Chapter 6. Events, Culture, Heritage, and Sport (Entertainment)
Across Canada and within BC, the range of activities to entertain and delight travellers runs from authentic explorations of cultural phenomena to pure amusement. Those working in the entertainment tourism sector know that providing a friendly, welcoming experience is a key component in sustaining any tourism destination. Whether through festivals, events, attractions, or new virtual components, the tourism industry relies on entertainment to complete packages and ensure guests, whether business or leisure travellers, increase their spending and enjoyment.
Thus far we’ve explored the key sectors of transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, and recreation and entertainment. The final sector, travel services, brings these all together, and is explored in more detail in Chapter 7.
- Agritourism: tourism experiences that highlight rural destinations and prominently feature agricultural operations
- Art museums: museums that collect historical and modern works of art for educational purposes and to preserve them for future generations
- Botanical garden: a garden that displays native and/or non-native plants and trees, often running educational programming
- British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC): the rown corporation responsible for operating casinos, lotteries, bingo halls, and online gaming in the province of BC
- Business Events Industry Coalition of Canada (BEICC): an advocacy group for the meetings and events industry in Canada
- Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA): created in 2000, an industry organization funded by the Canadian Tourism Commission to increase Canadian capacity to attract and host sport tourism events
- Community gaming centres (CGCs): small-scale gaming establishments, typically in the form of bingo halls
- Conferences: business events that have specific themes and are held for smaller, focused groups
- Conventions: business events that generally have very large attendance, are held annually in different locations each year, and usually require a bidding process
- Culinary tourism: tourism experiences where the key focus is on local and regional food and drink, often highlighting the heritage of products involved and techniques associated with their production
- Cultural/heritage tourism: when tourists travel to a specific destination in order to participate in a cultural or heritage-related event
- Entertainment: (as it relates to tourism) includes attending festivals, events, fairs, spectator sports, zoos, botanical gardens, historic sites, cultural venues, attractions, museums, and galleries
- Event: a happening at a given place and time, usually of some importance, celebrating or commemorating a special occasion; can include mega-events, special events, hallmark events, festivals, and local community events
- Festival: a public event that features multiple activities in celebration of a culture, an anniversary or historical date, art form, or product (food, timber, etc.)
- Incentive travel: a global management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognize participants for increased levels of performance in support of organizational goals
- International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA): organization that supports professionals who produce and support celebrations for the benefit of their respective communities
- Meetings, conventions, and incentive travel (MCIT): all special events with programming aimed at a business audience
- Meeting Professionals International (MPI): a membership-based professional development organization for meeting and event planners
- Public galleries: art galleries that do not generally collect or conserve works of art; rather, they focus on exhibitions of contemporary works as well as on programs of lectures, publications, and other events
- Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE): a global network of professionals dedicated to the recognition and development of motivational incentives and performance improvement
- Sport tourism: any activity in which people are attracted to a particular location as a participant, spectator, or visitor to sport attractions, or as an attendee of sport-related business meetings
- Tourist attraction: place of interest that pulls visitors to a destination and is open to the public for entertainment or education
- Trade shows/trade fairs: can be stand-alone events, or adjoin a convention or conference and allow a range of vendors to showcase their products and services either to other businesses or to consumers
- Wine tourism: tourism experiences where exploration, consumption, and purchase of wine are key components
- Review the categories of events. What types of events have you ever attended in person? What types of events are held in your community? Try to list at least one for each category.
- Should the government (municipal, provincial, federal) support festivals and events? Why or why not?
- Aside from convention centres, where else can meetings, conventions, and conferences be held? Use your own creative ideas to list at least five other venues.
- What are some of the main sources of revenue for attractions (both mainstream and cultural/heritage attractions)? What are the main expenses?
- Should private sector investors receive government funding for tourism entertainment facilities? Should they be required to contribute their revenues to the community? Why or why not?
- Name a cultural or heritage attraction in your community. Where does its revenue come from? What are its major expenses? Who are its target markets? Based on this information, make three key recommendations for sustaining its business.
- Do you agree with certain animal rights groups that zoos should be shut down? Why or why not?
Case Study: Merridale Estate Cidery
Purchased by husband and wife team Janet Docherty and Rick Pipes in 2000, Merridale Estate Cidery is located in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. The cidery itself was established by the previous owner in 1990 who planted apple trees in the location, which is considered ideal by many for its terrain and climate. With the purchase of the cidery, Janet and Rick undertook an extensive renovation in order to transform the facility into an agritourism attraction. They expanded the cellar and tasting rooms and created the Cider House in 2003 from which they began running tours and tastings. From there they added:
- The Farmhouse Store with retail sales of their cider product, local agriculture products, and BC arts and crafts
- The Bistro and Orchard Cookhouse, two distinct food and beverage operations
- The Brick Oven Bakery (producing artisanal baked goods in its on-site brick oven)
- Yurts (two cabin-style tents) for onsite accommodation
The cidery is now a destination for special events such as weddings. It also runs an InCider Club for frequent purchasers of its products.
Visit the Merridale website and answer the following questions:
- What is Merridale’s core business?
- Who are its customers?
- Merridale comprises food and beverage, retail, accommodations, and is an attraction. How would you classify it as a tourism operation?
- Is Merridale a seasonal operation? What would you consider to be its peak season? How has it extended revenue-earning opportunities?
- Merridale’s slogan is “Apples Expressed.” Does this tagline capture its essence? Why or why not?
- Consider Merridale’s products, experiences, and markets. What partners should the cidery work with, either globally or locally, to attract business? Name at least three.
- Do you think Merridale should add components, or eliminate components, from its business? Explain your answer.
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