The Impact of Mega Sporting Events on Host Country’s Destination Images: The Cases of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics and 2015 Beijing IAAF World Championships

Yongjae Kim
Jeeyoon Kim
Sungho Cho
and Kitae Yim

From a tourism perspective, this study examined the change in host countries’™ destination images before and after mega sporting events. The study developed and tested a conceptual model delineating the relationship among sport event involvement, designation images, attitude towards the host country, and visit intention. This study further examined if the model has the same pattern across different sporting events. For the purpose of this study, the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federations Championships and the 2014 Winter Olympic Games were selected. Using a mall and street intercept sampling method, a total of 572 participants were recruited in the United States. The results of a series of structural equation modeling tests showed positive change in Safety and Urban images before and after both events. This study showed that change in destination images varies across sporting events. These findings suggest the need for more holistic and integrated event marketing strategies to attract more tourists from foreign countries.