Based on the work of Tinsley and Lynch (2008) which examined the connection between increased tourism, business and community relations within various towns and municipalities, it was discovered that local councils (i.e. local government units) were important “drivers of growth” (Tinsley & Lynch 2008). This was based on the fact that through their actions and the mobilization of government resources, a local council can in effect enact significant change within various municipalities which can often create a positive impact on a local community (Tinsley & Lynch, 2008). Evidence of this assertion can be seen in the case of the “Farmer’s markets” that appear in various global cities that are held or sponsored by the local city councils (Alonso & O’Neill, 2011).
These weekly events often draw hundreds of commuters from all around the city and although most of the audience is local, as such, can be considered as a form of tourism. It is based on this that this paper advocates the implementation of local council sponsored festivals in order to boost the social and economic growth within Clifton Park, Wirral while at the same time conserving the historical nature of the surrounding buildings.
What must be understood is that with the establishment of events such as these, this often creates a positive impact on the economy of a local community. A greater number of tourists means higher income levels for local hotels, shops and other assorted businesses which in turn creates a considerable degree of prosperity (Erkuş-Őztűrk & Terhorst, 2012). For example, as seen in the work of Tiatco (2010), festivals within the Philippines which are sponsored by local councils often bring tourists as far away as the U.S., Europe and Canada which creates a subsequent influx in tourism income to the various businesses located within that area.
Festival Tourism in Clifton Park
As explained by Chen (2011), festivals are often a means utilized by rural communities in order to help resolve the issue of economic decline within their towns and villages. The reason behind their use is quite simple, not only do festivals allow local businesses to augment their income with an influx of wealthy patrons but it also has other benefits such as the creation of new jobs within the community as well as creating the means for skill building opportunities for local residents (Chen 2011).
Visser (2005) points out that one of the by-products of a festival is that it enables a particular region to be well known internationally like Pamplona in Spain, thus increasing the likelihood of having more tourists visit the location even after the festival is over (Visser 2005). Other by-products of a festival come in the form of the creation of more local businesses that stay even after the festival. This takes the form of various hotels and restaurants that help to boost the income of local residents.
Overall, when examining the contrasting opinion regarding festivals it can be stated that when a local council creates a festival, it all depends on what specific goal they have in mind related to either short term or long term goals in order to determine the overall effectiveness of the festival.
Proposed Planning Strategy
Within the context of Clifton Park, the suggested festival would take the form of either a food festival, film festival or a combination of the two types of events. These festivals would draw tourists from various parts of the UK and even from other countries due to the entertainment value in the form of live performances, dozens of food stands and various other methods of entertainment. To provide further incentive towards the development of local business as well as to increase the number of businesses that would be willing to participate in such a venture, Clifton Park, during the duration of the festival, can become a tax free zone wherein businesses will be free to operate stands and various types of establishments. It is expected that such an act would drive up growth for the local economy through the development of local jobs as well as the sourcing of food and other types of goods and services from local businesses.
Conversion of Properties into Inns and Small Hotels
With the number of people that are expected to arrive, it would be necessary to develop a means of housing all of them. The solution to this is quite simple and helps to promote the conservation of the buildings in Clifton Park as well. The various historic buildings can be converted into small hotels, inns, and hostels that visitors can stay in during the festival. This helps to not only promote their historic quality but ensures their continued conservation through constant use and upkeep by the management of the establishment.
Overall, it is expected that with the implementation of festival tourism within Clifton Park, this should help to not only boost the local economy but also helps to preserve the historic nature of the site as well.
Alonso, A, & O’Neill, M 2011, ‘A comparative study of farmers’ markets visitors’ needs and wants: the case of Alabama’, International Journal Of Consumer Studies, vol.35, no.3, pp. 290-299.
Chen, SC 2011, ‘Residents’ Perceptions of the Impact of Major Annual Tourism Events in Macao: Cluster Analysis’, Journal Of Convention & Event Tourism, vol.12, no.2, pp. 106-128.
Erkuş-Őztűrk, H, & Terhorst, P 2012, ‘Two Micro-models of Tourism Capitalism and the (Re)Scaling of State–Business Relations’, Tourism Geographies, vol.14, no.3, pp. 494-523.
Tiatco, AP 2010, ‘”Libad nang Apung Iru” and “Pamamaku king Krus”: Performances of Ambivalence in Kapampangan Cultural Spectacles’, TDR: The Drama Review, 54, 2, pp. 91-102.
Tinsley, R, & Lynch, P 2008, ‘Differentiation and tourism destination development: Small business success in a close-knit community’, Tourism & Hospitality Research, vol.8, no.3, pp. 161-177.
Visser, G 2005, ‘Let’s Be Festive: Exploratory Notes on Festival Tourism in South Africa’, Urban Forum, vol.16, no.2, pp. 155-175.