Destination South Africa: comparing global sports mega-events and recurring localised sports events in South Africa for tourism and economic development


Andrea Giampiccolia, Seungwon ‘Shawn’ Leeb & John Naurightc*




This contribution examines the comparative value of sport mega-events such as the 2010 FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) World Cup of soccer held in South Africa and recurring sporting events (SPEs) such as the Comrades Marathon held each year in KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Through an examination of case studies of the World Cup and regional SPEs in South Africa, with particular focus on Durban and surrounding areas of KwaZulu-Natal, we seek to expand debate on the efficacy of various SPEs on tourism and local and regional economic development strategies. We present a detailed literature review of the role of these events to economic development and impacts on tourism and legacy planning then examine extant data produced around the 2010 World Cup (realising that we only have a partial picture to date) and compare that to SPEs held regularly in the region. Our aim is to generate intelligent debate around the role of sports and tourism in economic development strategies and suggest that alternative focus will yield more sustainable and predictable returns that locate benefits in host communities.

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