What is Sports Tourism?

Explaining Sports Tourism with SFM

Sports tourism is a term that has been thrown around a lot in recent years. If you are simply looking for a definition, sports tourism is traveling in order to observe or participate in a sporting event. Generally, the sporting event has to be the primary reason for travel in order to be considered sports tourism. As you have likely heard, sports tourism is the single fastest growing sector of the tourism market. With more people willing to travel to see these events, getting a ‘slice of the pie’ is a key aspect to the success of many companies. Most people in the sports facility business consider there to be two types of sports tourism — hard and soft sports tourism — and generally target one of them. Below, we will discuss those categories and what they mean.

Hard Sports Tourism

Hard sports tourism refers to people traveling for and participating in competitive sporting events. This includes many of the big events that attract sometimes hundreds of thousands of people. Examples would include the Super Bowl, the Tour de France, and the World Cup. While these represent some of the biggest examples of hard sports tourism, smaller events are also included in this category. A local AAU team traveling to another state to participate in a basketball tournament would also be considered hard sports tourism, despite it bringing only a few dozen people instead of thousands.

Soft Sports Tourism

Soft sports tourism refers to thrill seekers looking to experience leisure interests or recreational sporting. Instead of single events that attract huge numbers of people at one time, these attractions will generally attract steady streams of tourists throughout the year. Events that would be considered soft tourism include hiking, canoeing, skiing, and other recreational or extreme sports. Perhaps the biggest common example of soft sports tourism is golf, as people travel all over the world to play different courses.

Want to Learn How Your Business Can Target Sports Tourist?

With the incredible growth rate of the sports tourism industry, now is the time to grow your sports-related business by attracting these travelers to your facility. Whether it is the development of a stadium to host the big-time sports events in your area, or a community recreation center designed to promote a healthy lifestyle to neighborhood children, SFM is the premier sports facility development and management firm to help. Our team of experts is dedicated to optimizing the use and benefits of recreation and sports facilities with our industry knowledge and experience. If you are interested in learning more about sports tourism, contact SFM today at 727-474-3845.