Is Sports Tourism Changing the Landscape of Tourism and Travel in the USA?

People travel the world for various reasons. Sometimes, the desire the explore nature and culture fuels these trips, and at other times, their love for sports does the same. It has not always been a popular driving force behind people traveling thousands of miles, but it is gradually becoming prominent. A lot of adults and children love different kinds of sports including football, soccer, baseball, basketball, F1 racing and ever horse racing. Since the USA is home to some of the most favorite teams and winners, finding sports lovers from different states and faraway countries flocking to stadiums is very common. Currently, global sports tourism is a $7.68 billion sector, and it is growing rapidly.

How is sports tourism becoming more popular by the day?

Thanks to the advent of technology in the recent past, people have been booking prime season tickets for basketball and baseball games that were earlier impossible to buy. People can now book their tickets on time and even find hotels or motels for their accommodation during peak times. Additionally, the presence of social media and 24/7 dedicated sports feeds keep them aware of the current updates. Sports tourism is an intelligent product of the modern technological advancements and man’s inherent love for exploration.

The Kentucky Derby is the prime example of such passion. The Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky attracts hundreds of thousands of people each year during the racing season. People from all over the world book their tickets and find lodging for up to one year in advance due to the incredible rush. In fact, almost all new breeders cup pick 6 winners have been tourists and horse racing enthusiasts living outside Kentucky. People travel hundreds of miles each season to participate in the spectator events. The dirt from the race, the smell of the racing tracks and the live competition among the spectators complete the experience for equestrian sports lovers. It shows the global interest in US sports and its rise in the recent decade.

What is the difference between adventure tourism and hard sports tourism?

Adventure tourism is also a part of sports tourism for those who love a generous dose of adrenaline, culture, nature and physical activity during their travels. Several events like the FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and the 6 Nations Rugby Championship have global importance and impact. For example – France sees a rise in the number of hobby cyclists and sports enthusiasts interested in a la carte competitions and tours in the Alps circuits right before the Tour de France.

Sports tourism has been bringing people with similar interests and undying love for sports together from across nations. People often save up for years to be a part of the actual sports experience. F1 Grand Prix, NASCAR events, Olympics and FIFA World Cup Championship attract hard sports tourism, where people participate in competitive games. The Kentucky Derby has always served as a prime example of the hard sports tourism industry. Soft tourism includes several adventure sporting activities including paragliding, sailing, canoeing, skiing, hiking, and surfing that encourage people to travel to specific destinations for participation in recreational events.

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