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Is Sports Tourism Still a Growing Market

Is Sports Tourism Still a Growing Market

Sports tourism is when you travel to another area, nation, state, etc. to watch, engage in or take part in a sporting activity. The love of sports and the desire to travel to new places are combined in sports tourism. Everybody at one point must have played a game or watched some sport, but what people like and want to play are different to others - and there are concerns that the concept doesn’t have the appeal it once had. Come with us as we analyze the recent sports tourism climate and see what can be improved.

Live sports
The biggest sports played and watched are football, cricket, and tennis. They all have a massive fanbase with lots of money going into the sectors and big stars. Have you ever heard of Cristiano Ronaldo? Who hasn’t? He is a worldwide recognised name in European football and very influential to his fans and team members. People who are big football fans and like the team he plays for would love the chance to see him and the team in person.

There is definitely something to be said for the thrill of seeing your favorite sports stars with your own eyes, so close to you. It’s much the same as seeing your favorite performers on stage. Seeing the game in person is so much better compared to having it playing on the TV. The atmosphere in seeing sport is incredible and even infectious. It can be a lot coming all the way to the stadium, after great difficulty getting the tickets and steering your way through traffic, or possibly even taking a flight, just to see your team play against another in person, but it is worth it to smell the sweat of the players for yourself. The chance to see a game with your own eyes draws in people. 

What does sports tourism do for cities?
You might wonder why countries fight so wholeheartedly for a chance to host the Olympics, World Cups, and Commonwealth Games. The answer is simple: money.

Well, money and profile. Take Qatar as an example. This Middle Eastern country wasn’t exactly topping the list of tourist destinations, but they know that is due to their worldwide appeal either being negative or ignorant. In order to change that, they needed to put on a good show. A show so big that people would come from around the world to see their country: the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

And it wasn’t without its controversies, as most hosts of events of this scale face. However, it’s rare for people to actively discourage others from going as it might be dangerous. But Qatar, and other countries around the world, know that the impression the event gives will last. Qatar was facing the double goal of not only impressing on the map but getting on it at all in the minds of tourists across the globe.

They saw what was happening in Spain and other European countries. British tourists were flocking to them at every major sporting event. If you didn’t have a ticket, it didn’t matter because the local pubs would be filled with fans watching on the TV and betting on their favorite teams with an online sports betting app.

Big games
The FIFA World Cups and big games like the Wimbledon or the US Open finals are what draw people in from all over. People come from completely different countries to wherever the games are being held.

For example, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC), the 2019 World Cup had an almost £350 million overall economic impact on the UK. This shows how much money sport brings into a country and helps tourism. All of this adds up to bringing in millions to the country.

Additionally, the Olympics are huge. To see it in person would be incredible. The large audience, the cheering, and seeing the athletes compete would be such an overwhelmingly positive experience. People come from all over the world to see the games being played and to be part of the experience.

How far would you travel to see your favorite team play? Sports tourism can be a big factor in bringing money into a country, some fans have even traveled thousands of miles for a tournament or big game, spending thousands while they travel.