Sources of interest in travel to the Olympic Games

Laurence Chalip, B. Christine Green, Lee Vander Velden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the applicability of Chalip's polysemic model when marketing the Olympic Games to a long-haul international tourist market. The model predicts that interest in Olympic spectating will derive from interest in Olympic narratives, symbols and genres (eg sport and spectacle). A sample of 378 adult Americans was surveyed following the 1996 Olympic Games. Respondents were asked to name the host city of the 2000 Olympic Games (a measure of awareness), their interest in travel to the 2000 Olympic Games, and their intent to travel to the 2000 Olympic Games. They were also asked to specify their interest in Olympic sports, non-Olympic championships, and Olympic narratives, genres and symbols. Awareness was predicted by education and interest in sports not typically shown on television. Interest in travel to the 2000 Olympic Games was predicted by age, education, interest in the closing ceremonies and interest in sports not typically shown on television. Intent was predicted by age. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of interest in Olympic sports identified eight clusters. Interest in track and field, the closing ceremonies and a cluster representing 17 minor Olympic sports predicted interest. Only interest in the cluster of minor sports predicted travel intent. Although interest in minor Olympic sports is central to interest in and intent to travel to the Olympic Games, it is poorly correlated with interest in high-profile non-Olympic sport events. Implications for marketing the Olympic Games to a long-haul international market are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-22
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Vacation Marketing
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Hallmark events
  • Olympic Games
  • Sport marketing
  • Sport spectators
  • Sport tourism
  • Sydney Olympics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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