In recent years, we have strongly emphasized cultural and heritage festivals that significantly promoted the development of rural districts, cultural conservation, rural product marketing, and economic interest bringing local economic prosperity. Thus, a huge number of new cultural festivals in Taiwan were created. However, it has often been heard that some of the festivals were good and some were poor according to locals, but there is no concrete measure. Therefore, a case study of the Sanyi Wood Carving Festival was conducted to research the involvement behaviors of visitors and the correlation between festival events held and woodcarving culture. The study analysed the expectations and feelings of visitors attending the festivals, and further studied the opportunities, risks, strengths and weaknesses of festival events. The study offers the results as a reference for cultural festivals held by rural villages.
The study methodology included documentation discussion and reviews, field surveys (including: attendance for observation and questionnaire investigation), and IPA to analyse the involvement behaviors of visitors to the Sanyi Wood Carving Festivals, SWOT strategic analysis of festival events, and the interests, motivation, and satisfaction of visitors who attended the festival events.
From the cultural festival events in this study, it learned that festival events can be divided into four levels by correlating events and cultural relevance. From highest to lowest they are: 1st level festival events directly correlate with cultural relevance; 2nd level festival events have images or symbolic references with cultural relevance; 3rd level festival events combine local culture with associated scenic spots; 4th level festival events are unrelated to cultural relevance. We also discovered the following.
1.Most visitors are families attending together, and central Taiwan is the basic area with low reflow rates. Consumers visiting recreational sites for parents and children commonly visit those priced at NT$100-NT$500.
2.The events held are unconnected to local culture for residents, and do not transmit local stories. The 3rd level festival events are insufficiently programmed, and activity packages fail to attract the attention of visitors. Although 4th level events and services can attract crowds, the visitors consider them unimportant. Therefore, their development should have a low priority in the future.
3.It suggests that local woodcarving masters develop practical, creative, and beautiful art works combined with local cultural significance. This can improve the involvement behavior of visitors, and utilize surrounding resources as sources of legends and local uplifting stories.
4.Rural cultural festival event themes should emphasize “locality” and relate closely to local cultural elements.
5.Festival events should be aimed at 1st and 2nd level activities. In addition to delivering uplifting local stories, it is also very important for us to transmit images with cultural relevance or symbolic references showing creative workmanship.