Lee, Seung Hyun; Olson, Eric
For a second year, the organizer of the Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival (CNSJF) commissioned the Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies (DPITS) to prepare a report on perceptions of attendees of the festival. Additionally, the project investigated the value of the event as well as the economic benefits the event brings to Curacao. A survey instrument was designed and used to assess the perceptions of perceived value of event attendees. The survey was completed during the event which was held September 2-3, 2011. A total of 400 surveys was collected and analyzed by DPITS. The survey revealed that the CNSJF was successful from a destination perspective as well as a management perspective, despite the constraints confronted in terms of accessibility to the island as well as availability of accommodation. The organizer spent US$4.9 million, which entails an increase of US$1.7 million compared to the previous year. The 53 percent increase in investment paid handsomely in terms of economic benefits to Curacao. The total economic benefits increased by an astounding 311 percent for a total amount of US$16,338,601. This exponential increase of economic benefits is reflected by a substantial growth in the degree of affluence of the attendees to the CNSJF. The festival attracted 4,930 tourists, more than twice the amount of the previous year. On average, this group stayed on the island for 7.3 days and spent US$1,716, a 93 percent and 52 percent increase respectively compared to the previous year. The festival's attendees spent US$233.00 per day, which is more than twice the amount spent per day (US$107.00) by the typical tourist patronizing Curacao. The spending per day of attendees seems to be correlated by a group of highly affluent tourists attracted to the festival. For example, 30.6 percent of all respondents enjoyed a salary of over US$75,000, while the category of US$40,000 and up saw an increase of 31 percent compared to the previous year. In addition to the economic benefits, the festival was also successful in another dimension. This year, the CNSJF seems to confirm the prediction of our previous study in terms of loyalty. Fifty-nine percent of tourists attending the CNSJF have visited Curacao before. Close to half of this group (28 percent) has attended the first edition of the festival in 2010, indicating a significant loyalty component to the festival. Similarly to the previous year, the CNSJF is the main draw for visiting Curacao as eighty-four percent of tourists indicated the main reason to come to Curacao was the festival. Overall, the perception of enjoyment at the festival is highly positive. The means of all of the service value items were higher than 6 on a 7 point Likert scale. This suggests that attendees are highly satisfied with the way the festival was set up in terms of staff, performance, and safety. In fact, they perceived that the festival was worth the money, time, and effort they spent during the festival. Compared to the previous year, the score means of twenty- eight value items were higher. In particular, attendees showed a stronger feeling toward cultural and social value. Attendees felt that the festival helped them to enrich their knowledge of Curacao, to make friends, to share time with people from different backgrounds, and to represent the culture of Curacao. They also think that future generations should have the right to enjoy this festival. In addition, attendees felt that the price of entry and goods at the festival was better than expected. This indicates that attendees felt that they received good value for the money they paid for entry, food, and goods. The price structure of the festival is considered therefore to be effective. Overall, the CNSJF possesses unique characteristics that set it apart from other tourism activities on the island. The combination of the eventâ€™s performers, venue, services, and attendees has made the CNSJF a major social event that represents the heritage and spirit of Curacao. It seems that the CNSJF allows its visitors to interact with interest and curiosity the virtues of the Curacao culture, residents, and visitors alike. But more importantly, it generated higher loyalty towards the event. The results of the survey reveal that the higher the attendeesâ€™ perceived their enjoyment at the festival and the more the festival offered the opportunity to socialize, the more likely attendees are to come back to the CNSJF, give good references to others, encourage family and friends to come, consider the CNSJF their first choice to attend a festival next year, and recommend to others. In comparison to 2010, this year the attendeesâ€™ loyalty towards the festival increased significantly. Such display of loyalty towards the festival presents new possibilities for the organizer. The CNSJF displayed an impressive ability to spurt an affluent, repeat tourist that makes investment in the festival one of the most cost effective investments in the islandâ€™s tourism development. The festival contribution goes beyond the economic impact during the event and potential repeat patronage. Its value is also reflected in the significant brand extension that Curacao receives due to this event. Although at this time, it is impossible to quantify the financial value of the brand equity, current performance suggest that this will ripple significantly in terms of recognition, fit, association, and reducing search costs.
Curacao, Curacao North Sea Jazz Festival, CNSJF
Curacao Tourism Board
The Dick Pope Sr. Institute for Tourism Studies
Rosen College of Hospitality Management
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Number of Pages
Rivera, Manuel A. and Croes, Robertico R., "The Signature Event in Curacao: A Source of Brand Equity and Economic Significance" (2011). Dick Pope Sr. Institute Publications. 12.