Report Executive Summary Sport Tourism Conference 2008[1]


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Report Executive Summary Sport Tourism Conference 2008[1]

  1. 1. CONFERENCE REPORT EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1ST COMMONWEALTH CONFERENCE ON SPORT TOURISM “Sport Tourism and Sustainability: Inter-relationships, Impacts and Issues” 13th-15th MAY 2008 KOTA KINABALU, SABAH, MALAYSIA Organised by Commonwealth Tourism Centre Kuala Lumpur MALAYSIA 1
  2. 2. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The aim of the 1st Commonwealth Conference on Sport Tourism, which was officially opened by Sabah’s Head of State, Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmadshah Bin Abdullah, was to provide a platform for international, national and regional policy makers, practitioners and academics to share their experiences, exchange ideas and explore avenues to enhance further the development of sport tourism across the Commonwealth. This was achieved through a critical examination of three core themes: sport tourism development; sport tourism issues, impacts and opportunities; and, case studies of sport tourism in practice. The first day of the conference was launched with a keynote presentation delivered by the Hon. Dato’ Sri Azalina Dato’ Othman Said, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia where the importance of sport tourism was outlined, the implications of future development for the Malaysian tourism industry highlighted, and the role of government in supporting sport tourism development discussed. The theme of sport tourism development in the small island nations of the Commonwealth was then taken up by Mr Nikhil Treebhoohun of the Commonwealth Secretariat. He outlined the need for a coherent and integrated national development strategy and called for a clear and sustainable destination management strategy as a way forward to ensure success; before a general overview of the inter-relationships between sport and tourism was provided by Ambassador Dho Young-Shim, special advisor on tourism & sports to the UN WTO Secretary-General. The first session concluded with a presentation delivered by the Chairman of Sabah Tourism Board, Dato’ Seri Dr. Tengku Zainal Adlin Tengku Mahamood, who provided an extensive overview of the sport tourism opportunities that exist within Sabah. The second session began with Mr. Derek Casey, Bid Director for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, who outlined suitable strategies to successfully attract international sports events. This informative presentation included aspects relating to the background of the successful bid, the key elements which defined the bid and the planning for the legacies to follow the Games in 2014. The presentation also included discussion on community impacts, impacts on tourism and the wider economy, and the overall positioning of the city in terms of inward 2
  3. 3. investment. Professor Mike Weed from Canterbury Christchurch University, UK, then looked at developing policy for sport & tourism, and particular issues that are relevant for smaller and developing countries, together with suggestions for the ways in which policy can be made in relation to the particular geographic, cultural and economic contexts of smaller developing nations. This presentation was followed by Mr. Kunaseelan Senathirajah, Group Director from QI Ltd, who outlined the role of corporate sponsorship in sport tourism development before Mr. Peter Gilmour concluded the second session with an overview of the Monsoon Cup, part of The World Match Racing Tour, the world’s leading professional sailing series, which is held in the Malaysian east coast state of Terengganu. Following the completion of the first day of the conference, dinner was hosted by Sabah Tourism Board, which included a series of cultural performances that highlighted the rich and diverse ethnic mix of Sabah. The second day of the conference was divided into three sessions, addressing issues, impacts and opportunities for sport tourism. The first presentation of session three of the conference was delivered by Professor James Higham from the University of Otago, New Zealand, who analysed how sport can be staged as a destination product. This was followed by a presentation from Mr Azlan Akil from the Sepang International Circuit in which he addressed issues linked to investment in Formula 1, and how the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix (PMGP) is used as a tool to promote Malaysia as a brand to attract tourists and to show the world Malaysia’s capability in hosting sporting events. The third presentation in this session was delivered by Mr Terry Cummins from PADI Worldwide who shared his experience on how recreational scuba diving has emerged as a contributor to the enhancement of the travel experience. He revealed how the dive industry is endeavouring to cater to the contemporary traveller’s need to experience life enriching activities whilst on the other hand meeting the demands of the tourist industry for greater diversity in resort activity portfolios and how it can benefit local communities. Session four of the conference began with Professor Leo Jago from Victoria University, Australia, who outlined the triple bottom-line approach to sport tourism evaluation, and argued that this approach is essential if sport tourism in general, 3
  4. 4. and sport events in particular are to realise their full potential such that host destinations can truly benefit from the experience. Professor Adam Blake from Bournemouth University, UK, then outlined the economic impacts of sport tourism and the ways in which organisers and destinations can maximise the tourism benefits of sporting events. Professor Blake concluded that a full examination of the economic impact of a sporting event should not only provide a balanced view for organisers and the public sector but also provide a rationale for public support and identify programmes to improve the economic benefits that an event can bring. Professor Tom Hinch, from the University of Alberta, Canada, then argued that sport tourism has advantages over other types of tourism based on place and authenticity while Glenn Hamilton, the Director of Event Development and Contract Management of EventsCorp, Western Australia, closed the session with a presentation on maximising the media impact at sporting events. This presentation focused on the importance to sport tourism destinations of increasing brand visibility and the need to undertake research to evaluate the effectiveness of media coverage amongst key national and international markets. The fifth session of the conference started with Professor Laurence Chalip, University of Texas, USA, who suggested that sporting events can be leveraged to optimise economic, social, and/or environmental objectives. Professor Chalip also identified a range of tactics and strategies that can be used by destinations to maximise the benefits of sport tourism activity. Andrew Walsh, Executive Producer of the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Athens 2004 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, then delivered a presentation on developing cultural programmes for sporting events. He argued that sport and culture are, and have always be inexorably linked, and that highly organised ceremonies have always been part of marking and celebrating significant events, and illustrated how ceremonies can set the stage for sport and also convey enduring values. Mr Anthony Wong of Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel then examined some of the business opportunities that sport tourism presents for tour operators. He said that tour operators must evolve and acquire new skills to survive and thrive to become event organisers and human resource trainers in order to enjoy the new business opportunities. 4
  5. 5. The final presentation of day two was from Dr Ian Jones from Bournemouth University, UK, who delivered a presentation that focused upon the concept of ‘serious sport tourism’, and examined the means by which classifying tourists in this manner may be used to attract serious sport tourists to a destination or event, and to enhance their experiences whilst there. Upon completion of the second day of the conference, an editorial board meeting of the Journal of Sport Tourism was held, which was then followed by Dinner, hosted by Tourism Malaysia. The third and final day of the conference began with Professor Simon Hudson from the University of Calgary who looked at strategies for the successful marketing of sport tourism, addressing the latest trends impacting sport tourism in the world today, and outlining how sport tourism marketers can respond to these trends, segment their markets and deliver memorable sport tourism experiences. This was followed by Professor Ernie Heath from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, who delivered a presentation on promoting FIFA World Cup 2010 and its impact on South African tourism. Professor Heath’s paper highlighted the building blocks being put in place to optimize the tourism and destination marketing opportunities relating to the hosting of the event; the key challenges that need to be addressed to ensure that the envisaged legacies are realized; key lessons to be learnt from previous mega-event host destinations; and the critical success factors to ensure a unique sporting event. Mohammed Rosly Md. Selamat then addressed issues relating to event and sponsorship marketing, with specific reference to the experiences of KL98, the XVI Commonwealth Games. His presentation looked at developing and building partnerships with sponsors, the impact of the Commonwealth Games on a host nation, issues linked to raising revenue and funding for sporting events, and a review of the benefits of the Games to the sport and tourism industries respectively. The penultimate session of the conference began with a presentation from Professor Graham Brown, University of South Australia, who outlined strategies for securing benefits from the sponsorship of sport. His presentation focused on sport events and explored the wide range of critical resources that are made available by sponsors which, in turn, are able to use events to achieve corporate objectives. Paul Simpson, Deputy Chief Executive of Marketing Manchester, UK, then 5
  6. 6. examined how major sporting events are being used to promote Manchester in its targeted national and international markets, along with examining the legacy outcomes from hosting major sporting events. He also focused upon why sport is important in the marketing of Manchester and used the case studies of the Commonwealth Games, the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final and the Year of Sport 08 to illustrate how these events have been used to promote the city. The final presentation of the conference was delivered by Professor Leo Jago from Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia, who provided a detailed summary of the key themes addressed during the conference and potential opportunities to progress sport tourism in the future, across the Commonwealth. This was also an opportunity for delegates to debate some of these prominent ideas and identify recommendations to progress these issues. Professor Jago, in consultation with both Alan Fyall and Richard Shipway from Bournemouth University, UK, and the CTC identified eight underlying themes that emerged during the three days of the conference. The eight prominent themes explored in the final presentation included an analysis of the benefits of sport tourism; the extensive potential that exists for future sport tourism development in the Commonwealth; the role of sport tourism destinations in facilitating sporting activity; the government’s role in future sport tourism development; the infrastructure requirements of sport tourism; the need for effective evaluation of sporting events and the impacts of sport tourism; the increasing importance of creating authentic visitor experiences for the sport tourists and finally, the extensive legacy opportunities that sport tourism activity can provide. The remainder of this report explores further the recurring themes that emerged from the conference. The first key theme emerging from the conference was the benefits that can arise from sport tourism. This included discussions highlighting that sporting events should not be seen in isolation but rather they should form part of an overall strategic development plan; that sport tourism is the glue for the strategic vision of a destination; sport and tourism form a symbiotic relationship; sport and culture are inexorably linked; ceremonies convey enduring values and set the stage for sport; the necessity to ensure authenticity; the need for place based strategies; arguments that sport can serve as a competitive advantage; and that sustainability requires strategic management. 6
  7. 7. The second key theme explored the extensive potential that sport tourism activity can provide. Delegates and presenters identified that sport tourism generates peace and goodwill; can be used to motivate and inspire young people; can foster local participation; assists with building bridges of understanding between different cultures, lifestyles and traditions; requires collaborations and partnerships; can foster uniqueness; must adopt long term perspectives; and can address issues on social sustainability. Linked to this second theme were presentations linked to the importance of leveraging sport tourism benefits; the need to help journalists find stories; a requirement to identify USP’s; the importance of brand usage and the consistent use of brand; and that destinations must ensure that core values of sport are protected. The role of the destination was highlighted as the third key emerging area for discussion. A range of issues were addressed on this theme including recommendations that future development must be government led – private sector driven – community based; there should be a focus on safety and security; there is a need to secure the support of the community; there is a requirement to serve local interests; development should build regional markets; consideration of the promotion of low investment sports particularly for developing countries; a need to protect the destination’s resources & sense of place; and also identifying that sport is a window to the destination. The fourth recurring theme involved the role of government in supporting and facilitating sport tourism development incorporating discussions on the need for the provision of an enabling environment; various debates on sport tourism policy issues; differing opinions on the need for sport tourism strategies; provision of structures in support of strategy development & delivery; ability to foster partnerships; and a requirement for stakeholder management. The fifth theme revolved around the infrastructure requirements for sport tourism. It was suggested that infrastructure must be relevant for the size of the community; should utilise and link with existing infrastructure; while there remains a need to explore sport tourism options within the limits of existing infrastructure. 7
  8. 8. The sixth prominent conference theme explored the requirement for sport tourism evaluation. There is a need to increase measurement & understanding using quantitative & qualitative approaches; this should be consistent & realistic; be holistic; should consider the sporting event portfolio; and must be assessed against sport tourism strategy/objectives. The penultimate theme revolved around sport tourism legacy, emphasising that planning is crucially important. Discussions highlighted the need to maximise the long-term benefit for sport tourism regions or destinations; that legacy crosses economic, social & environmental boundaries; it applies also to recurring events; and it is possible to learn from past experience as legacy is often not realised. The final dominant theme identified the importance of experiences within sport tourism. The conference highlighted the importance of providing authentic visitor experiences; sharing of experiences; identified that sport tourism activity is about more than just the event location; there is a requirement to understand behaviours, motivations and experiences of the sport tourist; that different segments of the sport tourism market have different requirements; and it is crucially important for sport tourism providers to deliver unique place based experiences To close the 1st Commonwealth Conference on Sport Tourism, Mr Abdul Rahman Shaari, Director General of the Commonwealth Tourism Centre (CTC) then addressed the delegates with some final comments and observations on sport tourism and sustainability, which was a well measured assessment of the three days of the conference. It is hoped that this ground breaking conference on the issues, impacts and opportunities for sport tourism development, and the main emerging conference themes can now be explored and revisited in far greater depth at a future sport tourism conference, to be hosted within the Commonwealth. Sport Tourism has been clearly identified as an integral part of Commonwealth tourism and sport industries respectively, and an area that provides extensive opportunities across the diverse spectrum of Commonwealth countries. For the future, and in consultation with the conference keynote presenters, conference delegates and the Commonwealth Tourism Centre (CTC), the following recommendations are advanced to progress sport tourism issues, impacts and opportunities across the Commonwealth. It is recommended that: 8
  9. 9. i. Commonwealth governments support the CTC in advancing research into the policy structures and strategic initiatives deemed necessary to maximise leverage and enhance legacy from sport tourism development across the Commonwealth and into research that underpins the closer integration of sport and tourism; ii. The CTC establish an interim Sport Tourism Scoping Group to serve as the intellectual custodian of (i) and seek ways in which to maximise the dissemination of outputs and influence across the Commonwealth; iii. The CTC engage fully with Commonwealth countries seeking to develop their sport tourism product and contribute to the formation and development of suitable partnerships and structures to facilitate the planning and implementation of sport tourism destinations; iv. The CTC develop a Sport Tourism Educational Programme that can be delivered in partnership with academics and practitioners to governments across the Commonwealth and so raise the awareness and potential of sport tourism as an agent for change; v. The CTC commit to identifying a Commonwealth country to host a second conference on Sport Tourism in 2010 and seek to build on the excellent foundations and networks arising from the first conference held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah in May 2008. vi. Governments across the Commonwealth commit to a closer working relationship between Ministries in an attempt to enhance levels of sporting participation through tourism for both host communities and visitors. Prepared by: Alan Fyall, Leo Jago and Richard Shipway Additional information, photographs and delegates’ comments furnish by CTC June 2008 9
  10. 10. CONFERENCE PHOTOS Guest of Honour, Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmadshah Abdullah, Sabah’s Head of State seated with other VIPs during the opening ceremony of the conference Sabah’s Head of State beating the gong to mark the official opening of the conference VIPs and participants during the opening ceremony of the conference VIPs and speakers were given a traditional welcome 10
  11. 11. Sabah’s Head of State with the Delegates registering for the Minister of Tourism, Malaysia and conference Director General of CTC visiting one of the booths after the opening ceremony The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Speakers during one of the Environment, Sabah, Datuk Masidi Manjun conference sessions and DG of CTC listening attentively to the presentation by one of the speakers Participants enjoying a traditional dance during the welcome dinner hosted by the Sabah Tourism Board 11
  12. 12. Participants include the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Trinidad & Tobago (second from right) A participant posing a question during the Q & A session Director General delivering his closing remarks Some of the participants having a discussion while waiting for the para sailers during the Welcome Reception hosted by the Hon. Minister of Tourism, Malaysia 12
  13. 13. Dato’ Dr. Ong Hong Peng, CTC staff busy registering a Secretary General of Ministry of participant at the secretariat Tourism, Malaysia with VIPs at the Welcome Reception Members of the Secretariat Complimentary city tour after two demonstrating a ‘Poco poco’ dance and a half day conference accompanied by a Kulintangan group Rumpun Seri ‘Selamat Jalan’ or Bon Voyage banner at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport 13
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  15. 15. WHAT THE DELEGATES SAID ABOUT THE CONFERENCE “Congratulations for a very well organised conference. Good participation from other countries and many excellent presentations. It has succeeded in raising CTC’s profile and done Malaysia proud.” Datuk Dr. Victor Wee (former Secretary General, Ministry of Tourism, Malaysia). “Thanks for organising such an excellent conference.” Professor Simon Hudson, University of Calgary, Canada “I thank you for the organisation of this conference which was extremely enriching” Gabriel Komora, Sports Stadia Management Board, Kenya “The recent conference provided a great opportunity for delegates to better understand sport tourism, the marketing events, activities and locations” Lee Abbot, Golf Images, United Kingdom “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Commonwealth Tourism Centre for your glorious success in organising the event would benefit greatly our tourism industry” Muhaini Ali, UEM Land Berhad, Malaysia “…truly it is an UNFORGETTABLE CONFERENCE!!!!!!!” Maya Pranesh Rao, Aid India Ltd., India “I would like to thank you very much for the great organisation during this past conference, as well as your warm hospitality” Christophe Altaie, QI Ltd., Singapore “Congratulations on organising a very successful conference. Everyone that I spoke to considered it to have been very valuable, enjoyable and well organised. I particularly enjoyed the delegate mix in terms of where people were from and their positions/areas of responsibility. They made it very colourful and I think they found the presentations to be useful. I hope there will be a second conference.” Prof. Graham Brown, University of South Australia, Australia 15
  16. 16. “I would like to congratulate the CTC team on organising and hosting an excellent conference. You all did your organisation and your country proud. I would also like to thank you sincerely for having been afforded the opportunity to contribute to this great event. I feel so much richer for having had this experience.” Prof. Ernie Heath, University of Pretoria, South Africa “Congratulations to the staff of CTC for a very well organised conference and for the warm hospitality” Lionel Teo, Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore “Congratulations on the completion of the Sport Tourism Conference” Pengiran Hassanal Bahar bin Pengiran Bagul, University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia “Overall, the conference is a success” Mohd Azman Mohd Alwy, Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Polytechnic, Malaysia 16