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Destinations use sport events to attract participants and spectators, who then hold perceptions of both the sport event and destination. This research aimed to a) understand how active sport tourists perceive the meaning of a sport event experience and b) develop a scale for that meaning. Both aims are studied in a post trip context as evaluative research. Two focus groups were used to understand the meaning of the sport event experience among active sport tourists. Results from the focus groups suggest participants attribute meanings related to organizational, environmental, physical, social, and emotional aspects of the sport event experience. Next, semantic differential items were developed to measure the meaning of a sport event experience in the post trip phase. The items were tested with two different sport event participant samples using surveys. A uni-dimensionsal scale of 11 semantic differential items emerged. These items provide a measure for the evaluative meaning of a sport event experience.
Kaplanidou is with the Dept. of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Vogt is with the Dept. of Community, Recreation, Agriculture, and Resource Studies, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI.