Tourism is the act of traveling for leisure and recreation, in just as well as the provision of these services to those travelling so that they can achieve their goal. Events, on the other hand, are attractions that are created for various purposes. Tourist destinations should create events that attract more people to in their way. Events can be the major attraction themselves or act as a compliment to other tourist services offered in a certain destination. Over time, events and festivals have become a global phenomenon and the tourism industry has made an opportunity to market themselves through these festivals and events. Events and cultural festivals have especially had a great impact on tourism that it has become hard to separate the two. The role of this essay is to present the importance events and festivals have had on tourism with a deeper look at the London fashion week.
Most communities had events and cultural festivals, set out throughout the year, whereby they would come together and display their cultural creativity and celebrate together. People from different cultures set aside certain spaces and dates for communal celebrations and for the showcase of creativity (Quinn, 2009). In the modern day, these events are held in big ball rooms and art studios to display culture, fashion, art and many other things. The tourism industry has become the biggest beneficiary of this phenomenon. Events and festivals provide an avenue for players in the tourism industry to market. These events and cultures also act as an avenue for the exposure of the various tourist attractions in a country. For example, an art festival in France will have the country’s tourism sector advertise their products and the magical destinations in the country. The participants of the event become curious and visit the destinations that were marketed to them at the event/festival. In the just concluded Olympic Games that were held in Brazil, we saw the country market its major tourism sectors such as the beautiful beaches and vast forests in their opening and closing ceremonies. These games were broadcast to millions of people and many were convinced to attend and go discover the beautiful country while at it.
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Besides being an advertising channel for the tourism industry, these events create employment and help economies to grow thanks to the influx of tourists. Events such as the Olympics, World Cup, and fashion shows bring people from different countries together making it a perfect place to showcase your tourism destinations. Events and festivals are also important to tourism as they help in increasing knowledge about certain tourism areas and educate potential investors of available tourism activities in the country (Dordevic, 2011). Festivals and events also play a significant role in forming the image of that particular destination which helps to promote and brand it in such a way that it becomes a favorable destination for future tourists.
My case study is the London Fashion week. The London fashion week is a trade show for designer clothing, and it takes place in London, the United Kingdom. The fashion shows is one of the biggest fashion shows along with the Paris, Milan, and New York fashion weeks, and it normally is held twice every year; February and September and of these four capitals, London is the only city that hosts all the fashion week events in one place (London Fashion Week, 2017). The show was first hosted in 1983, being organized by the British Fashion Council. It is marketed as a trade show where designers get to showcase their latest fashion creations to potential buyers and the numerous press it receives every year. The current Principal sponsor of the event is the Sunglass Hut, with the official sponsors of the show being Mercedes-Benz, Lavazza, The Store Studios, Etihad Airways, The May Fair hotel, London Evening Standard, Maybelline, and Toni & Guy. The event is funded by the Department for International Trade, the European Union, and by the Mayor of London also (London Fashion Week, 2017). The London Fashion Week is an invite only affair and no tickets are sold at the event (Spedding, 2016). Potential buyers are given an opportunity to buy items showcased in the runways at a retail event that is hosted on the weekend immediately after fashion week. The retail event is hosted at the same venue as the fashion shows are it is open to the general public who would wish to look and purchase a few items. This year, the event took place between February 17th and 21st February and showcased about 150 designers (London Fashion Week, 2017). The key stake holders of the London Fashion week are the British Fashion Council.
The London fashion Week festival takes place right after the London fashion week. The purpose of the fashion festival is to invite the public to see various designer items and give them an opportunity to purchase designer items that were showcased in the fashion week all under one roof. This year, it was held on February 24th-26th. It is held at the same venue as the London fashion week. It gives the public an opportunity to see top models showcase items from the fashion week’s best designers and trends from the fashion week. The fashion festival events are categorized into three. The gold ticket that goes for $60 (most expensive of all), the silver ticket goes for $40 and the bronze ticket at $20. There also Luxe tickets that go for $200 and $145 respectively (London Fashion Week Festival, 2017). The fashion week and festival are categorized as economy and trade events.
The London fashion week brings so many fashion lovers to the country. It is a type of tourism itself as it promotes business tourism for buyers and investors who would like to invest in the industry. The fashion tourism is also a big benefit to taxpayers since some money is paid to host these designers for the event. In addition, the event and festival attracts thousands of people who seek accommodation in London hotels during their stay in the city. This is good business for the hotel industry and tourism in general. The country uses this event to promote its cultural and fashion industries which bring an economic value to the capital and open the country up to global influencers and promoters. The organizers of the event also encourage fashion week visitors to travel around the city since many of them tend to stay before and a few days after the fashion week has concluded which promotes local tourism.
Events and festivals provide a good opportunity for the promotion of tourism. The London week festival particularly helps to promote the City’s fashion and tourism industry since the people who attend the festival find a need to visit various other places such as the museums, hotels and also view the beautiful architecture of the city. The natural in as well as the man-made features of London provide an exquisite tourist offer for the visitors of the event and festival. This event has further influenced the development of other tourism infrastructure around it such as hotels and museums in London. Events/Festivals are used to promote the image of the City and the country at large to thousands of visitors who attend the event annually. Generally, events play a role in dealing with the seasonal problem that is experienced in the tourism by making sure that even during off peak season, the country can host a relative number of tourists.
Dordevic, Vukasin. (2011), “The Place and Role of Events in the Tourism Development of the Southwest Serbia Cluster.” Economics and organization Vol, 8, No. 1 Pp. 69-81.
Quinn, B. eds. (2009), “Festivals, events and tourism in the SAGE Handbook of Tourism Studies.” Sage: London
London Fashion Week. (2017), London Fashion Week. Retrieved from http://www.londonfashionweek.co.uk/Designer-Showrooms/About
London Fashion Week Festival. (2017) , Londonfashionweekfestival.com Retrieved from http://londonfashionweekfestival.com/about/
Spedding, Emma. (2016), “How Can you Get Tickets to London Fashion Week?” Telegraph Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/fashion/london-fashion-week/london-fashion-week-tickets-and-information/