Christmas markets have more recently become important tourist attractions in Europe. The purpose of this study is to understand how does this recurring event impact local businesses and residents. The research focuses on the city of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.
This study used both quantitative and qualitative methods. First, a survey was conducted with local residents to evaluate the impact of the Christmas market on the local community. Residents’ perception of social impacts was ascertained by using a five-point Likert scale. The data collected was then processed using the SPSS software. Second, to assess the impact of the Christmas market on the businesses located in the city’s historic central square, semi-structured interviews with managers and front-line employees were conducted. In total, 21 people were interviewed for this study. The interviews were then transcribed, and the content analysis was applied to the textual data.
The study found that both residents and local businesses have a positive attitude toward the Christmas market. The only negative impact, identified by a segment of the population and some companies, was crowding of public spaces (including parking problems and traffic jams).
This study is novel in that, with one exception, there are no studies on the community impacts of Christmas markets. Moreover, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on Christmas markets in Romania and one of the very few in Eastern Europe.
The authors would like to thank to all the students who assisted with the questionnaires.
Egresi, I.O., Răcăşan, B.S., Dezsi, S., Ilieş, M. and Ilieş, G. (2021), "Christmas markets in city centers: how do they impact local residents and businesses?", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 7 No. 2, pp. 391-409. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-03-2020-0040
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