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The use and non-use values of events: a conceptual framework for event evaluation

Conference contribution
Authors Tommy D. Andersson
John Armbrecht
Erik Lundberg
Larry Dwyer
Published in The 23 r d Nordic Symposium On Tourism And Hospitality Research. THE VALUES OF TOURISM 2-4 October 2014. Köpenhamn, Danmark.
Publication year 2014
Published at Centre for Tourism
Department of Business Administration, Marketing Group
Language en
Subject categories Economics and Business, Business Administration


An important focus of current research has involved the holisti c assessment of event impacts, including social, cultu ral and environmental impacts a s well as economic impacts. Events create externali ties that can be understood wit h the help of concepts such as Use and Non‐use values. To date, these concepts have been de veloped and applied primarily within environmental economics as comprising what eco nomists call 'total economic value'. They have been u sed to understand the benefits and costs that occur both for users of natural resources and for non‐users, i.e. ind ividuals that are affected by positive or negative externaliti es linked to, for example, the preservation of natural resources. They have also been e stablished within cultural econ omics to understand the values created by, for example, cultural institutions and art. A more recent development has been the application of Use and Non‐use values in the conte xts of events and festivals. The link between cultural instit utions and events can be establ ished by the cultural content of many events and festivals. However, the adoption of these concepts can also be linked to the notion that events have wider societal impacts, b eyond economic impacts or the financial injection of new money. The aim of this paper is to conceptualize Use and Non‐use value s in an event context. A literature review of the definit ions and applications within th e fields of environmental and cultural economics will be t he basis for the conceptualizat ion, as well as the recent applications in the event context. The conceptual framework pro vides a view on value creation of events, including bo th visitors (users) and local r esidents (non‐users). Use values are discussed in terms of direct and indirect use value which can be linked to different aspects of the event e xperience by participants, visi tors and destination residents. Non‐use values, on th e other hand, are discussed in terms of option value , bequest value , stewardship , altruistic value , and existence value and how these values can (if at all possible) be related to a wider group of event stake holders. The paper contributes an alternative perspective on event evaluation comp ared to standard approaches. This perspective also provides a fertile agenda for more detailed research on the role and importance of diffe rent types of values in event a ssessment.

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