• Judith Marx
4. semester, Turisme, Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
PURPOSE - The purpose of this paper is to examine the disputes embedded in the European Maccabi Games 2015 in Berlin within a tourism context. Attitudes towards and planning for the event are explored with a focus on the challenges and opportunities inherent in sport events tourism with contentious background.
Methodology - A single case study approach is employed and is based upon the collection of second-ary data, including academic journals, books, websites and newspaper articles. Primary data is obtained through individual interviews with stakeholders involved in the event, supplemented by personal ob-servation and use of written material of a political conference in Berlin addressing the event.
Findings – The European Maccabi Games (EMG), which are a Jewish sport event, are an example of event tourism with controversial background. The contentiousness arises from the historical context of the event and the host city Berlin. A Jewish sport event in the former “Reichshauptstadt” of Nazi Ger-many, responsible for the Holocaust, in which many Jews lost their lives. Moreover, the EMG 2015 are to take place at the same venue, the Olympiapark, where the 1936 Olympics were hosted, excluding Jews from participating. The year 2015 is a significant date in this regard, as it is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the 50th anniversary of German-Israel relations. On the one hand, the con-tentious background positively impacts the event planning, as the public sector is thrilled to support such a significant event. On the other hand, the background of the event poses particular challenges for the planning, involving security, funding, and marketing. The private sector has greatly refused the sponsoring of the event due to the contentious context, which further affects the marketing. Sponsors are an effective marketing tool for raising awareness of an event. The dispute of this event has an im-pact on tourism in Berlin regarding the types of tourists. Due to the unusual nature of the event, there will be different types of visitors especially Jews, which might not have traveled to Berlin if it wasn’t for this event. But more importantly the image of Berlin as a cosmopolite and multicultural city can be rein-forced. Looking at the sport event portfolio in Berlin the EMG 2015 stand out from other events in Ber-lin held in 2015 due to their unusual background. The event is an example of a large-scale sport event that contains disputes due to its history. Despite many major sport events conveying controversies, research available doesn’t adress this issue. Much literature draws attention to the benefits of hosting major events, ignoring or undermining the negative aspects or controversies that almost all large-scale events contain and, therefore, calls for more research in this field.
Originality – The use of sport events as a driver for tourism is not a new phenomenon, however ad-dressing the disputes of large-scale sport events is a new insight. It is relevant for tourism and event planners, knowing whether these events pose any particular challenges but also opportunities, in order to know how to plan these kinds of events accordingly and whether it is worth to invest in them. The European Maccabi Games 2015 Berlin are an example of a sporting event that has different meanings in changing local host destinations. Due to Berlin’s background with Jewry the significance and disputes in this city are greater than in any previous host destination.
Keywords - Sport events, controversies, European Maccabi Games 2015 Berlin
Udgivelsesdato1 jun. 2015
ID: 213340688