What is Sports tourism:

  • There are various types of tourism like adventure tourism, leisure tourism, medical tourism, eco tourism, etc. Sports tourism is also a type of tourism.
  • Sports tourism involves travelling to various locations to either watch or participate in sports activities.
  • Sports tourism isn’t new. Back in 776 BC, during the first Olympics, people traveled to Athens, Greece to participate in sports. Today, it’s one of the fastest-growing sectors in tourism, as per the United Nations World Tourism Organization.

Benefits of sports tourism:

  • Hosting sports events boosts the local economy because people spend money on buying goods, staying in hotels, and traveling etc. which is why countries and cities compete to host such events.
  • Sports tourism leads to the development of new infrastructure in the countries that host these events. This includes building stadiums, improving roads, and creating better facilities for visitors. As a result, it also creates new sustainable employment opportunities, which means jobs that can last for a long time, helping the local economy to grow steadily.
  • Sports tourism offers countries the chance to improve their international reputation and become more well-known globally. It’s a way for them to show off their culture, hospitality, and ability to host major events, which can attract more tourists and investment in the future.
  • Sports tourism encourages people from different countries to interact and share experiences through sports. This helps promote understanding and appreciation of each other’s cultures. By participating in sports together, people can build unity and strengthen relationships between different communities and countries.
  • Sports tourism often leads people to visit nearby tourist attractions too to explore the local culture, landmarks, and natural beauty in addition to participating in or watching sports events. This helps the overall tourism sector.
  • It is estimated that one person spends around 11 lakh rupees when they visit the Olympics and approximately 5 lakh rupees when visiting sports events. This spending contributes to the revenue of the host country. This will also help the foreign exchange reserves of the host country.
  • If we observe the preparations for the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics, Paris is doing something new by bringing sports into the city. The Opening Ceremony will take place in the heart of the city along the Seine River with the help of 3000 artists. This will also benefit the tourist spots near the Seine River.
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The current situation in India:

  • In India, sports events such as IPL matches, international cricket ODIs and T20s, adventure sports like trekking and mountaineering, and water sports attract tourists who are interested in sports activities.
  • Currently, sports tourism in India is valued at Rs.3,500 crores. It is expected that it will reach Rs.5,300 crores by 2033.

Conclusion:

Sports tourism in India is rapidly growing, with events like IPL matches, international cricket tournaments, and adventure sports contributing significantly to the economy. Sports events contribute to the local economy by generating spending on purchases, accommodations, and transportation, which is why countries and cities compete to host such events.

Your Turn…

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Photo by Tembela Bohle

References:

  • ‘atala potilatho kasula veta’ article in Eenadu newspaper by Dr. Mamidi Harikrishna

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