However, it could be argued that events may not help to provide positive image to the host destinations. Sometime they give negative image to those destinations because lack of community supports. Jaga et al. (2003) give example of The Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Queensland that lack of community support. This reason made this event failure and was not successful in achieving positive city image. Moreover, it made people from outside the region to remember this region as a failure. This paper will investigate how sports events could help to attract tourists to visit Eastbourne and how sports events could help to improve the image of Eastbourne.
Eastbourne is a seaside town that is situated on the South Coast of East Sussex, England with a population of around 90,000 people. (Eastbourne Borough Council, 2011) There are more than 4.5 million visitors to Eastbourne every year, and they spend around £230 million in the town each year. Eastbourne was rewarded as the best UK Resort Finalist 2006 and 2007; Number One UK Destination from Co-op Travel in 2007; and it was the UK’s Most Holiday Friendly Destination 2010 from Virgin Money Travel Insurance. According to VisitEastbourne (2011), Eastbourne provides a wide range of attractions such as the Victorian Pier, Beachy Head and the Seven Sisters, a business community and shopping facilities. It also provides different types of sports events to encourage visitors to visit their city such as the Aegon International Tennis Championships, which could help to attract more tourists to Eastbourne because there are famous tennis stars that play at this event. Therefore, this reason makes people want to attend this event because they want to watch their favourite famous tennis stars. This event could help to attract media coverage to help to create Eastbourne awareness. Another example is Eastbourne Extreme, which happens in July. This event also provides an opportunity for Eastbourne by attracting more than 30,000 people to watch this event (Eastbourne Borough Council, 2011). Therefore, it could be said that Eastbourne is one of the destinations that uses sports events to help to attract tourists and to promote their destination.
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