Over the last ten years, the role of the "hallmark event" - ranging from cultural festivals to Olympic Games, has become increasingly significant, and as tourism assumes the role of a leading global industry, the value of these events, both as politically symbolic and generators of enormous income, is perceived to be extremely high by most nations. In the scramble for hallmark status however, it is often overlooked that there can be considerable drawbacks in hosting such events. Badly managed, they can generate catastrophic financial losses, with sometimes irreparable political, social or environmental damage. Michael Hall here presents the first comprehensive book-length study of this important phenomenon. He chases the history and definition of hallmark events, particularly in relation to tourism development and marketing. He then considers the planning implications and their economic dimension. Marketing questions - which beg illustrative case studies are then tackled in detail, and this is followed by a consideration of social and political issues.
The final three chapters consider the crucial planning dimension - including those related to smaller scale community events and festivals - and provides a workable strategy for the design and management of hallmark events that is full of sound practical advice, based on relevant global experience. An essential and clear guide to a field of great importance, this book will be both a primer for students of tourism and a practical handbook for regional and urban planners and managers. Michael Hall is one the world's leading authorities on tourism planning, and is Senior Fellow of the New Zealand National Heritage Foundation. He is also co-author (with B.Weiler) of "Special Interest Tourism" (Belhaven Press 1992).