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An investigation of the management and socio-economic impacts of the 2006 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon
South Africa is a fast growing and developing sport tourism destination and has hosted various international sport tourism events. With specific reference to the 2006 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM), which is considered one the most beautiful marathons in the world, this study focuses on different stakeholders' perceptions concerning the management and socio-economic impacts of sport tourism events. Questionnaire surveys for spectators (n=200), participants (n=200) and residents (n=400), as well as key informant interviews for established businesses (n=20), stallholders/exhibitors (n=20), sponsors (n=4), the event organiser (n=1) and the destination marketing organisation (n=1), were designed specifically for this study. Spatially-based random sampling for spectators and participants, was implemented, while purposive sampling for residents, stallholders/exhibitors, established businesses, sponsors, the event organiser and CTRU, were adopted to collect data. Volume counts were undertaken to estimate the number of spectators, while the number of participants was provided by the event organisers. The direct economic impact of the total of the event's contribution to the local economy was ascertained by utilising spending patterns of the spectators and participants. The contribution of the event to the local economy is estimated at R44.7 million, which is relatively significant. The event is diverse in terms of spectators and participants. The stakeholders were generally satisfied with the event organisation. Engendering community pride, utilising a sport tourism event as a regional showcase and providing economic opportunities for local businesses in terms of leveraging opportunities, were key benefits for local businesses and residents in close proximity to the race route. However, problems such as traffic congestion and insufficient parking were raised by all stakeholders and there is still room for improvement in this area as well as the management on the day of the event. The study reveals that there is a greater need to consider attendees' motivations, spending patterns, perceptions and altitudes, demographic profiles, the dire need for community involvement, as well as current and possible event leveraging opportunities for local businesses to enhance the management and positive impacts of sport tourism events. Furthermore, this study also provides holistic information to manage sport tourism events and to retain standard service quality, fulfil customer satisfaction and generate more economic, socio-cultural benefits for the tourist destination in a sustainable manner. Stakeholders can share information, which would improve relevant performance problems in the sport tourism event industry, moreover, effectively make management decisions and assess the socio-economic impacts of sport tourism events.