The Relationship Between Sport and Tourism

Topics: Tourism, World Tourism Organization, Olympic Games Pages: 7 (2934 words) Published: December 12, 2010
The relationship between sport and tourism
In order to understand the meaning of sport tourism, firstly we need to understand the term sport and tourism. Generally, sport can be defined as “all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim at expressing or improving physical fitness and mental well-being, forming social relationships or obtaining results in competitions at all levels” (Council Of Europe, 1992). Having said that, sport is actually a form of activity that is participated by people and it involves not only the participant but also other people. As for tourism, the World Tourism Organisation (WTO) (2000) defined it as “activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes”. In this case, both sport and tourism is seen as a form of travel from one place to another. For instance, most sport nowadays involves a considerable amount of traveling to play and compete in different destinations and countries. Other than that, there are also people that travels for the purpose of visiting sports attraction such as stadiums, sports museum and also sports hall. Nowadays, sport and tourism can be seen as an inseparable phenomenon and sport tourism itself is considered to be the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry. However, the definition of sport tourism varies among people, until now, there still has not been a standardize definition for it. Over the years, there have been attempts to define it; for instance (Weed et al, 1997). As such, Standeven and De Knop (1999, p.12) defines sport tourism as, “All forms of active and passive involvement in sporting activity, participated in casually or in an organized way for non-commercial or business/commercial reasons, that necessitate travel away from home and work locality”. Therefore, it is known that sport and tourism relates to one another, as also stated by Hinch and Higham (2001) that “sport tourism is a sport-based travel away from the home environment for a limited time, where sport is characterised by unique rule sets, competition related to physical prowess and play”. Furthermore, they also added that sport is considered to be “a significant travel activity, whether it is a primary or secondary feature of the trip”. According to Keller (2001), “the relationship between sport and tourism can be traced back to the ancient Olympic Games”. This is when all the people in the earlier days travelled to the olympic site just to attend the hallmark event. However, according to Delpy (1998), “high numbers of travellers searching for active and passive involvement in sports are of more recent origin”. The factors resulting to this trend is because there is an expanding demographic profile of participants in sports (Glyptis, 1989), increased demand for active engagement in recreational pursuits while on holiday (Priestley, 1995), and a growing interest in the prominent roles played by sports and sports event in urban renewal and urban imagery, and potential to leverage tourism opportunities associated with sports events (Getz, 1998). Other than that, sport tourism can be categorized into three types of tourism. According to Gibson (2003, pp. 207), “there is the active sport tourism where participants travel to take part in sport, event sport tourism where participants travel to watch the sport, and also nostalgia sport tourism where participants visit sports related attractions such as halls of fame, famous-stadia or sports-themed cruises”. Furthermore, active sport tourism consists of the active sport tourists, an individual who takes part in sport while on holiday. Generally, the sport that is usually related to this type of sport tourists are golf, skiing, swimming, tennis, and sailing. Moreover, the active sport tourist can be breakdown into three more categories; De Knop (1990) states that, “they are the pure sport...
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