The economic impact of the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn
Van Schalkwyk, Christine
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The purpose of this study was to determine the economic impact of tourists visiting the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival in Oudtshoorn. In the context of event tourism, economic impact can be defined as the net change in an economy resulting from the event. The change is caused by the activity involving the acquisition, operation, development and use of facilities and services. These in turn generate visitor spending, public spending and tax revenue (Lee, 2001:l). Determining the economic impact is not only about determining gross income, but also the impact the festival has on job creation, government income, infrastructure and the balance of payments (Van Blarcom, 2001). To determine the economic impact in Oudtshoorn 400 visitor questionnaires and 50 business questionnaires were interview administered. The survey followed a non-probability sampling method and took place from the 28'h of March to the 6m of April 2003. The aim of the questionnaires was to determine the spending patterns of visitors, the benefits to businesses and the leakages. Using the benchmark indicator method it was determined that 108 062 people attended the festival, of whom 93 306 were visitors and 14 761 were locals. Total spending for the visitors was determined at R91,9 million and for locals R5,5 million. With leakages taken into account only R49,5 million of the visitors', R2,08 million of the locals' and R2,13 million of the organising committee's expenditure remain in the Oudtshoorn economy. The multiplier was estimated at 1,43. This then gives a total economic impact of R76.72 million. The study pointed out that the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival has a definite influence on the promotion of Oudtshoorn as a tourist destination, more emphasis should thus be on the promotion of Oudtshoorn's attractions at the festival, such as museums and other sites, and by minimizing leakages the local community can benefit more from the festival.