Tourism and sports are interrelated and complementary. Sports – as a professional, amateur or leisure activity – involves a considerable amount of traveling to play and compete in different destinations and countries. Major sporting events, such as the Olympic Games, football and rugby championships have become powerful tourism attractions in themselves – making a very positive contribution to the tourism image of the host destination.
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.
Events & Research
- World Sports Tourism Congress
- UNWTO International Conference on Tourism and Sports
- UNWTO / South Africa International Summit on Tourism, Sport and Mega-events
- Sport & Tourism
- Sport Tourism and Sustainable DevelopmentGoals (SDGs)
- Walking Tourism – Promoting Regional Development
- Maximizing the Benefits of Mega Events for Tourism Development
- Sports Tourism in Latin America (English version)
- Sport and Tourism - Introductory Report (English version)
- Sport Activities during the Outbound Holidays of the Germans, the Dutch & the French (English version)
Sport & Tourism
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.
Sport Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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.
Maximizing the Benefits of Mega Events for Tourism Development
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 – Promoting Regional Development
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.
Sports Tourism in Latin America
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 – Introductory Report
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.
Sport Activities during the Outbound Holidays of the Germans, the Dutch & the French
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.