Introduction to sport tourism impacts and environments
The Sport Industry Research Centre (Sheffield Hallam University) has been at the forefront of research into the economic impacts generated by different sports. Gratton et al. (2000) present an economic impact study of six sports events hosted in British cities and towns in 1997. Their research highlights the varied visitor experiences and expenditure patterns that are associated with different sports. Sports vary in the extent to which they are competitor and/or spectator driven. The manner in which different sports generate different types of sport tourists is highly relevant to the development interests of tourism destinations.The duration and timing of sports events and competitions also influence economic outcomes (Gratton et al., 2000). Thus sports contested at different levels of competition offer different degrees of opportunity for both competitors and spectators to engage in visitor activities at a destination. The profile of sport tourists, which varies considerably between sports, is also of interest to destination managers. The market profiles of spectators associated with sports such as polo, equestrian, tennis and golf on one hand, and surfing, club football and adventure sports on the other, offer stark contrasts in terms of demographic and psychographic characteristics, travel patterns and economic impacts.