Sports-events, tourism and destination marketing strategies: an Australian case study of Athens 2004 and its media telecast
Hede, Anne-Marie 2005, Sports-events, tourism and destination marketing strategies: an Australian case study of Athens 2004 and its media telecast, Journal of sport tourism, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 187-200.
The focus of this study was the media telecast of the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games. The study explored the efficacy of the Australian telecast in developing positive perceptions and attitudes of Greece as a tourist destination and was origin-based—in that a survey was undertaken of a sample of Australian residents (n = 350). Participants were segmented based on their post-consumption perceptions of Greece. Four segments were identified and labelled—'extremely positive' (n = 75), 'highly positive' (n = 153), 'positive' (n = 83) and 'negative' (n = 29). Statistical differences were found between the segments based on whether attitudes towards Greece had improved as a result of their consumption of the media telecast of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games (Athens 2004). To gain insights into this phenomenon, open-ended responses provided by segment members were then analysed.
Across the sample, 38.7% of respondents indicated that their overall attitude towards Greece as tourist destination changed as a result of their consumption of the telecast of Athens 2004. Considering that the attitudes of participants in the current study improved, not as a result of first-hand experiences at the destination, but as a result of their vicarious experiences of the destination through consumption of a media telecast of a special event, the results provide insights to the efficacy of this particular telecast in developing positive attitudes with regard to Greece as a tourist destination. The results of this study could be used a benchmark for future event-related destination marketing strategies. Similarities and differences emerged between the segments with regard to the reasons as to why members of each of the clusters attitudes towards Greece as a tourist destination had improved as a result of their consumption of the telecast. While their responses appeared to be similar, the frequency in which the concepts emerged for each of the segments varied intensity. The key issues that emerged for the four clusters were the appearance of Greece; culture and history of Greece; capacity, or 'hostability', of Greece to stage the Athens 2004; and infrastructure in Greece.