A Longitudinal Study of the Impacts of an Annual Event on Local Residents
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Understanding the impact of an event on residents' quality of life (QOL) is becoming increasingly important because local residents are the key source of attendees for most events and help ensure the event's survival. This study compares the host community perceptions of the impacts of the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix over time to determine whether there were changes in resident perceptions of the event's influence on residents' QOL. The same methods were used in each of two separate data collection phases spaced three years apart. Using postal surveys, 279 responses were received each year, although these represented different response rates. Cluster analysis was used to identify residents with varying perceptions. The findings suggest that, over time, the number of respondents in the “unconcerned” category had grown and those with extreme positive and negative perceptions had decreased. The respondents to Phase 2 of the study had an increased appreciation of the economic contribution of the event and the impact on residents' QOL appeared to be less damaging, with fewer concerns about noise and the operational components of the event in the latter cohort. The paper concludes with a discussion of the implications for event organisers and local tourism authorities in managing events for improved residents' QOL.
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