Purpose – The purpose of this study is to analyze Chinese tourists' perceptions toward the 2010 World Expo and the impact of a mega event on the host city and visitor satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach – Guided by the conceptualization of hosting special events for destination branding, this study examines empirically tourists' perceptions and experiences of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo and the host city. Ten hypotheses were tested using SEM to identify and analyze the factors and relationships that influence mega events and host cities. Findings – Data collected from 600 tourists who visited the 2010 Shanghai World Expo provide support for the proposed model. The empirical test provides support for eight of the ten hypotheses and it reveals that the hosting of the World Expo had significant positive impact on Shanghai but not vice versa, and the Chinese tourists exhibited loyalty to the host city. Research limitations/implications – Using a moving event such as Expo, the Shanghai brand is simplified. The sample includes only domestic tourists and future research should include an international sample for comparison. Practical implications – The results help in identifying and managing the factors that contribute positively to the host destination brand when hosting mega events. Originality/value – This study is the first attempt to empirically test the conceptual framework of leveraging a mega event for enhancing the host destination brand by using the 2010 Shanghai Expo as a case study. It validates that the strategic fit between the event and host city, community support and event quality are essential in enhancing host destination brand and tourist loyalty.
International Journal of Event and Festival Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 16, 2012
Keywords: 2010 Shanghai Expo; Strategic and cultural fit; Local community support; Event quality; Destination brand; Consumer loyalty; Customer loyalty; Culture; Communities; Brands
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