Exploring the gains of local businesses within the hospitality industry during an event : the case of the Top Gear Festival.
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Top Gear is a long-running television programme now shown in over 50 countries with international versions of the show created. It has recently branched away from television and started live stunt shows and weekend car festivals. The Top Gear Festival, a weekend long event with a circuit race, live stunt shows and car exhibitions took place in South Africa for the first time in 2011 in Johannesburg and was then contracted to take place in Durban for three consecutive years. Events such as the Top Gear Festival are being favoured by urban managers to be used as a mechanism to promote the economy and development especially within the tourist industry. This study aimed to investigate the impact the Top Gear Festival had on the hospitality industry in Durban. Following the occurrence of the 2013 event, an interview was conducted with the eThekwini Municipality and data was collected from hotel and restaurants managers and owners. From the data it was found that many businesses believed their restaurant or hotel was busier over the festival weekend and experienced positive impacts due to increased patron numbers and higher turnovers. However, despite this, it was also found that whilst hotels were almost full over the festival weekend compared to a normal weekend in June, restaurants appeared to suffer and were not as busy.