For sports fans, sport tourism is an extremely popular travel trend. Sport tourism is defined as travelling with the sole purpose of watching or participating in a sporting event. It is one of the fastest growing sectors of the global travel industry. The two main types of sport tourism are hard and soft sport tourism. Hard refers to the number of people participating at a competitive sports event, and these events generally attract tourists (such as the Olympics). Soft refers to recreational sporting events, where tourists participate in for leisure purposes, such as skiing. Nostalgia sport tourism is another popular trend, where people travel to visit sports halls of fame or other famous venues.
Pros and Cons
Sport tourism is truly a great bonding experience, for both friends and families. Many people take a road trip to get to the venue, which allows them to spend quality time together while also viewing various parts of the country along the way.
For some people, who may be fans of teams that don’t play in their home area, sport tourism is a great way to be able to see their favorite team in action, particularly in a friendly environment (a home game). Going to events such as the Olympics can also be a great experience. People are often given park passes, allowing them to see any event they want on that particular day. It also allows you to show national pride and support your country. Sport tourism can be expensive, however. Purchasing tickets for games isn’t cheap, and that doesn’t take into account travel and accommodation costs. It can also be discouraging to travel a great distance to watch your favorite team lose.
Sport tourism is incredibly popular in North America. Thanks to the internet and cable television, people can be fans of any team and still watch all of their games and read about them. It makes it difficult to see a game, however, so road trips across America to watch games are very common. Some popular destinations include New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, because they have a strong sports base but also offer numerous other things to do when the games are not on. The Olympics are another popular destination, as people travel from all over the world to support their country.
The Road Less Travelled
There are so many sporting events in the world that there are many that sometimes fly under the radar. The Kentucky Derby, a horse race held every May, is a very popular event. The attendance at the Derby surpasses all other stakes races, and tourists love to become part of the number of traditions that play a large role in the Derby atmosphere, such as wearing one of the large hats or drinking a mint julep. While not as popular as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games are another great event where tourists from all over the world can go and support their country.
Costs and Savings
Sport tourism is by no means cheap. Tickets to sporting events can run anywhere from $50 to $500, depending on the event, the type of game, the teams playing, etc. Factor in travel and accommodation costs, and the price of sport tourism can quickly add up. Luckily many travel firms advertise all inclusive travel deals which include meals, accommodation, and tickets to sporting events. There are also travel packages available for events like the FIFA World Cup or Olympics, which typically last for weeks or months and allow travellers to witness multiple events.