chapter  1
14 Pages

Sport tourism destinations: issues, opportunities and analysis

ByJames Higham

Several prominent trends in western societies serve to explain the modern phenomenon of sport-related travel. These include increasing participation in sport, interest in health and fitness, and extended active and social participation in sports into middle age and beyond (Glyptis, 1989).These trends have been driven by changing social attitudes and values (Redmond, 1991; Kurtzman and Zauhar, 1995; Jackson et al., 2001) and changing economic and political circumstances (Collins, 1991; Cooper et al., 1993; Nauright, 1996; Gibson, 1998). They have also been facilitated by technological advances, such as satellite television broadcasting (Halberstam, 1999), that have influenced the ‘sportification of society’ (Standeven and De Knop, 1999). Glyptis (1989) highlights the manifestations of these trends in western European countries. These include strong growth in interest in recreational sport, increasing participation in sport across all social strata, and significant increases in youth holidays, short breaks and second holidays. The International Olympic Committee and World Tourism Organization (2001) report the continuation and acceleration of these trends in more recent years. These sources provide compelling evidence to suggest that sport-related travel will continue to grow and diversify.