Sport Tourism Essay

6448 Words Apr 12th, 2011 26 Pages
The term sport tourism has become increasingly common in the tourism industry over the past five years; it is a lucrative segment of the tourism business. Lavalle (1997) estimated that sport tourism is a 845 billion industry. Sport-oriented vacations, however, are really nothing new. After all, the Romans and Greeks traveled to and participated in numerous sports events. Today's sport tourism is merely a new adaptation on an old theme. The growth in the popularity of sport-oriented leisure travel can be viewed daily. Cars laden with bicycles, skis, and canoes are a frequent sight on our highways. Likewise, the number of vacation destinations offering sporting facilities has grown tremendously. The profusion of golfers and new golf courses …show more content…
These travelers tend to be college educated, relatively affluent, and willing to roam in search of the ultimate sport experience (Delpy, 1998; Gibson et al., 1998). Resorts and other segments of the hospitality industry have become increasingly aware of the need to provide top-of-the-line facilities for the active sport tourist. Resorts have become meccas for the active sport tourist. Championship golf courses; challenging, well-groomed alpine ski runs; high-quality tennis courts; a wide range of water sports; and ultra-modern fitness facilities lure the discerning active sport tourist. Urban business hotels have also recognized the importance of providing sports and fitness facilities. Hotel health clubs, jogging trails, guest privileges at nearby fitness facilities, and golf-course access have become the norm at most large urban hotels. Cruise lines have not missed out on this trend, either. Passengers aboard the Legend of the Seas (Royal Caribbean) can play golf on an 18-hole miniature-golf course after enjoying a fully equipped gym, spa, and sauna. Carnival Cruise Lines offers "Spa and Sport Talks." while Royal Caribbean encourages participation in its fitness programs by offering passengers "shipshape dollars" as incentives. Many of the old health spas have also been rejuvenated to cater to the specific interests of fitness-minded women. The Safety Harbor Resort and Spa in Florida boasts 35 fitness classes a

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