Enhancing destination competitiveness through disability sport event legacies: Developing an interdisciplinary typology

Tracey DICKSON, Laura Misener, Simon Darcy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to contribute to the event legacy discourse by exploring the nexus between event legacy literature and destination competitiveness by focusing on disability sport events or parasport and addressing an identified gap in the research literature. Design/methodology/approach: This is achieved through conducting a systematic review of disability sport events literature; performing an audit of international disability sport events; developing a typology of disability sport events; and outlining a research agenda drawing upon these previous steps. The typology is then placed in context to the destination competitiveness framework to provide direction for both host organizing committees and tourism destination managers. The research framework reflects the complexity of disability sport events with specific reference to the social impact of disability sport events for destinations. Findings: Despite calls for increased research into accessible tourism and events, the potential social legacy for communities and destinations from disability sport or parasport events remains absent from most sport, event and tourism literature. The findings and resultant typology from this study provide an interdisciplinary approach to value add to the disability sport event and destination management sectors. The combined understanding of both sectors creates an opportunity to leverage further events through marketing accessibility as a competitive advantage, seizing opportunity for international and national disability events, and the subsequent event accessible tourism and general accessible tourism that improved destination accessibility provides a host city or precinct. Research limitations/implications: The disability sport event typology and a research agenda that supports future research are outcomes of this research. Practical implications: These insights are beneficial to both researchers and practitioners interested in leveraging the opportunities from disability sport events to support sustainable destination development and competiveness that reflect the needs of a population with diverse access needs, including our ageing population, those with temporary disability and parents with young children. Originality/value: This research lays the groundwork to support the desired social legacy for future host communities. From a theoretical perspective, given the paucity of research on disability sport, the typology offers a means to evaluate and monitor the impacts of various types of events from the perspectives of sustainable development, tourism, accessibility, community engagement and public policy. The addition of understanding destination competitiveness and the underlying criteria for accessible destination development provides opportunities to further leverage disability sport event beyond the event itself for ongoing accessible events, tourism and disability employment opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)924-946
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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