Festivals, have rapidly developed as a phenomenon, playing an important role within the development of tourism. The basic features of a festival, are that it’s varied, unconnected with work, and celebrating a significant elements within a community, which are often related to culture and religion or art and culture. Buczkowska (2009) holds the belief that festivals play a significant role in tourism, being one of the most important goals of tourist trips, attracting tourists, who are attracted to the elements of culture during the events, as well as the idea of being a part of an unusual atmosphere, meeting people of similar interests and establishing more knowledge about the world.
(Cudney et al.2012), states that festival tourism, should be considered as a separate type of tourism, as “what attracts tourists in this case, is a particular tourist asset, namely the festival, and should be understood as organized events, where people meet irrespective of their work, with tourists travelling at attend the festivals to be considered as “festival tourists”. The process of festival development and its influence, is referred to as “festivalization.” With its ability to generate a large amount of tourist traffic, they are capable of having an influence on various elements of the surrounding space, which could be identified as “tourist space”.
Wlodarczyk(2009) has identified four elements of tourist space within festivals, which includes elements created by natural heritage, cultural heritage, infrastructure and man as a subject of tourist space.
Natural heritage, as a festival tourist space, promotes ideas of being sustainable and living within a natural environment, however despite this, there are are threats to the environment, which is caused by pollution, as well as the potential “degradation of green areas in the case of open air festivals.”
Cultural heritage is about attracting visitors to museums/galleries, which are heritage facilities, which enables the potential development of local, however also regional cultural heritage through tourist engagement. Despite the strong focus on cultural heritage, as attracting tourists to visit sites, it could potentially lead to the authenticity of the local and regional heritage, being lost due to the adjustments being made, in order to cater to the tourists need. As well as this, there is also the danger of the cultural heritage being perceived as false, due to it being tailored to suit tourist’s expectations.
Infrastructure, consists of the building of facilities for the purpose of satisfying the needs of festival tourists, such as accommodation and catering, which can be perceived as negative, due to the transport causing heavy tourist traffic, as well as the potential damage due to vandalism.
festivals that are devoted to environmental issues, there are underlying issues with the pollution caused by visitors attending an area, with vechie exhaust emoosions being higher due to tourists travelling by car, in taxis etc, as well s more water and waste, being produced, which in itself poses a great risj to the natural environment.
“Man as a subject of tourist space”, as festival tourist space, has a focus on creating an atmosphere and place whereby there’s an exchange of ideas and views, as well as multi-culturalism for multi ethnic groups, however as a result of people coming together, there could be various implications such as conflicts between festival tourists and locals within the areas where they are held, as well as the risk of alcohol, drug abuse and crimes committed during events such as riots. The frequent negative consequences, occur when there are conflicts between the inhabitants and festival tourists, which result from “inconveniences” that are caused by the organization of the events that clash with those within small local communities. The inhabitants feel”invaded”, due to traffic jams, parking problems, crowds near to the festival facilities and increased prices of services and commodities, as there is a higher demand. (Mikkonen and Pasanen 2010)