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Harnessing the power of football:safety-risk perceptions of sport touristsat the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM
in BrazilRichard Georgea, Kamilla Swarta & David W. Jenkinsaa Department of Management Studies, University of Cape Town,Cape Town, South AfricaPublished online: 08 Aug 2014.
To cite this article: Richard George, Kamilla Swart & David W. Jenkins (2014): Harnessing thepower of football: safety-risk perceptions of sport tourists at the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM inBrazil, Journal of Sport & Tourism, DOI: 10.1080/14775085.2014.944203
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2014.944203
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Harnessing the power of football: safety-risk perceptions of sporttourists at the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM in Brazil
Richard George, Kamilla Swart and David W. Jenkins
Department of Management Studies, University of Cape Town, Cape Town,South Africa
(Received 7 February 2014; accepted 9 July 2014)
Commissioned to host the 2014 FIFA (Federation Internationale de FootballAssociation) World CupTM tournament, Brazil was given access to a globalplatform which holds the power to stimulate considerable levels of tourismvalue. However, tourist anxiety surrounding safety and security raised ques-tions as to whether the event could successfully achieve the host nationsdiverse set of underpinned socioeconomic objectives. As a benchmark ofsuccess in this regard, Brazil was first set to host the 2013 FIFA Confedera-tions CupTM, a prelude to the 2014 FIFA World CupTM tournament. Thisarticle investigates the constructs found to manage sport tourists safety-risk perceptions; and examines how the interrelationships amongst these con-structs can positively influence sport tourists repeat visitation intentions as apractice that drives tourism growth. First, a mediation model regarding theinterrelationships between safety-risk perception, satisfaction, and repeat vis-itation was synthesised from sport tourism literature. Following this, a self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 187 domestic and internationalsport tourists attending the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM in Rio deJaneiro, Brazil. The results provided support for the mediation model,whereby tourists decreased safety-risk perceptions directly and indirectlyimproved tourists propensity to return to the host destination, with event sat-isfaction occupying a mediating role. Managerial implications propose that itis the responsibility of the event stakeholders to shift any short-term speculat-ive investment in the safety and security improvements of the host destina-tion, to investment that is more long term and sustainable in nature. Inresponse, tourists are expected to demonstrate a greater propensity to returnto the host destination, serving as a core stimulant of future tourism value.
Keywords: sport tourism; mega-events; safety-risk perception; 2013 FIFAConfederations CupTM
Mega-events such as the FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Associ-ation) World CupTM and the Olympic Games have begun to attract growing
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Journal of Sport & Tourism, 2014http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2014.944203
interest within the sport tourism literature of the past decade, offering a platformto showcase a purpose beyond the provision of entertainment (Darnell, 2010).One of the most prevalent trends that have emerged in this regard documents theinfluence that mega-events have in stimulating significant tourism growth forhost cities in emerging markets (Boo & Gu, 2010; Campo-Martnez, Garau-Vadell, & Martnez-Ruiz, 2010; George, 2012; Taks, Chalip, Green,Kesenne, & Martyn, 2009). In recent years, it has been the key stakeholdersin the political economy of international sport (e.g. FIFA and the InternationalOlympic Committee) that have provided this trend with greater impetus; com-missioning the hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games in China, and the 2010FIFA World CupTM in South Africa, as events that showcased this capability(Darnell, 2010). In alignment with the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China,and South Africa) model of emerging markets, the stakeholders next invest-ment was set to be in Brazil, which was commissioned to host two mega-events within three years: the 2014 FIFA World CupTM tournament and the2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games (Schissel, 2012). Included in the 2014FIFA World CupTM tournament is the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM,which is set as a prelude to the 2014 spectacle. This tournament is contestedby the winners of each of the six FIFA Confederation Championships(UEFA, CONMEBOL, CONCACAF, CAF, AFC, and OFC), along with theFIFA World CupTM holders and the host nations national team (FIFA.com,2013).
In alignment with its commitment to tourist sector development, Brazils bidto host these two upcoming mega-events was heavily underpinned by severalsocial, economic, and developmental objectives (Schissel, 2012). However,leading up to the 2013 FIFA Confederations CupTM, growing concern devel-oped surrounding safety and security risks associated with attending theevent (NDTV Sports, 2013). International incidences such as the rape of anItalian woman in Rio de Janeiro in March 2013 (BBC News, 2013a), the bomb-ings at the Boston Marathon, USA, in April 2013 (BBC News, 2013b), and therecent threat of riots and civil unrest across Brazils major cities (Daily MailReporter, 2013a) fully justified cause for concern.
Research in this field suggests that in order to manage any prevailing touristanxieties, event stakeholders should seek to develop a better understanding ofthe tourism components with which these risk concerns are associated (Boo& Gu, 2010; Kozak, 2001; Qi, Gibson, & Zhang, 2009). It is from this positionthat event stakeholders will be able to more effectively identify any potentialsources of tourism leverage, from which they can stimulate both current andfuture tourism value (Chalip, 2004).
The focus of past mega-event research has worked to uncover the factorsinfluencing the provision of mega-event legacy, and has clearly identifiedsport tourists travel-risk perceptions as a key deterrent in this regard, especiallyin relation to the stimulation of repeat visitation to the host destination (Boo &Gu, 2010; George, 2010; Neirotti & Hilliard, 2006; Qi et al., 2009; Sonmez &
2 R. George et al.
Graefe, 1998). In response, the literature proceeded to identify several con-structs that illustrate the potential to explain and manage the threat that touriststravel-risk perceptions pose on their future travel intentions, namely satisfaction(Boo & Gu, 2010; Taylor & Toohey, 2007), previous travel experience (Boo &Gu, 2010; George, 2010; Qi et al., 2009), and destination image (George &Mawby, 2013; Qi et al., 2009). The strongest argument, in this regard, hasbeen presented for tourists satisfaction levels surrounding the event, whichwas presented based on the independent associations that this construct holdswith the travel-risk (Boo & Gu, 2010; Taylor & Toohey, 2007) and repeat vis-itation (Boo & Gu, 2010; Kaplanidou & Vogt, 2007) variables. Tourist satisfac-tion has also been previously tested as an event management mechanism for thisthreat (Boo & Gu, 2010), but was found to be insignificant in this instance.
The synthesised review of this literature clearly identifies tourists satisfac-tion levels surrounding