Posted by: Bob Fisher | May 6, 2009

Sports Tourism: The Hampton, Virginia Model


Kris Smith and Hampton, Virginia

Travel and self-determination

Like so many businesses on this planet, the travel and tourism industry is becoming increasingly diversified and, to a great extent, increasingly consumer-friendly; although many who travel infrequently may not think so. Thanks in part to the arrival of the Internet, travellers can now research and do much of their travel bookings themselves. They also have access to much more in-depth information about specialty areas of travel that interest them.

Sports Tourism is one such specialty.

When you think of sport-related travel, you may initially think of golf, or perhaps tennis. The former has certainly been one of the biggest sectors of the travel market for a long time. But sports tourism is far more developed and traveller-focussed than you may realize.

A world of sports travel

As this podcast segment is being prepared, a major international British Commonwealth Conference devoted solely to Sports Tourism is coming up in Malaysia. The first of its kind, it is taking place in the state of Sabah and has as its theme “Sport Tourism and Sustainability: Inter-relationships, Impacts and Issues.”

The business of sport

Sports Tourism is indeed big business. If you Google the term you will find numerous companies that specialize in sport travel. Here are a few:

Roadtrips: The Ultimate in Sports Travel

Premiere Sports Travel

CSTT Sports Management International

The Sports Travel Company

A vested interest in Sports Travel

As an equestrian, I am already making plans to attend one of the largest events in our sport, The World Equestrian Games , which will be held in 2010 in Kentucky. Whether you are a horse person or not, this site (and its wonderful videos) is a must visit.

The power of sport in the travel market

The sports-related travel market is an industry that generates over $180 billion dollars a year worldwide. In the United States alone, it is 27 per cent of the travel market. The most recent statistics indicate that in the USA over 75 million adults travelled more than 100 kilometres round-trip to atttend an organized sporting event. The corollary travel industries such as restaurants, retail outlets, and hotels obviously benefitted. Summer and fall are the “peak seasons” however spring and summer are close behind. This is not a seasonal industry. Equally important is the fact that sports travel occurs internationally, nationally, regionally, and locally. For any community involved in a minor or major sports event, the tourism revenue is significant. Having recognized this — just as major cities bid for world sporting events like the Olympics — many other city and regional governments are looking carefully at sports travel as a way to attract business. One enormous advantage or side benefit of this is that when sports aficionados visit a region for a major event, they also spend time discovering many other attractions in the area.

More information on Hampton, Virginia and on Sports Hampton

To read, listen to, and watch more about Hampton, Virginia, click on the following link: Hampton, Virginia: the Quiet Epicentre of American History

To learn more about Sports Hampton, go to the Hampton, Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau website and click on “Conventions” and then “Sports Marketing.”

Beware sports profiling

As is the case in many areas of human society, there is always a risk of misperceptions or even the stereotyping of those who love sports. Sometimes it is far too easy to presume that a long-distance runner is a lonely or solitary person; or that fishing is a mindless activity; or that golfers are fanatics.

As I have said, golf is one of the mainstays of the sports travel industry; but golfers may be misunderstood.

To get another perception of this “game,” click on Golfing by the Book.

Sport: the fine art of play

How do we, as a species, learn to negotiate our complex environment? We play! And in so doing we learn to walk, run, dance, and express ourselves physically and aesthetically. By playing we learn eye-hand coordination, balance, grace, and a whole bunch of there stuff. And we learn to have fun. Sometimes we do it alone, in pairs, in groups, or with other mammals.

To get a sense of what I am talking about, read Horse Play.

Interested in Dressage? Here’s a Hampton, Virginia link for you. Elfenridge Dressage

What’s new in Hampton, Virginia?

Visit the Hampton, Virginia Convention and Visitors Bureau by clicking on the link.

Be sure to check out The Hampton Events Calendar.

Image are courtesy of the Hampton, Virginia Visitors and Convention Bureau.



  1. nice post

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