Images of rural destinations hosting small‐scale sport events

Kirstin Hallmann (Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany)
Christoph Breuer (Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, German Sport University Cologne, Cologne, Germany)

International Journal of Event and Festival Management

ISSN: 1758-2954

Publication date: 11 October 2011



The purpose of this paper is to analyse quantitative and qualitative image aspects of destinations hosting a small‐scale sport event, as perceived by spectators and participants.


A survey was conducted at different sport events hosted by destinations in a rural setting. The data are analysed using confirmatory factor analyses and correspondence analyses.


The results suggest several differences between the image perception of participants and spectators. These can be attributed to different levels of involvement, which is very high for participants. The perception of the qualitative image aspects showed that unique features were associated with the destination, such as sport themes or organizational aspects of the sport event visited. Further, it is shown that the quantitatively measured indicators of affective destination image have a great influence on the image of rural sport event tourism destinations.

Research limitations/implications

A research limitation could arise due to the sample, as almost all sport tourists were German. A more international sample might have shown different results. Future research should analyse samples of different sports, concluding whether the sport performed also influences behaviour.

Practical implications

For marketing communications it is essential to utilise emotions to promote the destination, as they are a very essential element of destinations hosting sport events.


This research contributes to the understanding of images held by spectators and participants of small‐scale sport events hosted in rural destinations. The value is the large sample, consisting of various rural destinations, which allows for general patterns of the perceived image to be drawn.



Hallmann, K. and Breuer, C. (2011), "Images of rural destinations hosting small‐scale sport events", International Journal of Event and Festival Management, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 218-244.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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