Informacijos mokslai
Informacijos mokslai

Informacijos mokslai ISSN 1392-0561 eISSN 1392-1487
2020, vol. 89, pp. 73–82 DOI:

Festival Tourism as Part of International Tourism and a Factor in the Development of Cultural Tourism

Stepan Dychkovskyy
Associate Professor, National Academy of Culture and Art Management, Institute of Practical Cultural and Art Management Kyiv, Ukraine

Sergii Ivanov
Professor, National Academy of Culture and Art Management, Kyiv, Ukraine

Summary. The article examines that cultural tourism, by developing festival tours, is able to generate significant tourist flows not only by itself, but also it is a necessary complement to any other tourist product. The purpose. The aim is to analyze the scientific literature on intercultural research and the development of international tourist festivals. Results. The identification and discussion of the three main discourses of festival research made it possible to determine the role and impact of festivals in society and culture, the features of festival tourism and festival management. Classical discourse, emerging mainly from cultural anthropology and sociology, concerns the roles, meanings and influences of festivals in society and culture. Festivals are means for tourism, economic development and local marketing. At this discourse dominated. It is based on consumer behavior approaches and ignores the fundamental needs of celebration and many social and cultural reasons for searching a holiday. It should also be emphasized that festivals are increasingly being used to achieve social and cultural objects, which places them as implements for social marketers.

Keywords: cultural tourism, international tourism, festival tourism, tourist product, event technology, hospitality.

Received: 01/12/2019. Accepted: 01/03/2020
Copyright © 2020 Stepan Dychkovskyy, Sergii Ivanov. Published by Vilnius University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Holding and developing the tradition of mass cultural events - in particular festivals - is a form of creativity. Festivals are an important aspect of event research and are of particular interest to scholars from many disciplines because it’s versatility of the festival and the popularity of the festival experience.

The special appeal of the festivals is determined by their ability to create the conditions for creativity, to involve large groups of people in executing out pithy leisure and to obtain a significant economic benefit for the host party. Leisure, in this case, is increasingly being transformed into a consumer good and viewed, including the time required to consume goods and services, becoming, along with work, an integral part of the economic system.

Considering cultural tourism as a symbiosis of economy and culture we should emphasize that it contemplates not only knowledge of cultural heritage of tourist destination, but also inclusion of a tourist into a modern cultural environment – active involvement in cultural events and practices characteristic for a certain territory (Dychkovskyy S. (2019)).

Demonstration of widening of motivation variety and specialization of traveller’s interests on different aspects of culture and cultural heritage of countries and territories they visit is tendencies of diversification of cultural tourism, which is often a factor of activation of event tourism in a certain world region. Research of peculiarities of demand and supply for tourist trips with cultural purposes based on study of foreign and national sources allow making conclusion that today in international tourism, except traditional cultural and educational tourism, there are different tourism subtypes put into practice. They allow more meaningful diversification of leisure by means of interactive programs of a visit. In modern tourist sphere it is important to combine social and economic conditions, natural potential and cultural environment, which is a significant tourist resource. Such a combination allows developing event tourism, which according to the World Tourist Organization’s estimates is becoming one of the motivating factors of cultural resorces study. The word Event (occurrence, happening) in English has very many meanings, in particular, as both a social-cultural and technical and even philosophic occasion or a planned social-public event/occurrence, which takes place at a certain time and with a certain purpose and has a certain public reaction. It combines some kinds of traditional recreation with active and passive participation in different events (Dychkovskyy S., Ivanov S. (2019)).

Since festivals and holidays can become an effective technology for influencing the mass consciousness, the formation of consumer consciousness, the intensification of consumption, commoditisation becomes a systematic process of materializing goods that were not previously perceived as commodities.

Commoditisation leads to the fact that the effectiveness of festivals and holidays is evaluated in terms of profit and economic efficiency, and the sphere of the sacred, that which could not be sold and bought before and is, at the heart of society, is under pressure from the system of unlimited consumption.

The concept of festival is interpreted by various authors in a rather broad context. A festival is a mass theatrical festive event that includes an overview or demonstration of certain achievements holding on the streets, parks, stadiums, clubs, venues and determine the specifics and structure of the festivals.

In America, folk festivals are also called street fairs. Fiesta is a traditional folk festival, typical of Spanish-speaking countries and widespread in the Mediterranean.

Slavic festivals are analogous to festivals, which are elements of different cultures and relate to the historical traditions and customs that transmitted from generation to generation and preserved for a long time.

Even Turkey, which is traditionally considered a beach-bathing holiday, has focused on promoting the country’s cultural heritage, various festivals and other cultural activities in order to expand the season.

It can be any event – an event that takes place once or several times a year, lasts a limited amount of time and provides participants with social opportunities that go beyond the ordinary.

The purpose. The aim is to analyze the scientific literature on intercultural research and the development of international tourist festivals.

Research methodology

Analyzing the literature on intercultural research in the development of international tourism markets, it should be noted how little has been published, especially in the event sector where there will always be potential problems when theories and methods are transformed into different cultural environments. It is widely recognized that tourism has become increasingly international as a result of globalization, and since the 20th century marketers have been confronted with growing multicultural markets. This trend requires intercultural research in hospitality and tourism.

Scientific research on this topic is used in the educational process of the Department of Art Management and Event Technologies National Academy of Culture and Art Management.

Today’s study provides an up-to-date assessment of publications on intercultural tourism research. This study addresses various aspects of intercultural tourism researches that relate to conceptual and methodological issues linked to existing researches.

Within the discourses of tourism, the classical reasons for holding and attending festivals have demonstrated that escapism drives people to events for the abstraction of entertainment and distraction from daily life, socializing, learning, and gaining new experiences. Although this approach does not take into account fundamental social and cultural prerequisites, it puts festivals on a par with other “entertainment” products. An intrinsic motivator for attending an event is the desired leisure associated with the uniqueness of each event.

Literature review

The development of international tourism markets for cultural events should be viewed from different perspectives from personal to social and local, regional, national and international levels of cultural capital formation. Increasingly, a new approach to assessing the impact of festival tourism is becoming a new paradigm, although in some respects it directly contradicts the predominantly instrumentalist approach. The social and cultural implications of the festival’s impact were examined through the example of cultural values and residents’ attitudes to the Saltair Festival in England.

Snowball, J., Willis, K. (2006) believed that cultural capital was created through the National Festival of the Arts in South Africa. Festivals are used as implements to create destination images, reorganization strategies and branding. Harcup T. (2000) considered how the festival influenced the change in Leeds’ image. Jago L., Chalip L., Brown G., Mules T., Shameem A. (2003) in Australia studied how to create events for branding territories. Li X., Vogelsong H. (2005) compared methods of assessing the impact of a small-scale festival on an improved image of the host community, (Mossberg L., Getz, D. (2006)) studied different moments and possession of festival brands, many of which explicitly but unofficially allied with cities through their names.

The role of tourism in the process of realization the mentioned above reasons is substantial as it is providing to the tourists the following: involvement into the other cultural context, where people of the other country, city and region live and based on this – rapid change of impressions; intense intellectual and information component of tourist activity, which is very important for modern people; entertaining-relaxation effect; satisfaction of social and prestigious demands according to consumer’s behavior of an individual, developed consumer standards of certain social groups and, therefore support and in some cases raise of social status of a tourist; opportunity of meeting and communicating with different people during cultural events –festivals, holidays etc., which allows realizing ideas about tourism as a system of interpersonal contacts (Dychkovskyy S., Ivanov S. (2019)).

Cultural development is promoted every time, when tourism strengthens culture by its economic results. The main aspects are travel motivation, people’s aspiration to visit cultural monuments, their desire to learn something interesting about the place they visit and to get to know new traditions or customs and impressions, got by a tourist during visiting certain places. From this point of view, investments in arts, architecture of city blocks and festivals can have a substantial symbolic and promotional meaning, but they should always be justified and belong to the long-term strategy (Dychkovskyy S. (2019)).

From this perspective, events can play an important role in the creation and dissemination of cultural codes and content produced by local programmers in a networked society, and therefore play an important role in the presentation of places. They can support small world works in these places by providing temporary centre points for sharing information and developing trust between participants. Events can also serve to draw attention to places, separating them temporarily from other parts of the net, setting them up as a place for an event.

International festival tourism

International festivals create the preconditions for exporting national cultural products. The analysis of the positive results of the festival activity shows a multiplier effect, which is manifested in the growth of income, creation of new jobs, development of infrastructure on the places and increase of capital investments, creation of dynamic social and cultural space favourable for business. Demographic purposes are improving. Almost all economic participants (households, firms, the state) have the opportunity to benefit from such an event.

The main difficulty in assessing the effect of the festival is to measure non-economic outcomes - the impact on the social and cultural environment. Such events contribute to consolidation and union of the community. International events assist to increase the global community’s awareness of the country, its level of culture and richness of traditions, as well as to developing a positive image at the international level. The festival forms a dynamic information and cultural space, stimulated the creation of new cultural products at a new quality level and ensures demand for such kind of national product. Festival events assist to developing the market infrastructure of the cultural sector in the region. Thanks to the influence of festivals, there are also some positive social results in society. The overall reputation is farmed in the region. The cultural identity of ethnic minorities is ensured.

Mass culture technologies are becoming the part of the tourist activity, linked to game, entertainment, presentation, virtual and other means of communication, systems of creation of flash images, and imaginative realities of advertising presentation of tourist information. Advertising support, virtual films, an information reality imagination system are all associated with the experience of forming a creative contemplation situation of the contemplation that is inherent in modern tourism.

The festival is viewed in the context of spatial characteristics, saturated with signs, images, as human traditions, emotions, feelings, which directly involved in the festivals. The spatial and symbolic nature of the cultural landscape has been given attention by many researchers, such as O. Lavrenova, E. Barkova, E. Vorobyov, Y. Lotman, and M. Lotman.

The work of D. Held, D. Goldblatt, E. McGrew, D. Perraton, in which the process of global transformations, as well as the fate of national cultures in this process, are of great importance in understanding the current trends of the festival landscape in the context of globalization; I. Wallerstein on the possibility of forming a global culture; E. Giddens, who examinets at the problems of identity in the modern world; W. Beck on the national and universal; A. Appadurai and others. Among contemporary culturologists who have dedicated their work to the development of local cultures in the context of globalization, it should also be noted A. Astafiev, A. Shemanov, A. Sadokhin, K. Delokarov, V. Hesle, V. Pantin, V. Lapkin, and others. The idea of global and local is further developed in the context of the teachings on the globalization of R. Robertson, H. Knodkel, A. Morit, N. Kozhevnikov, N. Pashkevich and others.

Changes in the representation of territorial landscapes as a result of increasing mobility are one of the many manifestations of the festivals influence on the cultural identity of spaces. Community events provide a space in which individuals connect with each other to feel a sense of belonging. In understanding the contemporary need, physical joint presence, where we can apply to the area of ritual, find a sufficient basis for combining events with social systems and net as important and necessary elements of social life.

The small town Hay-on-Wye, with a population of two thousand people, is located in south-east Wales on the banks of the River Wye. It is visited annually by up to 500,000 tourists, not only from all over Britain, but also from European countries and even from the United States of America. They are attracted by his glory as a “book town” and the story of the town’s proclamation by the sovereign Kingdom of Hay. Almost all local shops have been converted to second-hand: there are 38 in the Victorian-era town. Richard Both was the first who guessed to change a depressing town into a prosperous tourism centre.

In 1977, the second-hand booker thought of how to save the city from its final decline and find a niche for international tourism. He did this through an unusual advertising campaign. April 1, 1977, when the Fool’s Day was celebrated in Britain, Richard Booth proclaimed Hay-on-Wye a kingdom, himself king, and his horse was appointed prime minister.

Oddly enough, this eccentric prank worked, the story of an unusual kingdom town appeared on BBC television, its fame spread far beyond Wales, and tourists began to visit the city. In 1988, the city hosted for the first time a literary festival that became traditional. Today, it attracts famous writers and literature lovers visit the festival only from around the world. This year alone, the festival brings more than three million pounds to the city budget. Naturally, this has given a strong impetus to the local economy, and now there are about forty hotels and more than 60 different restaurants in the city. Almost all residents received jobs in service.

Myths and symbols are laid in traditional festivals, in modern societies they are often transformed into fictional myths or symbols with different meanings, so aggravating enhancing their commodity value, and places associated with these myths are transformed into tourist attractions. A popular myth of cultural identity for the heritage of early medieval Europe is the Viking festivals. Visitors will find familiarity with the lifestyle, food, clothing and military craft of the Scandinavian Vikings in each of the countries of the festival.

In particular, every year in February, one of Europe’s major historical festivals - the York Viking Festival - immerses viewers in the atmosphere of the conquest of England. The ancient capital of northern England, York is considered one of the richest in terms of historical heritage of the cities of the country. The Viking Festival is dedicated to the reigns of formidable Scandinavian warriors who spread their power from all over the island. The organizer of the historic holiday - the Viking Centre of York (as York was called in antiquity) presents to its guests a large cultural and entertainment program with the participation of historical reconstruction clubs from different countries.

Visitors to the festival can not only admire flamboyant outfits, exciting battles, rowing competitions, falconry, but also individually engage in historical pursuits - archery, trying on medieval armor. Those who are seriously interested in the Viking culture will be interested to visit the special exhibitions that prepare all of York’s historic museums for the festival. However, according to some researchers, European Viking thematic festivals largely idealize the past, and although presented to participants as an authentic way of life and used as an expression of identity, they are in fact more like a representation. The carnival and festivity of many festivals is a constant theme of much research. The work on festive culture can be considered as the basis in the study of festival culture, since the festival itself is essentially a festive event. The very problem of the holiday was first explored by M. Bakhtin, who conceptualized the concept and introduced a number of terms and provisions that are fundamental in cultural studies. In addition, the principle of architectonics is important for this concept - a look at the holistic image of the work (in this case, the festival landscape), which allows to distinguish the individual components, their interconnection and mutual influence.

It was Bakhtin who supported the idea of architectonics in culture. This temporary state of being out of daily life (in carnival entertainment, rituals, travel, or event experiences) is different in social and behavioral inversions. According to Bakhtin, the carnival occurs from the bottom, spontaneously, without a complex cultural base and initially focused on simplifying a complex and regulated life. Therefore, carnivals and festivals in the past were also a kind of valve that “releases a couple” of the overheated cauldron of social protest, but, on the other hand, the process of forming the cultural preconditions of a new society.

The cultural and carnival images and meanings associated with the rock and pop festivals were most commercialized in the 1996 festival in the UK and were the first major outdoor festival to take place on two stages at one weekend. Launched as a major alternative to the Glastonbury Festival and Reading, it is run by a consortium of successful concert promoters, actively embracing business, sponsorship deals and cutting edge customer service technologies. The festival guarantees for visitors and guests safety and offers role models for many new commercial events held annually. In the process of development, it has gained considerable popularity among tour operators offering “music tours” and has earned the respect of professionals in the music industry. It demonstrates how his organizers’ beliefs have influenced the event’s management and image, and how it has helped transform the large-scale music festival market.

The concept of a cultural carnival has been used in relation to large-scale open music festivals, primarily through the formation of cultural spaces and identities. The Edinburgh International Festival, which was first held in 1947, aimed to revive and stimulate the cultural life of the city and uplift its residents. This was the impetus for the emergence of not only physical space, but also “creative places”: the festival became a place for meeting and establishing communication between locals and tourists, spectators and creators.

The main street of the city - the Royal Mile (Royal mile) every year holds. Parade carnival is watched by thousands of people. Over the course of three weeks, hundreds of actors from different countries perform in shows, concerts and shows in theaters, clubs, pubs, schools and the open air. Nowadays, Edinburgh has become a Mecca for connoisseurs of traditional and contemporary art, simultaneously holding around ten festivals in various artistic fields. The largest among them, in terms of number of participants and scope of action is Edinburgh Art Festival and Fringe Festival. It is also a festival of ceremonial performances by various regiments of the British Army and armies of other countries (Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo), and the Edinburgh International Book Festival (Edinburgh International Book Festival), and a festival that demonstrates uniqueness, “unity”, the interplay of different cultures of the world of artistic acts - Edinburgh Mela. During the festivals, Edinburgh becomes a unique platform of international acquaintance, communication, entertainment, mutual cultural enrichment. Over time, the spatial boundaries of the festival spread to other cities in the region. In particular, the Fringe Arts Festival, which is an independent part of the Edinburgh Festival, gathers many professionals and amateurs annually at more than 250 stages, most of which are outdoors.

Ukrainian festival tourism

Among the most famous Ukrainian festivals in the world is “Land of Dreams”, which is the largest ethnic festival in Ukraine. In parallel, the “Mongolphier” Festival is a balloon festival. The relatively young but famous Fine City Festival is a music festival featuring participants from Australia, France, Sweden, Austria, Poland, Georgia, Russia and Belarus. The “Etnovir” International Folklore Festival brings together participants from Ukraine, Israel, Mexico, Portugal, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland, India, Spain and many others. Ukraine also holds a large number of gastronomic festivals, historical, ethnographic, every year.

Cultural tourism and festival tourism is one of the leading dominant cultural practices, which accounts for a large percentage of capital investments in all developed countries and gives a vast amount of money for the development of culture on the whole. Cultural consumption of values in the context of artistic and cultural-historical potential of tourism is being implemented in the form of production of new senses, destinations, images and gestalts of everyday life during travelling. Development of international tourist markets of cultural events should be considered from different points of view – from individual to social and local, regional, national and international levels of creation of cultural capital. Increasingly the new approach to the assessment of the impact of event tourism is becoming a new paradigm, although in some areas it directly contradicts mainly instrumentalist approach (Dychkovskyy S. (2019)).


The identification and discussion of the three main discourses of festival research made it possible to determine the role and impact of festivals in society and culture, the features of festival tourism and festival management. Classical discourse, emerging mainly from cultural anthropology and sociology, concerns the roles, meanings and influences of festivals in society and culture. Festivals are means for tourism, economic development and local marketing. At this discourse dominated. It is based on consumer behavior approaches and ignores the fundamental needs of celebration and many social and cultural reasons for searching a holiday. It should also be emphasized that festivals are increasingly being used to achieve social and cultural objects, which places them as implements for social marketers.


Festivals are cultural festivals and have always occupied a special place in different societies. Their festive roles, as well as their cultural and social results, have long attracted the interest of sociologists and anthropologists. Festivals always have a theme, a variety of programs and styles, holding them contributes to the formation of a specific kind of experience that has a lot of meaning at the personal, social, economic and cultural levels. Celebration embodies at once an intellectual, behavioural and emotional experience that changes over time, with each form of the festival (for example, dedicated to music, art, historical heritage) embodying a different potential of experience. Although the ancient holidays have arisen organically, together with agrarian, astronomical and climatic cycles, contemporary festivals are initiated and guided by many goals, stakeholders and the values that are attached to them. Event organizers are particularly interested in having their programs influence the audience and deliver the desired experience. It requires knowledge of culture, art and psychology.

Forming a social experience in local spaces, festivals continue to create new channels for social interaction, providing opportunities to enrich identity and build social ties. The main force of this movement is the thousands of festival cultural institutions in hundreds of regions and of the country, many of which are becoming part of the global context. In this regard, there is another concept - “the space of festival culture”, which acquires special significance not only in culture but also in global society, contrasting the crisis of modern life with the function of emotional positive compensator and universal tool of mental unity of peoples and countries. While preserving national identity.


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