Sports tourism explained: What, why and where

Product Development

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UNWTO understands Rural Tourism as "a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle/culture, angling and sightseeing.

Rural Tourism activities take place in non-urban (rural) areas with the following characteristics: i) low population density, ii) landscape and landuse dominated by agriculture and forestry and iii) traditional social structure and lifestyle " .

Mountain Tourism is a type of "tourism activity which takes place in a defined and limited geographical space such as hills or mountains with distinctive characteristics and attributes that are inherent to a specific landscape, topography, climate, biodiversity ( flora and fauna) and local community. It encompasses a broad range of outdoor leisure and sports activities ".

Rural and mountain tourism have a high potential to stimulate local economic growth and social change because of its complementarity with other economic activities, its contribution to GDP and job creation, and its capacity to promote the dispersal of demand in time (fight seasonality) and along a wider territory.


This series of conferences provides an overview on the mountain destinations within a broader context and covers topics around the three major pillars: i) sustainable development and planning, ii) investments and incentives and iii) operational issues.

The Euro - Asian Mountain Resorts Conferences identify the current environmental, structural and market oriented challenges in mountain destinations and explore the opportunities to maximize the economic potential and social change for the local communities through a sustainable mountain tourism development and management.

Euro - Asian Mountain Resorts Conferences


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Millions of jobs at risk

Tourism is an important engine of the global economy, accounting for 7% of international trade. Every tenth job in the world is directly or indirectly generated by tourism. The crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the economy of the tourism sector, with unprecedented impact on jobs and businesses. Tourism is one of the sectors hardest hit by COVID-19 containment measures, and with current travel restrictions and the global recession looming over us, it risks becoming one of the last to recover. Rescuing the livelihoods of millions of people requires decisive and coordinated action.

With a projected 60% -80% decline in international tourism for 2020 and a drop in export revenues of US $ 910 billion to US $ 1.2 trillion, more than 100 million directly dependent jobs are at risk today. from tourism. In addition to having these direct impacts, the tourism economy is also linked to many other sectors, including construction, agri-food, marketing and transportation, all of which add to the shock. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the macroeconomic importance of tourism to most OECD and G20 economies. Many businesses in the sector are struggling to survive, and this has a disproportionate effect on women, youth, rural communities, indigenous peoples and informal workers - the populations most often employed in micro and small tourism businesses. The crisis is also placing greater strain on low-income economies and emerging economies and their local communities, which are disproportionately dependent on tourism and are therefore at greater risk of further poverty.

The current crisis has also exposed deficiencies in industry leadership and preparedness, as well as in responsiveness. Restoring the confidence of travelers and businesses, stimulating demand and accelerating tourism recovery urgently requires national and international political action and improved coordination.

Turn a crisis into an opportunity: working towards a more sustainable, inclusive and resilient tourism sector

The crisis is an opportunity to rethink tourism development. Recovery should include transforming the sector, transforming destinations and businesses, rebuilding the tourism ecosystem, innovating and investing in sustainable tourism.

At its core, tourism is an experience that includes tasting local food, local landscapes and historical sites. But people play the main role in it - whether they are local guides, hotel operators or other service providers that make your trip special or help you run your business and enter international markets. As such, our response must be people-centered and deliver on the promise of leaving no one behind. The crisis should be an opportunity to ensure a more equitable distribution of the benefits of tourism and move forward on the path towards a carbon-neutral and more resilient tourism economy.

Ahead of the Saudi Arabian Chairmanship of the G20 Tourism Ministers on October 7, we, as leaders of the OECD and UNWTO, call for decisive and urgent action on three fronts to save the livelihoods of millions.

First, enhanced multilateral cooperation and full support are essential for restarting tourism. Cooperation and consistency in travel regulation bilaterally, regionally and internationally is a vehicle that will safely restart tourism, accelerate economic recovery and give hope to millions of people. This includes enhancing safety for travelers and workers and ensuring safe cross-border travel, as well as creating more viable destinations. It is imperative to strengthen global cooperation and assistance to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on travel and tourism and to help accelerate economic and social recovery. Reactivating the tourism sector will require a coordinated and integrated approach. It is because of its cross-sectoral nature that tourism has become the foundation of the Sustainable Development Agenda and is part of the UN's socio-economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Second, governments need to take a more holistic approach to tourism recovery, engaging all levels of government, the private sector and civil society on a workable and feasible plan to revitalize the tourism sector. Tourism services are interdependent. The sector's scattered and diverse nature means that it intersects with various policy areas such as health, transport, environment, foreign affairs and economics. All countries should also improve their coordination mechanisms to help businesses, workers and destinations, in particular the most vulnerable actors such as SMEs, while viewing sustainability as a guiding principle for recovery. To achieve a sustainable and viable tourism economy, the private sector must also be directly involved in policy-making. This will help overcome long-standing challenges such as resource efficiency and management and avoid existing problems, including excess tourism and pressure on local infrastructure, the environment and communities. Recovery policies need to be geared towards accelerating digital transformation and the future transition to a low-carbon economy.

WORLD TOURISM ORGANIZATION Product Development share this content Rural and Mountain Tourism UNWTO understands Rural Tourism as

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Sports tourism is BIG business. We all know that sport tourism involves sporting activity, that much is pretty obvious, but there is much more than a game of sport involved in the multi million Dollar global industry. In this article I will explain what sports tourism is, I will tell you about the different types of sports tourism and I will discuss the benefits of sports tourism.

What is sports tourism?

Sports tourism is the act of traveling from one locality to another, with the intention of being in some way involved with a sporting activity or event.

Many people believe that sports tourism relates only to watching a sporting event. However, this is not correct. The sports industry is much more than this.

Sports tourism encompasses traveling for your own sporting purposes, such as a yoga teacher training course, a badminton competition or to learn to surf. Sports tourism includes attending sporting events such as a Formula One race or a Premiership football match. Sports tourism includes nostalgic visits to places of historical importance, such as the Olympic stadium in Barcelona or to see memorabilia related to your favorite sporting hero, such as the museum at the Maracana football stadium in Rio de Janeiro.

There are, in fact, four main types of sport tourism. These types are known as:

  • Sport Event Tourism
  • Active Sport Tourism
  • Nostalgia Sport Tourism
  • Passive sports tourism

While sports tourism has not always been extremely popular, during the recent decade the amount of people attending out of area sporting events has drastically increased. People are now traveling far and wide just to attend their favorite events, and it is no wonder as to what has encouraged the sudden spike in popularity.

Sports tourism definitions

Sport tourism is a relatively new concept, although it has been around for a long time.

There are many academic studies which delve into the concept of sports tourism, particularly sports tourism that involves large sporting events, such as the football World Cup or the Olympic Games. Some scholars and sports tourism stakeholders have attempted to define the term sports tourism.

According to Neirotti (2003), sports tourism can be broadly described as;

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