Is outstanding performance in sport events a driver of tourism?
2020 Can success in sport events be a positive determinant of the number of tourists arriving in a country where successful teams are based? In order to test this hypothesis, this paper focuses on football events linking national teams' outstanding performance in the FIFA World Cup tournaments to tourist inflows at the national level. By applying panel cointegrating regressions, the paper finds that countries whose national teams obtain surprising results (e.g. Costa Rica in 2014) in the World Cup final tournaments benefit from a significant increase in tourist arrivals after two years. In countries whose national teams qualify as football champions, the benefits appear in the first and second years following the event and the result is stronger. This suggests that outstanding performance in sport events can favor tourism and economic development in successful teams' home countries. Policies aiming to promote national sporting teams can thus have significant effects on other sectors of the economy.