Government motivations for hosting the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
As a result of increased competition and in an attempt to draw on special interestmarkets and to meet economic, social, and environmental goals, the pursuit and development of event tourism has become prevalent since the 1980s (Hall, 1992). A number of scholars (e.g. Gelan, 2003; Getz, 2008) have observed that special events have been one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry with countries and cities vigorously seeking to become involved it. One of the key features that distinguish event tourism from other tourism activities is that government bodies often play a major and critical role in the formulation and development of special events. Government involvement in major events, especially hallmark or mega events has been an important element in the whole process of event planning and operation inmany destinations (Hall, 1992; Jeffries, 2001). As Hall (1992) has indicated, the importance of examining the political nature of events and the means by which events impinge on governmental processes at both the macro-(ideological and values) and the micro-political (political careers and structures) levels should be recognized.