Profiling participants of the Cape Argus Cycle Tour
Sport tourism, as a segment of tourism, is one of the fastest growing industries. Sport events have grown enormously over the last two decades and, as a part of sport tourism, they are a very powerful tool that is used to market a country. Sport tourism also creates an internationally recognised image and attracts tourists from all over the world. One of the internationally recognised sport events held annually in Cape Town is the Pick In Pay Cape Argus Cycle Tour (ACT). Originally started in 1977, it has grown to attract 32 000 cyclists by 2008. However, as with any event, the ACT's life cycle reached a climax and is currently on a downward slope, in terms of participation figures. This decline was the motivation for starting this study. As such, it was determined that the goal of this study would be to profile the participants in the ACT as this information could provide some of the reasons for the decline in numbers. In order for the researcher to successfully profile the participants, three objectives were formulated. Firstly, the reasons why cyclists participated in the ACT, in other words their travel motives, were examined. Secondly, it was determined which variables had a significant influence on cyclists' spending behaviour while visiting Cape Town. Finally, conclusions and recommendations were presented, and a profile of the participants was compiled. The research was done by means of using a questionnaire with three sections. The first section sought demographic information while section B measured the spending behaviour of the respondents. The last section established what motivated the cyclist to participate in the ACT. The survey took place from 5 - 8 March 2008 during the registration period at the Good Hope Centre of the city of Cape Town. A total of 583 completed questionnaires were received by the fieldworkers. The data analyses were then performed by firstly capturing the data into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. The statistical program, SPSS, was then used for the further analyses. A factor analysis was performed in order to achieve the first objective of determining what motivated cyclists to participate in the ACT. Then a regression analysis helped to establish which variables influenced cyclists' spending. After all the analytical procedures were completed, the results of the factor analyses indicated the cyclists were motivated by the attractiveness of the event, by personal motivation and by a desire to escape from the daily routines and so to relax. The regression analyses lead to the results that the following variables determine how much money cyclists spend; marital status; province of residence; the number of nights stayed in Cape Town and which accommodation cyclists used. These results both confirmed and contradicted the results of previous research, even though this was the first time this type of research had been applied to a sport event in South Africa. This research can be used by event organisers to apply more effective target marketing and to develop new strategies to encourage an increase in participation figures. This research can also be used to improve business relationships between the different role players in an event. Further, product improvements can be made from certain recommendations.