The economic impact assessment of festivals in Limpopo with specific reference to the 2014 Marula festival
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This study assessed the economic impact of the Limpopo Marula Festival which was held in Ba-Phalaborwa during the month of February 2014. The research project went beyond the traditional economic impact analysis by assessing several aspects of the festival. Traditionally, events impact assessments are generally focused on measuring the demand side of visitor spending and then estimating potential total direct impact. This study went further to assess other aspects of the festival such as the tourism inducing effect, perceptions around the marketing of the event and the possibility of reducing expenditure leakages from the local economy.
In South Africa, different types of tourism have developed over the past 10 years. These include event, cultural, adventure, business, sports as well as eco-tourism. Strydom et al. (2006) point out that new festivals are developing annually, as arts/cultural festivals are becoming increasingly popular as a form of event tourism in South Africa. In the face of declining manufacturing, mining and agricultural sectors, Strydom et al. (2006) argue that the tourism industry could speed up economic growth of the country through indirect and induced impacts. This study will estimate these impacts for the local municipality of Ba-Phalaborwa were the 2014 Marula festival took place.