• Canoas amarradas a un pantalán en un pantano antes de realizar un Evento de Team Building
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The relevance of the literature reviewed in the present chapter is reflected throughout the following pages, not only in the level of analysis but also in the wide-ranging breadth and depth of approach to the subject and the presentation of those complex issues that anyone interested in Event Tourism at the higher level must consider. Appendix-F provides a detailed description of the Literature sources consulted for the study.

The relevance of a critical literature review for this research lies on the grounds of two principal issues: Firstly, according to Robson (2002) “it is not possible to start a grounded theory study without some pre-existing theoretical ideas and assumptions’ (p.192); Secondly, this research is aimed to produce recommendations. These recommendations will be formulated complying with credited theory in Event Tourism and Event Management.


It was Colin Michael Hall in the preface of his hallmark work Hallmark Tourist Events who said “our lives are full of events”. Dr and senior lecturer Hall defines events as follows:

    “Events are those things out of the everyday which punctuate, mark, and identify collective and individual social realities” Hall (1992, preface)

A Special event however, as defined by Dr J. Goldblatt (1997) is:

    “A unique moment in time celebrated with ceremony and ritual to satisfy specific needs"Goldblatt (1997) quoted in Van der Wagen (2005 p.5) and Shone (2001 p.4)

For professor and PhD Donald Getz (1997), it will never be possible to come up with a universal, standardized definition, nor a classification of which types of events are exceptional or special; “it is clearly a matter of perspective or preference” (p.4). Getz defines special events from two perspectives as follows:

    “A special event is a one-time or infrequently occurring event outside the normal programme or activities of the sponsoring or organizing body”

    “To the customer or guest, a special event is an opportunity for a leisure, social or cultural experience outside the normal range of choices or beyond everyday experience”
Getz (1997, p.4)

For Shone (2001, p.5) this definition seems to exclude organizational special events of various kinds and proposes an alternative definition:
    “Special events are that phenomenon arising from the non-routine occasions which have leisure, cultural, personal or organizational objectives set apart from the normal activity of daily life, whose purpose is to enlighten, celebrate, entertain or challenge the experience of a group of people” Shone (2001 p.4)

Events are often characterised according to their size and scale. For instance, McDonnell et al. (1999 p.10) observes existing common categories such as mega-events, hallmark events and major events, although, the same authors stated that “definitions are not exact and distinctions become blurred” (p.10). Along the same lines, for Heron & Stevens (1990) “events vary in scale from the mega-event of world significance, such as the Olympics, to the village fair or carnival” (p.36). Events, go on Walsh-Heron & Stevens (1990 p.36), may be “regular happenings” or “special onetime affairs”. McDonnell et al. (1999 p.10), classify also events according to their purpose or to the particular sector to which they belong, for example public, sporting, tourism and corporate events.
Across the specialised literature on events and Event Tourism, TEAM BUILDING EVENTS account for the latter category -that is, corporate events.

    “Corporate events are one of the discrete sectors of the business tourism industry, which, while being separate from the conference sector, is often closely aligned to it”
 Rogers (2003 p. 56)

Tony Rogers is the executive director of the British Association of Conferences Destinations and Association of British Professional Conferences Organizers; Rogers (2003) acknowledges the necessity of the conference industry to draw upon the services of many different supplier organizations in order to offer a complete service to its buyers (p.49). Rogers (2003) goes on to include between those supplier organizations:

    “…corporate event companies such as companies running murder mystery events, sporting and outdoor activities” (p.49).

According to Rogers (2003, p.56) the corporate events sector frequently involves the exploitation of major sporting and cultural events to strengthen the links between an organization, usually a corporate organization, and its clients or potential clients (i.e. inviting clients to spend a day watching tennis at Wimbledon). Alternatively, goes on Rogers (2003) corporate events may engage in activities such as dinners, dances etc.

However, in recent years as states Rogers (2003 p. 56) there has been a manifest trend towards the active, participatory kinds of corporate events, rather than the more traditional, passive, spectator type of hospitality. To quote Rogers (2003) himself:

    “Corporate events companies are also involved in corporate Team building exercises and activities, aimed at clients and/or employees. Such activities include golf days, clay pigeon, off-road driving, go-karting, paint ball and many, many more.” (p. 56)



Appendix-A provides a brief introduction to the fields of Cultural tourism and Business tourism that may be of interest as a background to Event Tourism, particularly for the non-experienced reader.

“Governments are increasingly turning to tourism as a growth industry capable of delivering economic benefits and job creation. Events in turn are seen as catalysts for attracting visitors, and increasing their average spend and length of stay. They are also seen as image-makers, creating profile for destinations, positioning them in the market and providing a competitive marketing advantage. This has led to the creation of a new field, known as Event Tourism”

Mc Donnell et al. (1999, p.28)

To quote Dr Donald Philip Getz, Professor of Tourism and Hospitality Management at the University of Calgary, co-founder and co-editor of the research-based periodical in the field Festival Management and Event Tourism-An International Journal (Cognizant Communication Corporation):
    “Event Tourism was a new term in the 1980s, but it has become firmly established as a major component of special interest tourism and a significant ingredient in destination and place marketing strategies. Every community and destination can employ events effectively in a tourism role. As well, because events help meet many social, economic, cultural, and environmental roles, most communities and destinations are already involved” Getz (1997, p.2)   

    “Event Tourism is both a planning/marketing concept and a market segment; event managers and coordinators should use tourism as a means to secure resources, help achieve destination goals, and satisfy visitors”
Getz (1997 p.21)

According to the above definition Getz (1997) suggests that Event Tourism has two meanings: firstly, “the systematic planning, development, and marketing of events as tourist attractions, catalysts for other developments, image builders, and animators of attractions and destination areas” (p.16); Secondly, “a market segment consisting of those people who travel to attend events, or who can be motivated to attend events while away from home” (p.16).

Further along in his analysis, Getz (1997, p.16) observes that not all events reach their full potential as attractions or image makers, and many organisers pay scant attention to these prospects. Others, goes on Getz (1997, p.16), do not achieve their goals as community development catalysts because they are poorly planned or marketed and fail to attract sufficient resident or tourist interest.

The following are possible reasons suggested by Getz (1997, p.16) for failure to attract sufficient resident or tourist interest by event managers: inadequate attention to the multiple roles, meanings, and impacts of events; failure to integrate each event’s marketing in destination planning and marketing; insufficient data on what event and event visitors want, and consequent inability to segment the potential markets for more effective target marketing; lack of quality in production and in management.

Additionally, Getz (1997, p.16) examines possible reasons for destinations failure to realize the potential of events: failure of destinations to effectively utilize the attractiveness of events in product development, marketing, and image making; mass marketing as opposed to integration of niche markets; and development of an incomplete portfolio of events.

Event Tourism resource and supply appraisal

Donald Getz (1997, pp.106-107) defined resources in this context, as human, financial, physical, political, and technological factors that can be used in developing and marketing Event Tourism. To quote Getz (1997) “it is useful to think of resources as having potential, whereas supply defines the existing infrastructure [i.e. existing tourism attractions] of the tourism industry” (pp.106-107). Furthermore, goes on Getz (1997)

    “Many events have the potential to become tourist attractions, but are viewed as resources until they are actually developed or marketed for tourist consumption” (p.106)

According to Getz (1997, p.106) judgment and stakeholder input is called for when assessing issues such as classifying events as to their tourism potential. An Event Tourism resource and supply appraisal process is both, a technical and evaluative process, as judgment is required in a number of areas (Getz 1997, p.106):

Areas of judgment in Event Tourism  resource and supply appraisal

•    Obtaining quality input from research             
•    Obtaining quality input from stakeholders    
•    What to include or exclude i.e., all events? All venues?
•    Evaluation of resource potential i.e. existing human resources                                                                                                              
•    Assessing the data in meaningful ways                                                                                               
•    Conducting portfolio, capacity, and SWOT evaluations
•    Formulating strategies

Table 2.2 Areas of judgment in Event Tourism and supply appraisal
Adapted from Getz (1997, p.106)

Event Tourism planning for destinations

Events may be independent elements within a resort or destination area; alternatively, they may be used and promoted as an integral feature within the tourism marketing activities. Walsh-Heron & Stevens (1990 p.37)

    ‘‘Every community and destination area should formulate an ET plan. If the destination organizations are not doing ET planning, individual event managers should cooperate to get it done, as most events and event organizations can benefit from stronger tourism development and marketing. Individual events benefit greatly when destination strategies and policies exist to help them realize their tourism potential through communications, packaging, and other forms of assistance and cooperation.’’
 Getz (1997 p.100)

According to Getz (1997 p. 101-102) Event Tourism goals and objectives for a destination should be clearly and explicitly defined by those responsible for Event Tourism planning. However, as observed by the same author, ‘‘different types of events should yield specific tourism benefits for the destination’’ (p.102-103). This requires, goes on Getz (1997), ‘‘the design of a destination events ‘portfolio’, which also lists sample output goals and development requirements’’ (p.101-102). Stating these requirements will greatly assist the priority assigned to each type of event and related outcome goal, as well as making clear the process by which the goals can be achieved (Getz 1997, 102-103). Table G.2 (Appendix-G) exemplifies this process.

The destination’s positioning strategy is shaped by one or more event attractions and the ‘theming’ that surrounds them (Getz 1997, p. 103). Even if events are not a major part of a destination portfolio, Getz goes on to state the capacity of such events to generate ‘added value’ (p.105), which comes for instance ‘from adding events to meetings and conventions.’ (p. 105) -that is adding value to major attractions.

Without doubt, points out Getz (1997) ‘‘convention goers examine the recreational and entertainment potential of a destination before deciding to attend, and organizers often choose their sites with this in mind’ (p.56). Getz (1997) concludes that in a destination’s events portfolio “there is much scope for packaging special events around conferences, meetings and expositions” (p.56).

Generic strategies for Event Tourism

Getz (1997) identifies “adding value to major attractions” (pp. 103-105) as being a generic Event Tourism strategy that can be used in formulating a destination’s strategy for events tourism. Likewise, for Allen et al. (2005), one of the general Event Tourism strategic options available to a destination is “to incorporate smaller events into larger events to add to their uniqueness and subsequent tourism appeal” (p.65).

Additional strategies observed by Getz (1997 pp.103-105) focus on events as core attractions, mega-events, theme years, variety in community events, etc. Allen et al. (2005 p.65-66) identifies three general strategic options. These strategies concern the development of existing events (which embraces the option already mentioned of incorporating smaller events into larger events), bidding to attract existing (mobile) events, and the creation of new events.

Situational analysis:  SWOT & Portfolio Analyses

According to Allen et al. (2005) “a strategic approach to a destination’s Event Tourism development efforts offers significant benefits” (p.54). Furthermore, “a detailed situational analysis should underpin the decisions made on what Event Tourism goals are set for a destination” (p.54). This analysis, as continued by Allen et al. (2005) “should reflect the various perspectives of key stakeholders in the event area”- that is, tourism bodies, the destination’s community, government agencies associated with areas such as the arts, major event organisers, etc. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis is “a useful way of assessing the situation that a destination faces in its efforts to develop Event Touriam” (Allen et al. 2005 p.55).

Getz (1997 pp.110-111) identifies the concept of a portfolio as an evaluative tool, which can be used in conjunction with additional evaluative tools such as the SWOT analysis of a destination. To quote Getz (1997) ‘‘in business technology a portfolio is the range of products offered, each with its own value and costs, market share, and profitability’’ (p.111). Getz (1997) goes on to indicate that “each type of event can help meet the full range of Event Tourism goals, and each requires different resources and planning approaches” (111-113). For Allen et al. (2005), in making decisions about what Event Tourism strategy to pursue, “it can be useful to link in terms of what portfolio (or mix) of events (festivals, sporting competitions, businesses events etc.) is likely to deliver the required benefits for a destination from Event Tourism” (pp.66-67).

Development of an Event Tourism strategy

The situational analysis lead to the generation of data and identification of issues for resolution or further research, which may be useful in the process of formulating Event Tourism strategies for a destination (Getz, 1997 p 115). For example, new event creation, as pointed out by Allen et al. (2005) “should be based around the activities and themes identified in the situational analysis as providing substantial scope for the development of tourists markets” (p.66). Getz (1997) highlights the importance of such an analysis as “a way to seize opportunities within development of a competitive portfolio of events” (p.115). The former author goes on to state that any the strategy generated require “further testing and refinement in the light of the overall destination strategies, including the role of events in destination positioning and as part of the destination’s marketing mix” (p.115).

Implementation of an Event Tourism strategy: policy

    “Once strategies are in place, policy is required to implement them” Getz (1997 p.115)

The next step for the organizations concerned to implement the selected strategies is therefore, to undertake appropriate actions to its/their implementation. Table G.1 (Appendix-G) shows a full range of actions that organizations involved in Event Tourism development might engage.

Tourism seasonality problems

Getz (1997) highlights the preoccupations of the tourism industry in many places with “overcoming traditional seasonality problems” (p.53)– that is, demand is concentrated in one or more peak seasons rather than being spread uniformly over the year. Allen et al. (2005) highlight the capacity of events to be scheduled in periods of low tourism demand, thereby “evening out seasonal tourism flows” (p.60). In reference to Ritchie and Beliveau (1974) among others, Getz (1997) reports that “researchers have been able to demonstrate the success of events in lengthening tourist seasons or in creating secondary peaks in annual travel patterns” (p.54).

Events as image makers

Government tourism bodies use events to position their destinations in the market, creating profile for destinations and providing a competitive marketing advantage Mc Donnell et al. (1999 p. 28)

        “Creating a positive image i.e. fostering the perception that a destination or place is worth a visit, correcting negative perceptions, and simply increasing awareness of an area are vital steps in attracting tourist” Getz (1997, p.57)

According to Getz (1997) it is apparent that major events, with global media attention focused on the host city, even for a relatively short duration can have the effect of “shaping an image of the host community or country, leading to its favourable perception as a potential travel destination” (p.57). Getz goes on to observe the enormous value of such publicity: “some destinations will use this lone to justify great expenditures on attracting events” (p.57).

Size of events and attractiveness
Is size a factor determining attractiveness? Getz (1997) concludes the following:

    “There is little doubt that large events generate publicity, excitement, and repeat visits, but small events can be just as important for particular market segments. In fact, it may be that many consumers will seek out the small events, associating them more with authentic cultural experience”  Getz (1997, p.111)

Sustainable Development through Quality Tourism

As reported by Getz (1997 p.70) “special interest tourists -that is, ecotourists, event tourists, cultural tourists, etc- are increasing in numbers”

    “Sustainable Tourist Development can be defined as changes (i.e. physical or economic development- not necessarily growth) that will generate benefits but not impede the ability of future generations to meet their needs and enjoy comparable or better quality of life and environment”. Getz (1997 p.70)                     

Getz (1997) highlights the similarity of this concept to principles of alternative and soft tourism “with an emphasis on the ability of tourism to foster and support conservation and economically responsible development, as well as to provide benefits directly to residents of tourist areas” (p.70).

According to the World Tourism Organization (1994), quoted in Getz (1997, p.70) the quality tourist must meet these criteria:

1.    Will appreciate and respect the environment and host culture.
2.    Travels mostly in the low demand periods; is amenable to off-season packaging.
3.    Does not necessarily require new infrastructure, but more efficiently uses existing supply.
4.    Will tolerate high levels of visitor management
5.    Does not engage in destructive forms of behaviour
6.    Will visit an area for its particular attractions and may (if appropriate) spend longer (and more money) enjoying them;
7.    Will likely seek other forms of cultural and environmental experience, and so is closely associated with eco- and cultural tourism in general. 

Therefore, a strategy that explicitly pursues higher ‘yields’, goes on Getz (1997), “rather than higher numbers of tourists or more and more development, should be more sustainable” (p.70). ‘Yield’ in this context, explains Getz (1997) “refers not only to the traditional measure of higher spending, but also to the meeting of other goals that will enhance profit potential for businesses and greater economic benefit for the destination’’ (p.70)

The benefits of business tourism

    “Although business tourism and leisure tourism rely on a similar infrastructure, the former brings with it a number of significant extra benefits, which makes it particularly attractive to destinations” Rogers (2003, p.23)

Greater profitability

To quote Davison and Beulah (2003) “business visitors to the UK spend three times more per day on average than leisure visitors” (p.14).According to Rogers (2003, p.23) the greater spending power of business tourists means increased economic benefits for the host destinations and a greater return on their investment made in infrastructure and marketing.

All-year-round activity

According to Rogers (2003, p.23) business tourism takes place throughout the year. January, July and August are the months of least activity (Robson 2003, p.23), which for many destinations is an added benefit because it means there is no clash between the demands of leisure and business tourism, but rather they are complementary. Furthermore, Rogers (2003) observes that the all-year-round nature of the business tourism also leads to:

    “…the creation and sustenance of permanent jobs, as opposed to the seasonal, temporary jobs, which are a frequent characteristic of the leisure tourism sector” (p.23)

The Business travel and pleasure interface

     “Business tourism can involve a substantial leisure element”Rogers (2003 p.23)

Business travel was defined by Davidson & Beulah (2003) as ‘‘those trips whose purpose is linked with the traveller’s employment or business interests’’ (p.3). The study in this context, is primarily concerned with the leisure events attended by those whom Uriely (2001, quoted in Davidson & Beulah, 2003 p. 254) calls ‘Travelling professional workers’ (Table G.3, Appendix-G). For Davidson & Beulah (2003) ‘‘leisure elements do play an important role in motivating the business traveller’’ (p.254). Table G.4 (Appendix-G) shows a classification of the various examples of business travel according to their pleasure quotient- that is, the extent to which the elements of leisure and enjoyment are generally a feature of the particular type of event or trip (Davidson & Beulah, 2003 p.256).

In this respect, Davidson & Beulah (2003 p. 260) quotes Alvin Toffler:

    ‘‘People go to conventions for three reasons: to get information from the platform; to meet colleagues and exchange views- networking; and for recreation, the change in routine, the social programme’’

Alvin Toffer quoted in Davidson & Beulah (2003 p. 260)

For Davidson & Beulah (2003 p. 260) ‘‘the social aspect of conferences is commonly regarded as a vitally important aspect of such events’’ (p.260). As the former authors themselves point out, although much of this is incidental, for example over coffee or in the conference centre hall bar, very often, social and cultural elements are programmed into conferences. To quote Davidson & Beulah (2003)

     ‘‘Efforts are often made by conference organizers in particular to add social programme elements to events, especially when they extend over three or four days.’
Davidson & Beulah (2003 P.260)

Incentive Travel

    “Incentive Travel is a global management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognize participants for increased levels of performance in support of the organizational goals”

Official definition of Incentive Travel according to the Society of Incentive Travel Executives (SITE, 1998) quoted in Rogers (2003 p. 52)

From the company’s perspective, goes on Rogers (2003 p.53) it is also about strengthening the loyalty of its best employees to the company, making them want to belong to the organization and giving them reasons to perform even better in the future.

    ‘‘Incentive travel programmes are designed to create an allure or dream, which will make people want to produce an extra effort, achieve an exceptional performance and strive to be the winners within a corporate organization’’ Rogers (2003, p.53)


To understand Team building the reader must have some appreciation of what a team is and what differentiates a team from a group. This section of the literature review is not intended to be a detailed study but it should give the reader a basic grasp of the subject. Further considerations are given in Appendix-E

    “A team is distinct from a group when it has the following attributes: a common purpose; recognition by each individual as belonging to the same unit i.e. team identity; interdependent functions; agreed norms and values which regulate behaviour.” Moxon (1993 p. 4)

Dyer (1984) defined a team as having two or more people with a common goal, specific role assignments, and interdependence. Ultimately, Clark (1994) defines Team building:

    “Team building can be simply defined as a structured attempt to improve/develop the effectiveness of a group of people who work temporarily or permanently together” (p.5)

Along the same lines Shivers-Blackwell (2003 p.614) and Moxon (1993, p 28) argued that the primary purpose of Team building is to improve work team effectiveness within the organization.

This improvement/development, goes on Clark (1994 p.5), may be particularly focused in terms of outputs- that is, the speed and quality of decisions and actions produced by the team, or in terms of more nebulous areas, the quality of relationships, greater cooperation, more of a corporate attitude, etc. Figure 2.1 summarizes according to Clark (1995 p.5) what most approaches to Team building aim to develop in behavioural terms.


Figure 2.1 Behavioural aims of Team building
Clark (1994, p.5)


This chapter seeks first and foremost to provide the reader with an insight into the characteristic learning processes of TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Likewise, the chapter seeks to draw attention to certain issues in such learning processes that may be critical for this study purposes. Therefore, the amount of theory on teams, Team building and Experiential Learning is limited to the purely functional, i.e. what the study needs to achieve its aims and objectives. Readers with an interest in further academic aspects of these types of learning interventions already have a body of work available to them. However, particularly for the non experienced reader, Appendix C provides a more in-depth approach to the topic.

As it will be thoroughly documented in following chapters (Chapter 4: Findings) the theory of Experiential Learning underpins TEAM BUILDING EVENTS. Experiential Learning theory defines learning as:

    “The process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience. Knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience.” Kolb (1984, p.41) quoted in Brown (2003, p.8)

For Martin (2001 p.13) the use of Experiential Learning promotes active involvement and contrasts with the passive learning associated with traditional teacher-centred methods. Carver (1996) cited in Martin (2001 p.14) argued that experiential education can take place in a variety of settings, for example, wilderness based adventure, job training, survival training and art education. Dr. Greenaway (1995) defines Experiential Learning:

“Experiential Learning refers to all kinds of learning through experience whether structured or unstructured, intentional or unintentional”
Greenaway (1995 p.29)

To quote Dr. Martin (2001):

“Experiential Learning is based on the belief that the process of personal growth occurs through change as a result of direct experiences. It is an active process involving the learner being placed in unfamiliar environments, outside their positions of comfort and into states of dissonance. This lack of harmony requires problem solving, inquiry and reflection” (p.12)

Kraft and Sakofs (1991), cited in Martin (2003 p.12) argued that “experiential activities should be real and meaningful providing natural consequences for the learner, for example, outdoor activities”. Krouwel (1994) also cited in Martin (2003 p.13) argued that the use of Experiential Learning, and in particular the outdoors, confronts people with the results of their own actions and provides important learning for life.

Dainty and Lucas (1992) cited in Brown (2003 p.30) suggest that Experiential Learning activities should be sequenced, starting with fun and enjoyment, through narrow skills, broad skills to development (Figure 2.4).

Figure 2.2 Design and sequencing of training methods
Dainty and Lucas (1992 in Brown 2003 p.30)

This model suggests that the learning of narrow skills such as sailing, camping and climbing are valid as part of Experiential Learning based activities, as long as they are built upon as the event or programme progresses to be utilized in broad skills such as a sailing trip or an excursion which can lead to development when supported by process reviewing (Brown, 2003 p.30).

Reviewing and transfer

To quote Greenaway (1992) “reviewing is an essential feature of experience-based learning”. Irvine and Wilson (1994, quoted in Brown, 2003) argued that “a review of the process used to achieve outcomes is essential to transfer” (p.34). Brown (2003) cites Krouwell and Goodwill (1992), Dainty and Lucas (1992) and Gass, (1990) to suggest that “participation in activities will not on its own lead to learning” (p.34).

“The main function of reviewing is to enable participants to learn from their experiences” Greenaway (1992)