benefits of sport tourism

benefits of sport  tourismbenefits of sport  tourism

The country is to host the first Iran automobile rally of the Middle East and North Africa from September 23-28. The event will be organized in Shiraz. The city has not experienced many tourists other than cultural visitors.

The region - renowned for Persepolis, tomb of Cyrus the Great, and resting places of two globally famous poets Hafez and Sa’di - will now be hosting sports tourists.

Now people may wonder in what ways can sports and sports events contribute to tourism and the economy. In many ways, the answer is yes; but not always in a positive way! Sport events can be a great source of income for some host countries, and sometimes not for the others.

Some experts believe small-scale events are more beneficial to host economies, as they bear less expense.

It’s time to take an in-depth look at what sports tourism industry does:

 A Review

First,it is better to define the subject: Sport Tourism refers to travel which involves either observing or participating in a sporting event.

There are some definitely positive-impact sport events in history. Barcelona, for example, already a popular destination for vacation makers, more than doubled its number of tourist arrivals in the 10 years following the 1992 Olympic Games. It has since become the sixth most attractive European city for business, up from 11th place prior to the hosting of the games.

Sydney generated $2 billion in additional business following the 2000 Olympic Games. With unprecedented media coverage, tourism in Sydney has become a thriving economic force in the last decade.

The more recent of the events was Brazil’s World cup 2014, attracting 3.7 million international and domestic tourists to the stadiums. With the huge $11 billion cost, the benefit of the tournament was dubious. Nevertheless, the impact of the event should be seen in a longer term and in wider aspects. The country has yet to host another event, 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, so saves the costs on infrastructure. The benefits will be reaped later. A non-economic benefit was for example the Manaus city hall English training program for 600 healthcare and tourism workers, traffic cops and first responders.

last but not the happiest, is 2008’s host Beijing, where the incredible new stadiums built are now gathering dust!


There are different categorizations of sport tourism available. Gibson, a tourism expert, suggested that there are three types of sports tourism: including Sports Event Tourism, Celebrity and Nostalgia Sport Tourism and Active Sport Tourism. While, Gammon and Robinson (1997) proposed sports tourism be defined as Hard Sports Tourism and Soft Sports Tourism.

Individuals who travel to participate in sporting events comprise the active sport tourism category. Events like golf, kayaking, bicycle touring, tennis, fishing, snow-mobiling and surfing are just a few examples.

This segment of the travelling population comprises approximately 10–30% of the total market.

 Nostalgia Too!

There is something called nostalgia sport tourism too! It involves traveling to famous sport-related attractions. Visits to various ‘halls of fame’ and museums (such as

Twickenham for rugby union, Lords for cricket), and sport theme vacations on cruise ships or at resorts with sporting professionals (sometimes referred to as fantasy camps). Here concepts of worship, heritage, pilgrimage and even religion may be associated with the sporting fanship that motivates tourists to visit. Research in this particular field of sport tourism is yet to be conducted by anthropologists, sociologists and historians.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, hard and soft tourism, where travel is either active or passive involvement in competitive sport. The ‘soft’ sport tourist is someone who is primarily involved in recreation or leisure more so than competitive activity.

Sport tourism, just as other types of tourism, can do good to economies, if only managed properly and planned for consequences.