What it is Sports tourism: Sports tourism is a type of tourism activity which refers to the travel experience of the tourist who either observes as a spectator or actively participates in a sporting event generally involving commercial and non-commercial activities of a competitive nature.
Why it Matters: Sports tourism is a fundamental axis, generating around 10% of the world’s expenditure on tourism. It has an estimated growth rate of 17.5% between 2023-2030, moving masses intra and intercontinentally. Sports tourism can promote social, economic and environmental action, it accelerates development and can leave a long-lasting positive legacy.
Sports and Tourism are interrelated and complementary. Today, sports tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism. More and more tourists are interested in sport activities during their trips whether sports are the main objective of travel or not. Sport events of various kinds and sizes attract tourists as participants or spectators and destinations try to add local flavours to them to distinguish themselves and provide authentic local experiences. Mega sport events such as the Olympics and World Cups can be a catalyst for tourism development if successfully leveraged in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and other economic and social benefits.
Sports tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in tourism. More and more tourists are interested in sport activities during their trips whether sports are the main objective of travel or not. Sport events of various kinds and sizes attract tourists as participants or spectators and destinations try to add local flavours to them to distinguish themselves and provide authentic local experiences. Mega sport events such as Olympics and World Cups can be a catalyst for tourism development if successfully leveraged in terms of destination branding, infrastructure development and other economic and social benefits.
Sports Tourism Events
Events & Research
Sport and Tourism are two driving forces for the promotion and sustainable economic development of tourism destinations. To better understand the links between tourism and sport and to increase the awareness of the benefits of their joint contributions, UNWTO and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) jointly organized the First World Conference on Sport and Tourism in Barcelona on 22-23 February 2001. This publication contains the studies prepared for the Conference as well as the speeches delivered there.
Tourism can contribute to sustainable development and the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This overview illustrates how sport tourism can contribute to the SDGs and what needs to be considered when developing sport tourism to ensure its contribution to sustainable development. The comparative strength of sport tourism lies in: Engagement in physical activities; Opportunities for interactions; and High development potential almost anywhere. Thanks to these characteristics, sport tourism can play an important role in achieving various SDGs if developed with consideration.
A mega event benefits a host destination in terms of attracting visitors to the event and drawing global attention to the destination. However, in addition to such short-term benefits, it can be a catalyst for longer-term tourism development in various aspects from economic to social. This publication on Maximizing the Benefits of Mega Events for Tourism Development provides practical references on what a host destination can do to fully leverage the event opportunity for tourism development with a variety of illustrative cases. Although the report refers to insights from mega events, the practical references can be applied to any scale of events in any destination.
Walking tourism is now one of the most popular ways to experience a destination. It allows tourists to better engage with local people, nature and culture. It also meets the growing demand of travellers of outdoor activities in general, including when they travel. Walking tourism can be developed anywhere as a sustainable tourism offer with a relatively small investment. It can bring about social and economic benefits to residents and communities if properly developed and managed. This report showcases various successful examples of walking tourism and aims to serve as a practical reference for destinations with a focus on the role of walking tourism in regional development.
Tourism and sport are key cultural elements of today’s world and have significant impact on modern society and international tourism. With this in mind, the WTO has carried out a new study aimed at providing a more complete analysis of the role that sports tourism and sports in general among the products offered in Latin America by European tour operators and tourism websites.
Sport and Tourism have a major socio-economic impact, appreciated in most civilian societies and increasingly recognized by governments. This is one of the many conclusions of this report which was prepared for the First World Conference on Sport and Tourism jointly organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and WTO.After developing a theoretical framework for the system of Sport and Tourism and analysing the future trends of sport and sports tourism this report looks at the different socio-economic impacts of sport and tourism and how they can be managed best.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) prepared this study on the level and characteristics of the sport activities engaged in during holidays abroad. Germany, the Netherlands and France were chosen for this study. These countries ranked among the leaders in terms of international tourism expenditure in 1999. Even though this study does not cover all the major generating markets, we are sure that it gives a clear picture of the importance of sport activities in tourism, and it makes many suggestions. This study also deals with many practical aspects, e.g.: length of stay, expenditure, seasonal demand, booking patterns, accommodation, and consumer profiles such as gender, age, social status, and area of residence.