Global Competitiveness and Special Events in Cultural Tourism: The Example of the Barnes Exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

By Carmichael, Barbara A. | The Canadian Geographer, Winter 2002 | Go to article overview

Global Competitiveness and Special Events in Cultural Tourism: The Example of the Barnes Exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto


Carmichael, Barbara A., The Canadian Geographer


Cette etude examine le role du tourisme culturel dans l'amelioration la competitivite mondiale urbaine. La recente expansion des produits culturels urbains est liee a l'amelioration de la qualite de vie, a la prosperite et au developpement economique. Un exemple de produit culturel urbain d'importance internationale constitue l'etude de cas de cette recherche qui essaie d'etablir de potentiels rapports entre ces facteurs. De septembre 1994 a janvier 1995, la Galerie d'Art de l'Ontario a accueilli une importante exposition de peintures impressionnistes francaises intitulee: de Cezanne a Matisse, chefs-d'oeuvre de la peinture francaise, mais plus connue sous le nom de l'Exposition Barnes. Cet evenement culturel a joue un role dans le pole attractif du tourisme urbain de la ville de Toronto. L'exposition a attire, tel un aimant, de nombreux visiteurs, venus de l'exterieur de Toronto, uniquement pour visiter cette exposition. Cet article explore ?impact spatial de l'Exposition Barnes grace une analyse de segmentation des visiteurs de l'exposition venus de l'exterieur. Les visiteurs ont ete segmentes en fonction de leur motif principal pour la visite et en fonction de leur origine. L'attrait de l'exposition a ete analyse avec deux simples modules de gravitation qui decrivent l'effet des distances sur la frequence des visites. Les visiteurs exterieurs venus de l'Ontario sont compares aux visiteurs venus des Etats-Unis en fonction de leur motivation de voyage, de leur profil socio-demographique et de leurs habitudes de depenses. Les visiteurs ontariens ont tendance a etre plus ages que les visiteurs americains et l'Exposition Barnes etait le but principal de leur voyage a Toronto. L'etude montre bien la nature de la valeur ajoutee des evenements speciaux sur le produit culturel urbain du point de vue du voyage recreatif et de celui du voyage touristique. Elle montre la complexite et le chevauchement des domaines urbains d'un pole attractif torontois pour differents types de visiteurs d'un meme evenement.

Mots-cles: evenement speciaux, la competitivite mondiale, la competitivite urbane, tourisme culturel

Introduction

Cities have long held the privileged role of major centres of production and consumption of both economic and cultural activity. However, the precise nature of these functions has changed over time. Cities have changed from centres of manufacturing and mass production in the first half of the twentieth century to central places for a range of service industries by the end of the century. Recently, globalization forces and the increased mobility of labour and capital have led to increased competition among major cities as they aspire to become centres of capital accumulation and foci for the knowledge based industries. Gertler (2001) argues that the foundations of economic success in an increasingly competitive world are the social qualities and properties of urban places as well as their 'cultural products.' The growth in cultural products and the development of urban cultural tourism as part of this phenomenon are instrumental in enhancing city images, attractiveness and competitiveness. Cultural tourism is defined as "visits by persons outside the host community, motivated wholly or in part by interest in the historical, artistic, scientific or lifestyle/heritage offerings of a community, region, group or institution" (LORD Cultural Resources Planning and Management 1993, 11). This growth in cultural activity is particularly relevant to competitiveness in tourism marketing and tourism commodities in cities such as Toronto which are attempting to become 'global cities.' It is also relevant in that cultural products and amenities provide a high quality of life for existing residents and for the attraction of potential residents in growth and 'footloose' industries.

The purpose of this paper is to investigate in what ways one example of a cultural tourism product, a special event, enhances competitiveness in a major city.

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