Sports and tourism, both as industries have social as well as economic implications for any country. These individual industries have a significant impact on a country’s gross domestic product. The latest trend of ‘sports tourism’ has caught the attention of researchers, academics and industry practitioners. It’s a rapidly growing and promising industry. Any popular sports event pulls masses from across the world to the hosting country. It leads to development and betterment of infrastructure, amenities, as well as employment.
Also, if the masses invest money in such sporting events, this in turns leads to an increase in the popularity and promotion of the sports, which in effect would draw even more crowd in upcoming events. So, if masses are traveling across borders and witnessing the soccer world cup, all the big brands would rush to sponsor the event as it will bring them more visibility, and if more and more sponsors are willing to support the event, the sport gets even better.
What is sports tourism?
Technically speaking, sports tourism is about traveling outside one’s environment to a different arena for the sake of participating or witnessing a sporting event. The primary motivation behind traveling is the sport, and the leisure associated with the experience reinforces the motivation.
How can it be classified?
If you are traveling to a destination which has posed a particular sports event as the focus of tourist attraction for the season, it is called sports event tourism.
How many of us remember watching live action at horse racing events in TVG network and jumping on our seats to watch the fastest horse reach the finish line? Well, if you have been a spectator to this spectacular sport, it will be hard for you to forget the episode. That is the impact of a sport as thrilling as horse racing. If you are fond of sports that can get your adrenaline rushing, this is the game for you!
However, if you are traveling for popular sport-related tourist attractions, it is called nostalgia sports tourism.
Museums, hall of fame or fantasy camps -you name it, and you have it. Whether it’s the huge fan base of a sport or a particular sports person or it’s the gravity of a sport that leads to such nostalgic memorials. Fans travel especially to these places to re-live the moments they have once lived in the past as sports fans.
If you are traveling to a destination hosting a sporting event to participate in any of the events, it is active sports tourism.
Why has this industry flourished?
The reason why sports tourism is fast-growing depends on a number of key factors. One major factor for this is changes in lifestyle. The growing need of leisure owing to tight work schedules and busy lives, inclination towards having a quality life, increased exposure to various kinds of sports and related events, increasing penetration of internet technology and convenience of traveling across destinations are some of the other major reasons why people are traveling for the sake of sports.
Sports tourism is a sunshine industry and has a long way to go!