasons to travel. The current market for Croatia would be the leisure travel industry. Harris and Howard (1996) would define this industry as tourists traveling to commence one or more leisure associated requirements. As well as this the use of sports has been used to expand the tourist markets in the recent years, which is why holding an event in Croatia would be of great benefit (Higham, 2004).

Maslow’s (1943) Hierarchy of needs is a well-known theory that can help motivation. It is used to look at people’s behaviour and they are determined by physiological and socio-psychological needs. Maslow suggests that you need to meet the needs of the bottom tiers before you can become content with the top tiers. In relation to Maslow tourists traveling for the event would need to be pleased with the physiological needs. Meaning they might want to have their accommodation and restaurants booked. Then they can move up to safety needs. This is getting them to organise their personal safety such as travel and health insurance. 

Demographic Market Segment

The demographic market segment is key in terms of who would be interested in Gymnastics. Swarbrooke and Horner (1999) have confirmed that sectioning the population in terms of demographic factors are really popular for tourists. Gibson et al. (1998) also looked at a demographic analysis of the age of sport tourists. It was clear most sport tourism came from early adulthood but also the middle and late adulthood as well. This could be proven in Gymnastics being that it is a very mixed sport that focuses on men and women and a mixture of ages early and mid adulthood. This is a positive for Croatia as this is there current market. 

Socio-economic Market Segment

Swarbrooke and Horner (1999) suggest that the socio-economic segmentation would be based on someone’s occupation and income. It is seen that non-contact, individual sport: such as gymnastics are favoured by the upper social class (Yiannakis, 1975). This would mean that the main target audience of the event would be the upper class as the travel and the sport tourism itself is expensive. However the sporting event and Croatia could be used to recreate the class differences just the same as a tourist would debate a location for a holiday (Casey, 2010).

Behaviouristic Market Segment

Some gymnastics supporters are use to attending events and leaving a destination straight after the event is finished. This is where the behaviouristic Market Segment can relate to the tourists. This would be because there needs to be a link between motivation and behaviour in the tourists (Jackson, 1989). By looking at these it will establish what the tourists are looking for when they come to the sporting event destination (Nogawa et al., 1996). They may not want to explore Croatia. Meaning they are invested in the sport itself. Whereas some tourists will use the destination to take a break, visiting different sights and islands around Croatia.

Croatia’s further Development

Event sport tourisms environment and resources are a significant amount of their groundwork when it comes to development in the tourism industry. The attractiveness such as the landscapes will draw attention to tourists. Destination image is key when hosting an event and countries like croata can use a gymnastics events to help boost the destination image (Hinch and Higham, 2018). Push and pull factors are large factors that can influence a tourist to travel to a specific destination. For Croatia planning a world Championship gymnastics competition the main factor to influence tourists is pull factors. This would be due to the fact that pull factors are considered as the qualities that will attract the tourist to a destination like a sporting event (Klenosky, 2002).

This would therefore mean that the event would be the main factor in drawing tourists to the destination helping towards the further development in the destination. This therefore creates an increase in awareness for the future. However there could be a negative impact due to the fact there are still Gymnastics Competitions with FIG in Croatia. This could therefore have a negative reaction to the residents due to the possibility of new competition.

Economic Factors

Mules and Faulkner (1996) suggests that holding an event can have some positive lasting economic and social impacts and if they are a success it can also have the opportunity to create a renewed image and uniqueness. Therefore this shows that by hosting the World Championships in Croatia there can be a large increase in expenditure, and build the community. Creation of employment would really improve the standard of living and help to regenerate the country. However a negative effect to Croatia being a host country is that they could get a decrease in returning tourist in that time period, which eventually affects their returning loyal tourists.

Physical and Environmental

Although the British Gymnastics World Championships will take place in an already built arena the event can also be used to help regenerate the areas. All of the local infrastructure can be regenerated, which can further develop the country keeping everything rejuvenated. On the other hand this could affect the natural beauty of the country and potentially create overcrowding. However like Jeong (1999) suggests the destination would have been improved to help development such as the roads and water supply due to the event itself. Therefore helping the development of Croatia with things put in place to help save the natural beauty.

Social and Cultural

Holding a British Gymnastics World Championships can increase the knowledge of the sport. By holding the event in Croatia it is worldwide advertisement. This could potentially increase participation numbers. Standeven and De Knop (1999) have also looked at how the culture of sport can be extremely influential type of attraction and can create an experience for tourists. Conversely by having a large number of tourists entering Croatia this could unfortunately increase the amount of crime around the city. Increasing the number of police and security however could lower this.


From looking at Croatia as a host destination for the British Gymnastics World Championships throughout the report it has become clear that the destination would be a great location for the event. Some small changes that could be made by Croatia to help improve the chances of securing the British World Championships is that FIG gymnastics become supportive of the event and are allowed to have an input to the event to stop any disagreements in the long term. Croatia will also have to make sure that the country is prepared for if the event was to be hosted. This would mean that in advance increase their employment in all sectors. This will allow them to be ready for the event and the increase of tourists. But by doing this in advance there is time to prepare everyone but also it creates a chance for the jobs to become permanent as the event could then eventually bring in more income to the county.


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Appendix 1

Transport Available


Private Pick Up

Higher Budget


Medium Cost

Shuttle Bus

Lower Cost

(Chasing the Donkey, 2019).

Appendix 2



Cost per night

DoubleTree by Hilton Zagreb

5 Star Hotel


Hotel National

Three Star Hotel


Hotel Fala

Two Star Hotel


(Booking.com, 2019)

Appendix 3




Price Range


Fine Dining

Sea Food


Basta Gourmet Bar

Moderate Dining



Curry Bowl

 Cheap Dining

Asian Fusion



Traditional Cuisine

Croatian Food


(Tripadvisor.co.uk, 2019)

Appendix 4



Booze & Blues

Live music- Jazz, Blues, Soul rhythm

Croatian National Theatre

Opera, Ballet Performances and plays

Stadion Maksimir


Pogon Jedinstvo

 Arts Centre


Leisure Centre

(Planet, 2019)


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