Event tourism in remote areas: an examination of the Birdsville Races

Document Type


Publication details

Buultjens, J & Cairncross, G 2015, "Event tourism in remote areas: an examination of the Birdsville Races", Journal of Place Management and Development, vol. 8 no. 1, pp.69 - 84.
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Peer Reviewed



Purpose - The purpose of this paper was to examine the direct economic and social benefits accruing from the Birdsville Races. The paper also explores how strategic place marketing has been used to shape the image of the destination, and how this has provided a boost to tourism visitation to periods outside of the event.

Design/methodology/approach - This study was based around a textual analysis of online discourse, interviews with local residents and business owners and a survey of visitors.

Findings - The data indicate that the Races make a solid contribution to the local, regional and state economy; however the local economic benefits are relatively limited due to the high level of leakages. It is also clear that the Races provide important social benefits by generating a strong sense of history, togetherness and engagement among the local community. Another important benefit is the national and international exposure the event receives, enabling the generation of additional economic benefits.

Research limitations/implications - The practical implications of this study are that regardless of its size and/or location, the staging of a high-quality event or festival can help a destination to market itself effectively, both nationally and internationally. This exposure will generate additional benefits to the destination, region, state and nation. A successful event can also enable a destination attract substantial government funding that can further enhance the event experience.

Originality/value - This paper illustrates that an event hosted in a very remote destination in outback Australia can provide direct benefits as well as indirect benefits. Place marketing can also allow the generation of an “iconic” image for a destination.