Using non-mega events for destination branding : a stakeholder perspective

29 Nov 2019

Stakeholders of destinations play an important role in the development and function of destination brands. They have increasingly recognised the importance of sport for the development of destination brands. However, challenges in stakeholder coordination and collaboration in the utilisation of sport for brand-related benefits still persist. This study explores the destination brand of South Africa and determines the strategic stakeholder relationships in the utilisation of non-mega events for destination brand development. A qualitative design featuring semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face interviews was conducted with definitive sport, tourism and destination-brand stakeholders. A thematic analysis of results clearly revealed the role of stakeholders in sport and tourism relations in the promotion of the South African brand through sport event hosting. The results further show that key challenges exist in the objectives of stakeholders in public and private entities that appear to stifle effective partnering and that, essentially, further impede effective collaboration in sport event leveraging. The paper adds value particularly to the stakeholders of a developing destination brand context towards informing and guiding them on views and perceptions in relation to strategies for effective stakeholder relations when utilising non-mega events for effective destination branding.