Government and residents' perceptions towards the impacts of a mega event : the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

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Government and residents' perceptions towards the impacts of a mega event : the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

 

Author: Zhou, Yong Joe
Title: Government and residents' perceptions towards the impacts of a mega event : the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2007
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations.
Olympic Games (29th : 2008 : Beijing, China)
Olympic Games (29th : 2008 : Beijing, China) -- Public opinion.
Olympics -- Economic aspects -- China -- Beijing.
Department: School of Hotel and Tourism Management
Pages: xii, 279 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2116764
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2667
Abstract: Special events have constituted one of the most exciting and fastest growing forms of economic and tourism phenomena in many countries and destinations. Mega events such as the Olympic Games are accompanied with significant economic and social benefits, and extensive media coverage that attract more and more cities to become involved in them. As two of the major stakeholders involved in mega events, government and local residents play key roles in the planning and operation of such events and they are the ones most affected. Their perceptions towards the event, therefore, are essential to the success of the event and its sustainability. Studies on government's motivations for involvement in mega events and their perceptions towards the impacts of event development are noticeably lacking. In addition, residents' perceptions have been observed as an important contributor to the success of mega events in several cases in developed countries, but little research has been conducted in a developing country context. This study attempts to address these issues with the main objectives: 1) To examine the Chinese governments': a) motivations for bidding and hosting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games; and b) perceptions towards the impacts of the 2008 Olympic Games; and 2) To identify and examine local residents' perceptions towards the impacts of the Olympic Games. It was found that the Chinese governments' primary motivations to host the Olympic Games were to showcase its reform achievements to the international community, as well as to unify its citizens, and boost national pride. The primary impacts of the 2008 Olympic Games that were identified included: improving the urban layout and infrastructure; increasing cultural exchange with other countries; more transparency in government performance; and decreasing uncivilised social behaviours. Besides tangible impacts such as traffic congestion and damage to the environment, the interviewee respondents did not report any further negative impacts. The majority of local respondents perceived the impacts of the Olympic Games very positively with 96% indicating support for the games. A mega event impact scale based on residents' perceptions towards to the impacts of the 2008 Olympic Games was developed. The scale comprised 20 impact items with four factors, namely: social-psychological impacts; urban development impacts; economic development impacts; and social life impacts. Based on their different social representations (i.e. perceptions towards the impacts of the Olympic Games), residents were classified into two groups: "favourers" and "ambivalents". Residents' attitudes about government performance, their preference of more tourism development, and tourism industry work experience found to be the three most significant factors that influenced overall residents' perceptions towards the 2008 Olympics. The above mentioned findings contribute to the existing body of knowledge in an attempt to understand different event stakeholders' perceptions towards a mega event and have provided a better understanding of the nature of government's event strategy and residents' reactions towards event development.

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