Cultural Festivals and Regional Economic Development: Perceptions of Key Interest Groups

  • Stella Kostopoulou
  • Nikolaos Vagionis
  • Dimitris Kourkouridis


In this chapter we discuss one example of the link between cultural events and local economic development and more specifically film festivals as generators of positive externalities in regional towns. Cultural events are increasingly considered to be a cost effective way to boost local economies of host cities and regions and have thus become a subject of interest at academic and public policy level. Research results on the impact of festivals and events underline the fact that important direct and indirect economic benefits are often generated for host communities. However, most studies examine this issue within standard multiplier impact analysis. One area of research that has not received much attention is the analysis of the perceptions of local key interest groups about the impact of cultural festivals on host communities. The purpose of this chapter is to present an instrument to assess the perceptions of festival organizers, local authorities and tourism market about the economic impact of regional cultural festivals on local communities. The aims of the research are, to assess if and how festivals act as regional development stimulants that encourage local economic revitalization and to investigate whether festivals are incorporated into regional economic development policies. The Delphi method was implemented through a research survey with representatives of the key interest groups. The study looks at film festivals that take place on a regular basis in regional towns in Greece and makes use of primary data obtained by a questionnaire survey addressed to festival organizers, local authorities and hotel managers about core economic and tourism impacts of film festivals and their significance for host communities.


Local Economy Local Development Tourism Development Cultural Event Host Community 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alves HB, Campon Cerro AC, Martins AF (2010) Impacts of small tourism events on rural places. J Place Manage Devel 3:22–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boo S, Busser JA (2006) Impact analysis of a tourism festival on tourists’ destination images. Event Manage 9:223–237CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brown BB (1968) Delphi process: a methodology used for the elicitation of opinions of experts. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica/CalifGoogle Scholar
  4. Carlsen J, Getz D, Soutar G (2000) Event evaluation research. Event Manage 6:247–257Google Scholar
  5. Chhabra D, Sills E, Cubbage FW (2003) The significance of festivals to rural economies: estimating the economic impacts of Scottish highland games in North Carolina. J Travel Res 41:421–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Crompton JL, Lee S, Shuster TS (2001) A guide for undertaking economic impact studies: the Springfest example. J Travel Res 40:79–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dalkey N, Helmer O (1963) An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts. Manage Sci 9:458–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Bres K, Davis J (2001) Celebrating group and place identity: a case study of a new regional festival. Tour Geogr 3:326–337CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dwyer L, Forsyth P, Spurr R (2005) Estimating the impacts of special events on an economy. J Travel Res 43:351–359CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Felsenstein D, Fleischer A (2003) Local festivals and tourism promotion: the role of public assistance and visitor expenditure. J Travel Res 41:385–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Formica S, Uysal M (1996) A market segmentation of festival visitors: Umbria Jazz festival in Italy. Festival Manage Event Tour 3:175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Getz D (2007) Event studies: theory, research and policy for planned events. Elsevier, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Getz D (2008) Event tourism: definition, evolution and research. Tour Manage 29:403–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gibson C, Kong L (2005) Cultural economy: a critical review. Prog Hum Geog 29:541–561CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gibson C, Waitt G, Walmsley J, Connell J (2010) Cultural festivals and economic development in nonmetropolitan Australia. Local cultural development: tensions and opportunities. J Plann Educ Res 29:280–293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gordon TJ (2010) The Delphi method. Futures research methodology, vol 3 Millennium projectGoogle Scholar
  17. Gorman-Murray A, Darian-Smith K, Gibson C (2008) Scaling the rural: reflections on rural cultural studies. Austr Human Rev 45:37–53Google Scholar
  18. Gursoy D, Kim K, Uysal M (2004) Perceived impacts of festivals and special events by organizers: an extension and validation. Tour Manage 25:171–181CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Higham JS, Ritchie B (2001) The evolution of festivals and other events in rural southern New Zealand. Event Manage 7:39–49Google Scholar
  20. Huang JZ, Li M, Cai LA (2010) A model of community-based festival image. Int J Hosp Manage 29:254–260CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kim C, Scott D, Thigpen J, Kim S (1998) Economic impacts of a birding festival. J Festival Manage Event Tour 5:51–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kim SS, Prideaux B, Chon K (2010) A comparison of results of three statistical methods to understand the determinants of festival participants’ expenditures. Int J Hosp Manage 29:297–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Klaic D, Bacchella U, Bollo A, di Stefano E (2004) Festivals: Challenges of Growth, Distinction, Support Base and Internationalization. Tartu: Cultural Department, City of Tartu. Accessed 10 Feb 2011
  24. Klaic D (2002) Challenges and strategies In: Festivals: challenges of growth, distinction, support base and internationalization, Department of Culture of the Tartu City GovernmentGoogle Scholar
  25. Kotler P, Haider DH, Rein I (1993) Marketing places: attracting investment, industry and tourism to cities, states and nations. Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Linstone HA, Turoff M (eds) (1975) The Delphi method: techniques and applications. Addison Wesley, Reading, MAGoogle Scholar
  27. Maughan Ch, Bianchini F (2004) The economic and social impact of cultural festivals in the East Midlands of England. Final report, De Montfort University, Leicester. Accessed 8 Feb 2011
  28. McCann E (2002) The cultural politics of local economic development: meaning-making, place-making, and the urban policy process. Geoforum 33:385–398CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mehmetoglu M, Ellingsen KA (2005) Do small-scale festivals adopt “market orientation” as a management philosophy? Event Manage 9:119–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Moscardo G (2007) Analyzing the role of festivals and events in regional development. Event Manage 11:23–32CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. O’Sullivan D, Jackson M (2002) Festival tourism: a contributor to sustainable local economic development? J Sustain Tour 10:325–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. O’Sullivan D, Pickernella D, Senyard J (2009) Public sector evaluation of festivals and special events. J Policy Res Tour Leisure Events 1:19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pasanen K, Taskinen H, Mikkonen J (2009) Impacts of cultural events in Eastern Finland – development of a Finnish event evaluation tool. Scand J Hosp Tour 9:112–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Preble JF (1984) The selection of Delphi panels for strategic planning purposes. Strateg Manage J 5:157–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Rowe G, Wright G (1999) The Delphi technique as a forecasting tool: issues and analysis. Int J Forecast 15:353–375CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Ryan C (1998) Economic impacts of small events: Estimates and determinants – a New Zealand example. Tour Econ 4(4):339–352Google Scholar
  37. Small K, Edwards D, Sheridan L (2005) A flexible framework for evaluating the socio-cultural impacts of a small festival. Int J Event Manage Res 1:66–76Google Scholar
  38. Thrane C (2002) Jazz festival visitors and their expenditures: linking spending patterns to musical interest. J Travel Res 40:281–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Tindall P (2005) Economic impacts of a small scale youth sports event: a study of the Gromfest Surf Carnival. B.Sc. Thesis, University of New South WalesGoogle Scholar
  40. Van de Wagen L (2005) Event management: for tourism, cultural, business and sporting events, 2nd edn. Pearson Education, Frenchs ForestGoogle Scholar
  41. Waitt G (2008) Urban festivals: geographies of hype, helplessness, and hope. Geogr Compass 2:513–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Whitford M (2009) A framework for the development of event public policy: facilitating regional development. Tour Manage 30:674–682CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stella Kostopoulou
    • 1
  • Nikolaos Vagionis
    • 2
  • Dimitris Kourkouridis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsAristotle University of ThessalonikiThessalonikiGreece
  2. 2.Centre of Planning and Economic ResearchAthensGreece

Personalised recommendations