The Influence of International Sporting Events on the Image of Tourist Destinations. The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany and the City of Hanover

Master's Thesis, 2006

90 Pages, Grade: B






II List of figures

III List of tables

IV Abbreveations

1 Introduction
1.1 Motivation and aim of dissertation
1.2 Approach and method of dissertation
1.3 Content of dissertation

2 Definitions
2.1 Event
2.2 Image
2.3 Destination management

3 The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany
3.1 The destination
3.1.1 Germany
3.1.2 Host cities
3.2 The event
3.2.1 Games
3.2.2 Football fan route

4 Survey
4.1 The questionnaire
4.2 The sample
4.3 Findings
4.3.1 Visits to Germany during the FIFA World Cup 2006™
4.3.2 Previous visits and contacts to Germany
4.3.3 Image prior to the FIFA World Cup 2006™ and image changes
4.3.4 „A time to make friends“
4.3.5 Future travel plans

5 Chat rooms and forums

6 Further surveys
6.1 Survey by the international student organisation AIESEC
6.2 Survey on behalf of the German Tourism Board

7 Reflection

8 Conclusion

V Bibliography

VI Appendix

II List of figures

Figure 2.1: Possibilities to categorise destinations

Figure 3.1: Hanover ad

Figure 3.2: Layout of the football fan route

Figure 3.3: Hanover Public viewing area

Figure 3.4: Celebrations at the Global Village: dance formations from Mexiko, South Korea and Poland and performer from Switzerland playing the alp horn

Figure 4.1: Screenshot - English information

Figure 4.2: Screenshot - German information

Figure 4.3: Screenshot - Spanish information

Figure 4.4: Screenshot - Polish information

Figure 4.5: Screenshot - Questionnaire

Figure 4.6: Screenshot - Hanover FIFA World Cup 2006™ homepage with link to survey

Figure 5.1: Screenshot - Forum of the International School of Management (ISM)

Figure 5.2: Screenshot - OpenBC forum “Weltmeisterschaft 2006”

Figure 5.3: Screenshot - Post in openBC forum “Weltmeisterschaft 2006”

Figure 5.4: Screenshot - Post in facebook “2006 FIFA World Cup”

Figure 5.5: Screenshot - Homepage Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium

Figure 5.6: Screenshot - Note on homepage of Oto-Hahn-Gymnasium

III List of tables

Table 2.1: Categories of events according to their monothematic focus

Table 2.2: Impacts of Festivals and Events

Table 3.1: Visitor figures in Hanover in accommodation with 9 beds and more

Table 3.2: Visitor figures in Hanover in small scale accommodation

Table 4.1: Image of Germany prior to the FIFA World Cup 2006™

Table 4.2: Image change for Germany due to the FIFA World Cup 2006™

Table 4.3: Type of image change for Germany

Table 4.4: Image of Hanover prior to the FIFA World Cup 2006™

Table 4.5: Image change for Hanover due to the FIFA World Cup 2006™

Table 4.6: Type of image change for Hanover

Table 4.7: Germany fulfilled the official FIFA World Cup 2006™ claim

Table 4.8: Considering Germany as travel destination

Table 4.9: Considering Hanover as travel destination

Table 4.10: Relation between type of image change and travel plans

Table 4.11: Length of stay for planned visits to Germany..

IV Abbreveations

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International sporting events have gained an enormous popularity and importance both as a product within the leisure industry and as a marketing tool in destination marketing in the competition for visitors, residents and businesses between cities. This dissertation examines the influence of such international sporting events on the image of the host country or host city. The FIFA World Cup 2006™ serves as a case example, out of the host cities Hanover has been picked as an example.

Within the dissertation the following research questions will be explored and answered:

- Does image change happen due to international sporting events?
- If so is it positive or negative?
-Does the image change seem to be the same for host country and host city?
- Are image changes related to the level of involvement and type of ecperience the people have?
- Do image changes due to international sporting events have an influence on the people’s future travel plans? Should such sporting events therefore be of importance in destination management?

The answers were derived of secondary and primary data; an online survey has been conducted by the author for the purpose of this dissertation in which over 400 people participated. The findings of this survey have been supported through findings of two further surveys, one undertaken on behalf of the German Tourism board and one by the international student organisation AIESEC, who also have been examining issues concerning the FIFA World Cup 2006™.


Acknowledgements go to Tim Hall my supervisor: Thank you for discussing the topic and giving relevant advice where needed.

My thanks further goes to the participants of the survey who took the time to fill out one of the questionnaires and thereby helped collecting sufficient data. Thanks to the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium and the city of Hanover for linking their homepages with mine and all those who forwarded the link to friends and relations creating awareness for the survey and a snowball effect which resulted in a sample size of over 400 participants.

I would also like to thank the Tourismusverband Hannover Region e.V. and the Hannover Tourismus Service e.V. for the provided data. Last but not least Thanks goes to my family and friends who encouraged me while writing this dissertation.

1 Introduction

Over the past years events have become an increasingly popular and important tool in marketing, predominantly when marketing the image of a product. Positively influencing the customers’ image of the product to increase the chance that they will buy a particular good is a major task for marketing managers. Sporting competitions are the most important international events, soccer for example plays a dominant role within marketing (Freyer, 2002). Not only is the issue of sponsoring those international sporting events very important in marketing - mainly in the marketing of consumer goods, but those events are also very important in destination marketing - especially place promotion (Bieger, 2005:235f.). Sometimes cities are even associated with famous clubs, e.g. ‘Real Madrid’ or ‘Bayern München’, or sporting events that took place there, e.g. Sydney and the 2000 Summer Olympics (Hall, 1992:33).

One sporting competition that took place very recently is the FIFA World Cup 2006™ staged in Germany from the 9th of June 2006 for 30 days with 64 games played in twelve cities throughout the country. The aim of this dissertation was to find out, if an international sporting event like the FIFA World Cup 2006™ can trigger positive image changes for Germany and Hanover, which has been chosen as example from the twelve host cities. If image changes occur due to such sporting events the importance of them as tools in destination marketing would be confirmed and acknowledged. As most destinations are increasingly easy to access, thanks to the growth of budget flights in recent years, destinations get into fierce competition trying to attract as many visitors, potential inhabitants and businesses as possible to their city and region to generate income for the whole area. Places with a favourable image will be more competitive in this struggle than their competitors. Therefore it is worthwhile identifying if events can influence images, how the image changes in consequence, and how this can influence future (travel) behaviour. The findings will also asses if it is advisable to set hopes on such events as the trigger of image change and as a tool in destination managment.

1.1 Motivation and aim of dissertation

The study aims to find out, if an international sporting event can influence the image people have of the host country and city. Hosting international sporting events, like the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup™ is seen as prestigious and often used for the purpose of place promotion. The dissertation will focus on the FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany and the city of Hanover as an example of the twelve host cities. Research questions which will be addressed are:

1. Does image change happen due to international (sporting) events?
2. If image change happens is it positive or negative?
3. Does the image change seem to be the same for Germany and the city of Hanover or are there significant differences?
4. Are image changes related to the level of involvement and type of experience people have? For example does visiting the country hosting the event (which permits direct contact to the culture and people there) lead to greater or different image change than just following the media coverage or being resident of the host country?
5. Do image changes due to international sporting events have an influence on the people’s travel plans? And should such sporting events therefore be of importance in destination management?

While Edwards et al. (2004:197) maintain, that impacts on the image are one of the most important effects of events, and that research of the topic destination image is also quite common, they point out that there is limited research linking those two topics. Therefore the thesis aims to do this, thereby closing this research gap. Linking them and looking at them in the context of the FIFA World Cup 2006™ and even focusing on one of the host cities, namely Hanover, make the dissertation unique.

1.2 Approach and method of dissertation

Three research methods have been applied to approach the topic of this dissertation. Firstly, for a general understanding of the topic and the background knowledge a literature research has been carried out, reviewing the secondary data.

Secondly, the author of this dissertation has gathered primary data from a web-based survey on the internet (Boron, 2006). Therefore a homepage had been created with the questionnaire linked to it in four languages (English, German, Spanish and Polish).1 Over 400 datasets of completed questionnaires could be collected, of which nearly a fourth is from people stating that they do live outside Germany. As the questionnaire was web-based it was assumed that a potentially younger target group would be reached during the 80 days the questionnaire was online (11th of June till 29th of August).2 The questionnaire was constructed for football fans as well as those who do not think of themselves as fans, but whose image towards Germany and Hanover might have changed as well for example due to media coverage. Participants were found through friends, family and fellow students filling out the questionnaire and forwarding the link to people they know - creating a snowball effect. There has also been a link to the questionnaire on the FIFA World Cup 2006™ homepage of the city of Hannover and a link on the homepage of the author’s former school - the Otto-Hahn-Gymnasium.3

Thirdly, it was tried to collect data in chat romms and forums on the internet - openly admitting to be researching for a dissertation asking people about their image of Germany and Hanover and if they think it had changed in the course of the FIFA World Cup 2006™. The questions asked, were closely linked to the content of the questionnaire itself to be able to link the findings later on. Visitors to the chat rooms and forums have been encouraged to fill out the questionnaire themselves. This has been done by keeping in mind that answers in chat forums are more direct and more emotional. The internet seemed an appropriate platfom to place the questionnaire and collect data in chat rooms and forums, as a more diverse group of people and a higher number of people could be reached, which would have been impossible when conducting the interviews in person.

1.3 Content of dissertation

To give the reader an impression how the topic described above will be tackled, this section gives a short overview of the layout of the dissertation, showing the order in which the single issues will be addressed.

Chaper one, this introduction to the thesis, will be followed by chapter two defining the three key terms ‘event’, ‘image’ and ‘destination management’ used in the title of the dissertation more closely. Chapter three will look at the FIFA World Cup 2006™ in more detail: the hosts Germany and the chosen city Hanover, the sporting event itself, the cultural program - especially the ‘Fan miles’ and the public viewing areas, which were hugely popular with fans. The web-based survey is focus of chapter four, looking at the content and layout of the questionnaire, the sample and the findings of the survey. Chapter five looks into the research made through visiting relevant chat rooms and forums. Chapter six takes further sudies by AIESEC and by TNS Infratest undertaken on behalf of the German Tourism Board (DZT) into account. This is followed by chapter seven a critical reflection on the applied approach, to reflect on the work done and the outcomings achieved through this. Potential improvements for similar or further studies will also be discussed. The critical reflection is in addition undertaken on a meta-level considering learning outcomes out of writing the dissertation and of the study experience in this master degree. The conclusion if international sporting events like the FIFA World Cup 2006™ seem to influence image and which effects this has for the host country and the host cities, e.g. Hanover, is drawn in chapter eight where the research questions set out in this chapter are answered. Naturally lists of contents, figures, tables and abbreviations are also included in the beginning of the dissertation as are a bibliography and appendix at the end.

2 Definitions

As an introduction to the set topic it is appropriate to have a closer look at the keywords used in the title of this thesis. As the words ‘event’ and ‘image’ are used quite often in everyday language and often with slightly different meanings attached to them, it is necessary to clarify in which sense they will be used for this piece of work. Besides a definition, issues closely linked to those two key terms will be mentioned e.g. reasons to host events and likely impacts. There will also be some explanations about destination management.

2.1 Event

The etymological meanings of events are described as the following (cited in Dregner, 2003:20):

- “Something that happens, especially something important, interesting or unusual.”
- “An important performance, sports competition, party etc., which has been arranged for a particular date and time.”
- “A planned public or social occasion.”
- “A planned and organised occasion, for example a social gathering or sports match.”
- “Any of the races, competitions etc. as part of a day’s sport.”

This already shows the broad use of the term. However, the following six characteristics apply to most events (Dregner, 2003: 21f.):

- Events are planned happenings, they do not happen accidentally but need planning either by an individual, group or organisation.
- Events are held with an aim or purpose in mind, the involved people can be either aware or unaware of the intention, but it is to be expected that there is always an intention.
- Events are planned and experienced as unique, and offer participants a positive change from everyday life, which is anticipated with joy and excitement.
- Events activate most/all senses of the participants, e.g. hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling.
- Events lead to group feelings and bondage, stimulated through participation in the same activity.
- Events usually have a monothematic focus, this single focus enables visitors of the event to actively participate and integrate. The monothematic focus offers identification and group bonding. Common monothematic focuses are a music style, a sport, or a product.

Characteristics described by Freyer (2005:60f.) are similar; additionally he points out the limited duration of events, whether being it only a few minutes (e.g. a firework) to a couple of days (e.g. the FIFA World Cup™).

Events can be categorised by their monothematic focus or occasion as most of them are originally not aimed at tourists. Freyer (2005:65f.) lists the following occasions:

Occasion examples4

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Table 2.1: Categories of events according to their monothematic focus

Sport events as such are mostly associated with ‘event sport tourism’ which Gibson (2002:3) describes as related to those who travel to watch the sport event - the fans. However, there is also the so called ‘active sport tourism’ which relates to those individuals who travel to actively participate in a sport (Gibson et al., 2003:3) e.g. the teams and people competing. In the case of the FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany the event can easily be classified as a sports event in both of the foci mentioned, and due to its international impact can also be called a mega or hallmark event.5 Getz (cited in Emery, 2001:92) defines that a hallmark event, “like a mega-event (…) is used as a synonym for special event.” It is also suggested that a hallmark event is a special class of event that has a unique image or appeal. Most authors agree on the fact, that hallmark and mega events are special in their scale e.g. the volume of visitors/audience, cost, image and economic effect (c.f. Marris cited in Emery, 2001:92, Edwards et al., 2004:196 etc.). As cited by Hall (2001:169)

“Hallmark tourist events (…) are major festivals, expositions, cultural and sporting events which are held on either a regular or a one-off basis. Hallmark events have assumed a key role in international, national and regional tourism marketing strategies, their primary function being to provide the host community with an opportunity to secure high prominence in the tourism market place for a short, well defined, period of time.”

Edwards et al. (2004:195) point out reasons to host mega events, one is that “mega-events have the ability to substantially stimulate both the supply-side (e.g. through improvement of infrastructure, tourist equipment and organisational skills) and the demand-side of a tourist destination (e.g. due to the promotional effects caused by international media exposure).” The international media exposure, which usually goes beyond what could have been achieved by the promotional budget (Finn, 2002:174), can be used to communicate highlights/strengths of a destination and is thus an important marketing tool for any city or country hosting such a hallmark event. As Dobson et al. (2001:63) put it “the host nation, region or city is on show to the whole world.” A further benefit from hosting mega events is the possibility to distinct the hosting city from its competitors, as the profile of the city is raised (Gratton et al., 2001:36; Steynberg et al., 2004:67). Dimmock et al. (2001:370) argue that “festivals [like events (note of author)] emit strong imagery that can position a destination in a market and provide strong competitive advantage.” Richards (1992:93) points out that hosting events is a way of product development for a destination and offers reasons to the tourist to visit or revisit a place. In other words events are supposed to attract non-residential individuals to a particular destination (Ingerson, 2001:46). An often used argument for the decision to host an international event is the possible improvement of the hosts image if the event goes well; this has been the case for France hosting the World Cup in 1998 (Dauncey et al., 1999:205), Barcelona hosting the 1992 Olympics or Birmingham and Liverpool due to the European Championship in football in 1996 (Nash et al., 2001:119). If the FIFA World Cup 2006™ had such a positive effect for Germany and Hanover will be explored later on in the thesis, as this is the first of the five 5 Further descriptions about the FIFA World Cup 2006™ can be found in section 3.2 (p.18ff.) which is dedicated to describing the event in more detail.

research questions of this thesis.6 Dimmock et al. (2001:366f.) argue that because the reasons for hosting an international event are very different the impacts are diverse as well. Possible benefits and costs are shown in the following table:

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Table 2.2: Impacts of Festivals and Events

2.2 Image

Image plays a key role to the topic of the dissertation, the following section will look into the meaning of image, how it is generally constructed, and how it might be altered. Smith (2001:133) says that “traditionally, image relates to the reconstruction of a scene or object in literature, art or film.” The term image is widely used in advertising and public relations. In this thesis image is refered to in the following notion:

- An image is the “mental reconstruciton of a place” e.g. the city in a person’s mind (Smith, 2001:133). This is the usual definition in the academic fields of behavioural geography and environmental psychology.
- Image is the perceived reputation or character of someone or something e.g. a city or a country (Williams cited in Smith, 2001:133).

How is image formed then? Ashworth et al. (1990:77) suggest that the complexity of places with their abundance of features and facilities “makes it impossible for either buyer or seller7 to be aware of, let alone give consideration to, all but a fraction of the place attributes and their possible uses.” The features and characteristics of a place an idividual is aware of will make up the image he or she has of this place. However these characteristics are only a fraction of its real characteristics, this also explains why different people can have different, sometimes even contrasting images of the same place. Smith (2001:134) argues, that “place images are formed from a variety of sources, most notably direct experience of the destination and important secondary sources such as the press, promotional material, television, radio, film and literature.” This relates to the fourth research question set out in section 1.1 asking if the level of involvement and the type of experience people have possibly influence the image and therefore will be - in connection to the FIFA World Cup 2006™ - be explored further later. Acording to Ashwort et al. (cited in Smith, 2001:134) the “existing needs and desires” of an individual also influence the process of image formation, e.g. someone wishing for fantastic football games and public transport to reach the sporting facilities will build his or her image of a host city on those two characteristics and not on other features like the variety of museums or the quality of conference facilities. Therefore if a host city would perform badly in the first two characteristics but brilliantly on the last two, the image the person would get of that city still would not be very favourable. Pocock and Hudson strongly support this opinion (cited in Smith, 2001:134) as they define image as “the sum of direct sensory information interpreted through the observer’s value predispositions”, therefore suggesting that a person’s interests, values and motivations are involved when developing their place image. This also stresses that the images of different people or groups of people will not be the same, e.g. a visitor of the World Cup will hardly have the same image of the host country than someone following the games solely through the media from abroad or someone visiting the country for its architectural diversity. The image of a place seems to be not only affected by the event itself, but by six separate aspects, namely “initial bid, event planning and policy, event programming, event promotion, event theming and on- going advertising” (Edwards, 2004:197). Thus even an unsuccessful bid can grant media attention and might influence the image people have of the country.

Doing place promotion and thereby working with the image people have of places, either trying to change negative images or to strengthen positive ones, one has to keep in mind how images are formed. Using promoiton to market a place the sender or otherwise refered to as seller usually sends out an encoded message which is transmitted to the receiver or buyer who needs to decode it. Those messages consist of symbolic signs and codes, thus it is very important that sender and receiver ascribe the same sets of meaning to symbols, otherwise misunderstandings occur and even undesired actions by the receiver could be the case. Ashworth et al. (1990:79) point out, that it is extremly important to use codes and symbols appropriate to the receiving culture rather than to the sender’s culture. Sport may play a role in changing a city’s image; Smith (2001:133) states that sport “envelopes a symbolic function supposedly promoting an impression of transition and prestige.”

As already mentioned the importance of a positive place image lies in the fact that it works as an attractor for potential visitors to actually go and see the place. Hall (2001:167) points out the following four principal aims of urban image strategies:

- “attract tourist expenditure;
- generate employment in the tourist industry;
- foster positive images for potential investors in the region, often by ‘reimaging’ previous negative perceptions; and
- provide an urban environment which will attract and retain the interest of professionals and white-collar workers, particularly in ‘clean’ serviece industries such as tourism and communication.”

2.3 Destination management

Firstly, this subsection will define the term destination to then explore the meaning of destination management further. It will also indicate where in the context of destination management image and events play a role.

Figure 2.1 (p.12) shows possibilities to categorise destinations and offerst a starting point in understanding the differences of destinations (Freyer, 2001:23). In tourism a destination is generally refered to as the place where the tourists can spend their holidays. Kaspar (1991:48) calls destinations - points where the touristic activities focus due to a concentration of touristic facilities. According to this a destination consists of natural and artifical facilities (e.g. landscape, infrastructure and many more) serving the tourism industry in one way or another (Freyer, 2001:46). A destination can either be a single place or a tourist region depending on how broad the term is used (Bieger, 2005:55). Related to the topic of the thesis Germany or Hanover could be called destinations but it would also be justified to call the stadium in Hanover or the public viewing area destinations. Even though the holiday product at a destination is delivered by various people and organisations/companies (e.g. hospitality sector, transport, leisure facilities etc.) the visitor will perceive it as one (Roth et al., 2003:46). Destination management organisations such as local tourist boards bundle and communicate this bundle of holiday options in their region/city to the potential visitor. Very often the destination management organisation will also be more likely to reach sufficient numbers of potential visitors in comparison to the number a single tourist facility can reach.

Taking into account that the mobility of travelers and the possibilites to travel greater distances quicker and easier has been improved, especially due to the changes in air travel, the competition between destinations is rising. While destinations are easier to access for a greater number of tourists, those tourists are also able to reach a greater number of destinations. This shows the importance of destination management and therefore describes the task of the destination manager as “attracting sufficient (…) visitors to provide the economic demand needed by all the area’s tourism businesses, and crucially, ensuring that visitors are satisfied with their experiences.”(Laws, 1995:104)

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Figure 2.1: Possibilities to categorise destinations

Obviously, images play a role in how people perceive a destination and thus how likely they are to visit this particular destination. Therefore the issue of place image is very important for the destination manager in his or her aim to attract visitors. Any form of promotion is likely to contain images e.g. the destination manager will send specific desired images using symbols and codes through advertising. Those have to be encoded by the recepient and potential visitor. The addressee chooses to receive the information - he or she could also ignore it, which is not unlikely in our media world with an overload of information ‘attacking’ the consumers trying to attract their attention. As the above explanations show the formation of image is a rather complex issue; therefore it is not that easy to influence the image people have of a destination. However it is the the task of destinations and the people managing them to create an image as favourable as possible to encourage tourist to visiti the destination. As outlined earlier, sport can play a role in forming a new image of a destination or be part of the image a city tries to foster. Consequently, sporting events like the FIFA World Cup 2006™ are not only delivering a motive to visit the host country during the games but are also used in promoting the destination and to influence the image potential visitors have of the hosts. It is in the later context that this thesis is written.

3 The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany

The FIFA World Cup™ is, besides the Olympics, the biggest and well known sporting event throughout the world, attracting lots of attention - by fans as well as by sponsors and the media. The decision that the 2006 games were taking place in Germany was made on the 6th of July 2000 in Zurich, when Germany won its bid over South Africa with a vote of 12:11 (Hillebrand, 2001:5)8. In a second step twelve out of fourteen cities were recommended by the German Football Association (DFB) to the FIFA as host cities. The draw which teams would be playing against which other teams in which city and stadium took place in December 2005 in Leipzig. A list of the games, places and encountering teams can be found in Appendix A (p.70f.). This chapter will look at the destinations (Germany and the city of Hanover), the event (games and in more details the fan miles and cultural festivities).

3.1 The destination

The following section briefly describes the destinations: Firstly, there will be a description of the destination Germany, and secondly, a look at the host city Hanover as a destination. The description draws on the characteristic “size”, “geographic and tourist aspects” as shown in Figure 2.1 (p.12). A map of Germany to visualize the layout of the host cities in the country can be found in Appendix B (p.72).

3.1.1 Germany

Lying in the heart of Europe, Germany borders nine other countries; therefore it has been subject to very diverse influences and thus offers a variety in cultural as well as in natural aspects. Consequently there is an abundance of things to do, see and discover. The tourists can make holidays at the sea (e.g. North Sea and East Sea); visit one of the many lakes (e.g. Lake Constance in the south of Germany); tour along well known rivers (e.g. Rhine and Danube) or pass their holidays in the mountains (Eiffel, Alps etc.). Many cities invite the traveller to a visit, but there is also a lot to discover in the countryside. Possibilities to pass vacations in Germany range from a short- or weekend-trip to a long holiday.9 The variety of destinations is coupled with a variety of possible activities: from sports (sailing, horse riding, golfing and many more) to shopping or visiting museums, theatres and other cultural facilities to wellness retreats; there is something for everyone, regardless age and personal background. Furthermore there are all kinds of different types of accommodation, not to mention the easy access to Germany from abroad as well as the good transportation infrastructure within the country.

The fact that Germany caters to the taste of many is reflected by the visitor figures. In 2005 48.2 million overnight stays of foreign visitors could be recorded; there has even been a 5% growth recorded for the first four month of 2006 compared to the year 2005 leading to 13.1 overnight stays up to that point. For the whole year an estimated growth of 5%, mostly due to the FIFA World Cup, is expected (DZT, 2006A:1)10. In addition to these international arrivals the inland travel has to be taken in account, in April 2006 alone 23.4 million overnight stays of travellers permanently living within Germany have been recorded, and 74.5 million overnight stays from January till April 2006 (DZT, 2006B:1). These figures point out the importance and the high level of inland tourism in Germany.

Figures around the FIFA World Cup 2006™ are still relatively scarce since the event only took place very recently. However, the following might indicate some of the effects the World Cup had on (tourism in) Germany: Announcing the statistics of unemployment for Germany it was made official that 50,000 jobs were created around the World Cup mainly in the host cities due to an increased demand of labour (HAZ, 2006A: online), if these jobs are sustainable and will remain after the World Cup remains yet to be seen. Gastronomy and hotels are satisfied with the turnover generated and with occupancy rates throughout the World Cup, says Laabs from the DEHOGA in Hanover (HAZ, 2006:online). Visitor figures had increased already prior to the World Cup by six percent to 17.5 million for overnight stays from visitors from abroad between January and May 2006, in May alone 4.5 million overnight stays were counted which corresponds to a growth of 10% in relation to the same month in 2005. Petra Hedorfer, the chairwoman of the committee of the German Tourism Board expects a growth of incoming tourism of 10% for the whole year of 2006, which would correspond to 52 million overnight stays of foreign visitors.

Germany, especially the south, is already a popular travel destination for Spanish, French and Italian tourists. It is expected that the destination will even grow in popularity with the Italians after their success during the World Cup; they are believed to make ‘pilgrimages’ to the scenes of success (DZT, 2006D: 1ff).

3.1.2 Host cities

Out of fourteen cities the following were nominated as hosts for the World Cup:

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All of them have been putting a great deal of effort into promoting and preparing to be perfect hosts and to stage perfect games. The decision to pick Hanover as a case does not reflect any ranking or superiority of Hanover over the other host cities. Hanover had been chosen for a couple of reasons: For one the city had been hosting another major event in the last few years - the EXPO 2000. Out of the 12 host cities Hanover is not the one best known for tourism (as maybe Berlin, Cologne and Munich) but still better known than cities like Gelsenkirchen and Kaiserslautern. In terms of population size Hanover also ranks in the middle with its 526,000 inhabitants (Berlin 3,393,425 inhabitants; Kaiserslautern 99,496 inhabitants) (, no date:online).

As Hanover has been picked as an example, the following should explain more about the city as a tourist destination in general. Hanover belongs, according to Röll (2005:1), to the TOP 3 cities visited in Germany. The city is quite well known for its business tourism, fairs and exhibitions (e.g. the Cebit), the international firework display competitions, and is constantly adding more leisure attractions to its portfolio (e.g. festivals like the “Maschseefest”). The EXPO in 2000 and the Confederation Cup in 2005 have already been used to give further impulses to raise the attraction of the city and to promote it as a culture and event city (Krohn, cited in Röll, 2005:2). According to a study of the German Tourism Board, Hanover is one of the lesser known cities of the twelve hosts among the participants as it ranks 8th after Berlin, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart and Nuremberg. 77% of the European participants in this study stated they knew about Hanover, in Japan and Brazil only 33% knew about the city (IHK, 2006: online). While this does not say anything directly about the image the participants had of Hanover it gives an idea though. One can presume that quite a few people overseas do not have an image or at least not a very clear one as they are not or hardly aware of its existence. In the survey undertaken for this thesis the image of Hanover prior to the World Cup was explored further, findings are laid out in section 4.3.3 (p.34f.).

In 2005 1.5 million overnight stays including 408,433 overnight stays of visitors from abroad were counted.11 To show the effect international events have on overnight stays in Hanover the figures of the month June from 2000 (the year of the Expo), 2005 (with no major events in June) and 2006 (with the World Cup) are shown in the following table. It is interesting to see, that in June 2000 more overnight stays were recorded than in the same month in 2006. However this does not mean that the World Cup has not been successful for Hanover, but one has to bear in mind that the EXPO was running through the whole month of June only in Hanover, but that there were only 5 games taking actually place in Hanover and the city stood in competition with the other host cities:

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Table 3.1: Visitor figures in Hanover in accommodation with 9 beds and more12

The data in table 3.2 represents bookings processed by the Tourismusverband Hannover Region e.V. - a destination management organisation for the Hanover region. They arrange primarily accommodation in small and private facilities, similar to the English Bed & Breakfast. These figures have to be seen as additional visitors and additional overnight stays to those shown in figure 3.1. It is interesting to see that again the amount of bookings in June 2000 has been higher than in June 2006, but that number of visitors and the average time a visitors spends in the city has slightly increased from 2 nights per person to 3 nights, ant that at the same time prices have dropped from an average of 68.64€/night to 51.14€/night:

3 The FIFA WORLD CUP 2006™ in Germany

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Table 3.2: Visitor figures in Hanover in small scale accommodation13

Hanover was the first of the host cities to start

with its promotion campaign in November 2005 putting up posters in the other eleven host cities in Germany. In total 20,000 posters were on display - meaning every second advertising pillar in Germany featured the advertising for the World Cup in Hanover (Balkhoff et al., 2006:18). Hanover further penetrated the market with its campaign in Berlin during the ITB 2006 in March (Boron, 2006B). The poster read: “Closer to the heartbeat of the World Cup. All games easy to access!”

Figure 3.1: Hanover ad14

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3.2 The event

Previously, the six characteristics of events as named by Dregner (2003:21f.) were identified (p.5). Transfused to the case of this thesis one can truly say that the FIFA World Cup 2006™ is an event. It has been:

- A planned happening, with planning going back many years especially if one wants to include the bidding process as well.

- An event held with an aim or purpose in mind, namely finding the new soccer world champion. Further aims of the different stakeholders have been gaining profits, enhancing the host’s image etc.

- An event experienced as unique, as the tournament will never be hosted in the same way again. This is due to fact that the experiences were formed through numerous factors (e.g. host destination, atmosphere, weather, fitness of competing teams etc.). The next FIFA World Cup™ to be held in South Africa in 2010 will be different and therefore unique in its own way.


1 See Figures 4.1-4.5 in chapter four (p. 23ff.) for screenshots of the homepage.

2 Please refer to section 4.1 (p.26f.) for the content of the questionnaire and for the structure of the sample to section 4.2 (p.27ff.).

3 Please see Figures 5.5 and 5.6 (p.46) and Figure 4.6 (p.28) for screenshots.

4 Please note that the examples given are by no means including all possibilities.

5 Further descriptions about the FIFA World Cup 2006™ can be found in section 3.2 (p.18ff.) which is dedicated to describing the event in more detail.

6 Please refer to section 1.1 (p.2) of the thesis.

7 Here ‘buyer’ refers to the potential customer (e.g. tourist, worker or investor in a place) and ‘seller’ for example to the tour operator, tourist facilities or the marketing organisation.

8 The process of placing the bid itself will not be considered in this thesis, even though the process itself can be seen as image building. Even if the bid is not successful (e.g. Hamburg has been bidding for the 2012 Olympics, which will now be hosted in London; since than however the city is said to have been awaken from its “beauty sleep” rising to be one of the world cities (Doeleke, 2006:3). To further read about the topic of bidding for mega and hallmark events please refer to one of the following authors e.g. Gratton et al. (eds.), 2001, and Masterman, 2004.

9 For this and the following information the homepage of the DZT (DZT, 2006), information from personal experience and the named travel guide books have been consulted: McLachlan, 1998; Michelin Travel Publication, 2005; Automobile Association Developments Ltd., 2006 and lonely planet, no date.

10 German statistics count overnight stays in facilities (e.g. hotels, camping facilities etc.) with nine and more beds; smaller facilities e.g. private accommodation, bed & breakfast etc. are not included in the statistics.

11 This official statistics includes only those facilities with 9 and more beds.

12 Hannover Tourismus Service e.V. (no date): unpublished data. The Hannover Tourismus Service e.V. kindly allowed the author to reproduce the data.

13 Tourismusverband Hannover Region (no date): unpublished data. The Tourismusverband Hannover Region e.V. kindly allowed the author to reproduce the data.

14 HMG (2006), front page

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The Influence of International Sporting Events on the Image of Tourist Destinations. The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany and the City of Hanover
University of Gloucestershire
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influences, fifa, world, germany, city, hanover
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Barbara Boron (Author), 2006, The Influence of International Sporting Events on the Image of Tourist Destinations. The FIFA World Cup 2006™ in Germany and the City of Hanover, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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