PurposeHosting events can attract visitors to an area and provide an opportunity for local businesses in the host community to benefit economically. Restaurants, in particular, have an opportunity to benefit as food is a necessary expenditure. However, previous research suggests that the intentional attraction of event visitors by local businesses has been minimal. The purpose of this paper is to explore perspectives of event leveraging held by restaurant owners/managers and a destination marketing organization (DMO).Design/methodology/approachData were collected through semi-structured interviews with owners/managers of 16 local restaurants and from three DMO executives in one medium-sized city in Ontario, Canada. Data were analyzed using initial and axial coding.FindingsFindings indicate that restaurants did not engage in event leveraging. Three common reasons emerged to explain their lack of engagement in leveraging, including: a lack of a belief in benefits from leveraging, inconvenient proximity to event venue, and not being prepared for event leveraging opportunities. The DMO had a desire to assist local business in leveraging, but their ability to do so was negatively impacted by a lack of awareness of events being hosted, disengagement by local businesses, and limited resources.Originality/valueFindings suggest that there is a need for DMOs and local businesses to create stronger and more supportive working relationships that address financial and human resources constraints preventing the adoption and success of event leveraging. As part of this approach there is a need for cities to make stronger financial investments in supportive agencies such as a DMO.
International Journal of Event and Festival Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 5, 2018
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