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Festivals and Events in Generating Employment and Revenues

New Bureau

In the 21st century, global economy is driven by three major industries that consist of technology, telecommunication and tourism. Tourism is one of the world’s largest and rapidly growing industries. It is one of the main economic engines for nations. It is a well known fact that tourism is a sector that can contribute to the economic growth of a region and festivals are integral parts of tourism. Tourism in the past has been based only on the accommodation and hospitality sector, transportation sector and entertainment sector with visitor attractions, such as, theme parks, amusement parks, sports facilities, museums etc, taking the centre stage. This focus diverted the minds of everyone to those areas until event organizers and event managers realized that there was an area that was yet to be tapped into and this realization gave birth to the event tourism industry.

Festivals are emerging worldwide as a growing and vibrant sector of the tourism and leisure industries and are seen to have significant economic, socio-cultural, and political impacts on the destination area and host groups. The economic benefits of festivals are easiest to see and most often cited–festivals attract visitors, which stimulates the growth of tourism and other businesses in a town or region. Festivals attract visitors and visitors spend money, which boosts the local economy both on and off the festival site.

Festivals and events have impacts that go well beyond what can be measured in economic terms. Historically, the way festivals celebrated special occasions were through art, ritual, and festivity. They were seen as communal gatherings that intented people’s collective wishes and dreams and provide an important occasion for a unique experience in their social lives. Due to more imperative community objectives, prospects for business remained unarticulated and possibly underexploited. Today events and festivals tourism is one of the fastest growing forms of tourism. They are becoming increasingly popular in rural areas as a means to revitalize local economies. Business opportunities are everywhere in rural festivals. Events are not only one of the most important parts of tourism, but also inseparable part of human society. They are global phenomenon which is gaining greater and greater importance through the event industry. There are a number of different types of events in the world, and there are more arising every year. Community festivals and events are revolutionising businesses and prompting economic development across the globe. Community events, festivals and arts venues create jobs, support local businesses and attract visitors

Every year a large number of different types of events that attract tourists take place in many destinations and also, a great number of new events are planned annually. Events and festivals provide opportunities for participation, skills development, volunteering and social, cultural economic and environmental developments. Community events and festivals can attract tourists and visitors at regional, national and international level. Events help to capture attention and promote attractions and infrastructures. They make it possible to maximize and rationalise the use of certain spaces. Preservation of these spaces may result in financial benefits and dissemination of artistic and cultural heritages. The social networks that can develop through the organisation of festivals have the potential of being maintained far beyond the short life of the festival. Development of events in the economic sense helped solve the problem of employment and had an impact on economic growth, especially in developed market economies. Benefits of festivals to communities can be extensive, particularly when the draw is from outside the region. The more involved local people and suppliers are in terms of provision of services, food, beverages, and attractions, the greater the economic benefits to the region. Local vendors, artisans, craftspeople, restaurateurs and hoteliers may make a large portion of their annual income during the course of an event. For entrepreneurs, involvement in festivals may represent a way to gain market access and users’ feedback. There are ample opportunities to achieve entrepreneurial benefits from festivals without compromising community fundamentals.

Festivals and events also develop social capital by promoting social cohesiveness given that a festival is often a frequent social occasion in which all members of a community have the opportunity to unite and share a worldview through ethnic, linguistic, religious, and historical bonds. It is well known that the exhibitions and trade events were held in the ancient period. Ancient historians noted sport events as significant and prestigious form of social activities, which reached its peak with the organisation of the ancient Olympic Games. Festival-type events are known to have existed since the Middle Ages when they were financed by the church, although some types of similar events date back to the Roman times. As much as it seems that the conference events are a product of modern life, their origins date back to the 18th century.

Festivals and events are revolutionising businesses and prompting economic development across the globe. Community events, festivals and arts venues create jobs, support local businesses and attract visitors. Governments offer a wide range of products and services to help promote community events in rural areas. Community events and festivals can make a significant contribution for rural development with strategic planning, well-defined goals, local level partnerships and funding. However rural communities often organise tourism events to inject cash into their economies. This cash is not enough to achieve comprehensive rural economic development. Events assist the tourism businesses of the region but are not enough to revive the entire economy. As such if proper infrastructures are built and access to the State is thrown open, then tourism can bring millions of people to the region.

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