South African mega-sport events and their impact on tourism
The 2010 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA)World Cup, one of the largest mega-sport events in the world, has stirred renewed interest in the benefits that a host country can derive from such events. While most predict a large increase in the number of tourist arrivals in South Africa during the event, recent international literature suggests that ex ante studies are often too optimistic. South Africa has played host to numerous mega-events since 1994. Using a time-series lagged regression model, we identify the increases in tourism numbers experienced for most such events, controlling for a number of variables, which are standard to the prediction of tourism flows. Smaller events, especially those held during the summer months, show little increase in tourist arrivals. We disaggregate tourism arrivals to show that, as expected, the number of tourists from participating countries tends to increase the most. Contrary to the findings revealed in the international literature, we find little evidence of between-country displacement. This lack of evidence may be as a result of off-season scheduling or because the relative size of such events reflects neither that of the FIFA World Cup nor that of the Olympic Games. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.