Monday, August 09, 2010

Another Blow To Big Game Hunting For Mega-Events!

It is getting harder by the year to ignore the reality that meg-events such as the Super Bowl, World Cup and conventions like the Republican and Democratic party events just don’t add statistically significant impact economically or in terms of image.

The most recent of many to come to my attention is this excellent analysis of major political conventions from the 1960’s through the ‘04 events was conducted in 2008 but only came to my attention recently.Stuffed_wild_adv

There may be other cultural or political reasons to pursue them but it is impossible now with any credibility to play the economic impact or image cards, at least with a straight face.

I understand why many in the tourism-industrial complex remain loathe to acknowledge these well proven realities but what puzzles me is the number of DMO execs who still appear oblivious.  Hubris may be a factor but how far will that get you.

Growing the number of visitors to a destination has never been about more, more, more, bigger, bigger, bigger.  It is about prospecting for those visitors or visitor related events that can be feathered in to complement existing demand without dislocating (or distracting in the case of resident consumption) more impact than they generate.  Pure and simple.

But those subtleties are also lost on far too many in corporate American and far too many elected officials, especially if they live on a “one way street.”  So I know it isn’t always easy to have the courage to stand up to big game hunters.

But that’s part of the job and sooner or later, there won’t be room for DMO execs to remain in denial.  It will be a step forward when we get to the point where even internally we can have an honest and open discussion of these findings.

Regardless how you feel personally, you owe it to your community to read reports like the one linked above.

No comments: