Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Dog Show Participants as Tourists: Attendance Motivation Factors

Academic journal article European Journal of Tourism Research

Dog Show Participants as Tourists: Attendance Motivation Factors

Article excerpt

Introduction

Cynological manifestations or dog competitions, in particular major international competitions, at the present are events that attract large numbers of visitors. About the event as a separate phenomenon has been written by various authors who also gave different classifications of those events, depending on the size, significance, form and content of the event (Jago and Shaw, 1998; Allen et al., 2002; Getz, 2005; Van der Wagen, 2007; Bowdin et al., 2011). However, so far in the present literature has not much been written on the subject of cynological manifestations and especially not on the subject of their tourist aspects. Kennel competitions as events are difficult to classify and categorize into one particular group since they have the characteristic of different types of events. Bearing in mind that one cynological event can have various characteristics - festival, trade, sport and recreational, business, and tourist; it can satisfy various needs and expectations of diverse visitors. However, defying and classifying cynological events would be a particular theoretical problem that would be the object of a separate study. From the standpoint of the themes of this study should be born in mind that these are the very specific events where dogs are evaluated and classified in exterior or a particular type of work, that follows a series of other uncompetitive activities, like the demonstration of different kinds of dog sports (dog dancing, agility, mondioring) to the presentation and sale of various products for dogs in the consumer exhibition. These competitions may have a local, regional, national or international character, the last two being the most interesting in the context of tourism movements and activities. With this in mind the research carried out for the sake of this study has been conducted among the most important international cynological events in Serbia.

Dog Shows of international character, especially the European and World Dog Shows gather a significant number of participants and visitors in general, often by tens of thousands. A good example of this is the World Dog Show (WDS) 2008 in Sweden on which the number of entries in the Show and the accompanying contents reached 35.000 (from 53 countries) and the number of competitors and spectators reached 50.000 (FCI, 3/08). Finland was host to the 13th FCI Agility World Championships in 2008, which was supported by more than 14.000 spectators (FCI, 4/08). In 2010. the WDS was organized in Denmark, and 19.350 dogs from 54 countries were competing at this event (FCI, 3/10). The WDS and the accompanying dog contests in Paris, in 2010., reached a number of 35.254 registered dogs (Catalogue WDS, 2011).

In the science literature it has already been recognized that the events are an important motive for tourist movements and that planned events can have great significance in increasing competitive advantage of tourist destinations (Getz, 2008). A large number of authors agree that to the offer of a certain tourist destination events play a significant travel, cultural, and social role as well as to contribute to local and the entire regional development (Getz, 1993; Formica & Uysal, 1998; Felsenstein & Fleischer, 2003; Gursoy, et al. 2004; O'Sullivan, et al, 2009; Pasanen et al., 2009). According to these authors the events are increasingly viewed as a tourist attraction in itself and as such may affect the growth of the local tourism demand, creating a better image of the community, increasing the level of attractiveness of the tourist destination, the extension of the tourist season. Such events may also increase the tourist traffic beyond the main tourist season. Cynological contests as very specific events are able to attract a large number of different visitors, and as such they may be significant to a specific tourist destination. Those are events that last at least one to four days, depending on their significance, and among the competitors there are a large number of people who travel from their place of residence to participate in these events. …

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