Developing the Event Tourism Nexus

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The word ‘event’ is derived from the Latin word ‘e-venire’ meaning outcome and in the contemporary era events are staged for a variety of reasons and have many different outcomes. According to Getz (2012) much of the importance attached to planned events is related to their economic benefits, leading many governments to view event development as a legitimate, strategic policy field. This in turn has lead to the creation of specialist public sector organisations dedicated to the development of events and event tourism. Although academics such as Alan et al. (2005), Getz (2012), Bowden (2011) and Whitford (2009) believe that this form of government intervention in events is desirable and practical, there is a major gap in the literature when it comes to analysing the role and performance of these government funded agencies. In an attempt to address this gap this paper focused on the institutional arrangements in Northern Ireland. This provided an interesting case study because in 1999 Northern Ireland set-up a National Events Agency but as a result of mismanagement it was forced to close in 2008 and its functions were transferred to the National Tourism Organisation. MethodologyThis longitudinal study which was conducted over an eight year period (2006-2013) examined how these two organisations performed. Using critical case purposive sampling technique a total of sixty-two interviews were conducted with event organisers and public officials who had worked directly with these two organisations during this period.FindingsOne of the key findings from this study was that a National Events Agency that operates at arms length from government may have a competitive advantage when it comes to bidding for events. However, this freedom and flexibility can be costly if not properly managed. Transparency is crucial and accountability should be at the heart of every decision as this type of organisation is spending public monies. It is also important that a National Events Agency sticks to its remit and that there are processes in place to monitor performance on a regular basis.There are also lessons to be learnt for those countries that have or are considering setting up an events unit within their National Tourism Organisation. Inevitability event tourism will be the priority under this structure but this is something that event organisers are now more willing to accept as they recognise the mutual benefits that can be gained from promoting tourism through their event. However, the National Tourism Organisation must acknowledge that event tourism is a bi-product of events and it is therefore important to work with event organisers to improve the quality of their events and raise the profile of the industry.Originality/ValueEach country has unique, geographical, economic, political and social characteristics and the institutional arrangements that work in one country may not be suitable for another. However, as this case study of Northern Ireland has shown, regardless of which system is in place it must be managed properly and hence the need for further research to highlight other examples of good and bad practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnknown Host Publication
PublisherBournemouth University
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 3 Jul 2013
EventInternational Conference on Events: Making Waves - Bournemouth
Duration: 3 Jul 2013 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Events: Making Waves
Period3/07/13 → …


  • Event Development: Event Tourism
  • Institutional Arrangements: Management: Lessons


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing the Event Tourism Nexus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this