Sport Tourism Market Trend and Analysis of Traveller Types, Key Destinations, Challenges and Opportunities, 2022 Update

Pages: 33 Published: April 28, 2022 Report Code: GDTT0466MI

  • Overview
  • Key Players
  • Contents
  • FAQ
  • Listen

Addressing ESG matters within all types of sports tourism is now highly important. Event organizers that perform highly from an ESG perspective, by creating their unique initiatives, could become global leaders in sustainability, which will help to attract sponsorship, investment, and many sports tourists that are looking to travel responsibly.

The sports tourism market research report offers an analysis of sports tourists, key trends, past events, future events, destination case studies, advertising activity, challenges, and opportunities.

What are the major sport tourism market drivers?

Slovenia is promoting itself as a high-quality cycling destination to attract competitive, amateur, and casual cyclists from across the globe. Other destinations can replicate Slovenia’s strategy by specializing in specific sports, either by taking advantage of natural landscapes or deciding to invest in facilities and related infrastructure. The Algarve, in Portugal, has adopted both options to excel as a sports tourism destination and is now a global hub for golf tourism. After years of development, the Algarve now offers award-winning golf courses and services, unique scenery, after golf entertainment, ease of travel with cheap flights offered to the destination from across Europe, and an attractive climate.

Fan zones for major sporting events help to attract sports event tourists that may not have been able to get tickets for the event they desired to attend. Fan zones at the destination where the event is taking place give a reason for sports event tourists to travel. Thereby, travelers still get to take in the atmosphere of the destination while a major event is taking place, and contribute to the destination’s economy through hotel stays, and expenditure on food and beverages.

What is the impact of COVID-19 on the global sport tourism market?

As vaccination rates across the globe continue to improve, and travelers become more accustomed to living with the virus, demand for sports tourism is quickly reaching pre-pandemic levels. Many sports museums, stadiums, and facilities can now operate at full capacity, with hospitalization rates across the globe dropping significantly from when the virus was at its peak. Many sports events and sports tourism facilities that were in high demand before the pandemic are also nearing full capacity in terms of the number of spectators or tourists they can handle. Reduction in COVID-19 cases is giving travelers the confidence to visit busy stadiums to spectate at a sporting event or go on an active sports holiday to practice a sport or activity they have an interest in.

What are the key types of sport tourists in the global sport tourism market?

The key types of sports tourists in the global sports tourism market are sports event tourists, active sport tourists, nostalgia sport tourists, and passive sport tourists.

Sport event tourists

This type of sport tourist is often considered to be the most important due to the value they can create for a destination or tourism company. Sport event tourists attend hallmark events such as a 100 meters sprint final at The Olympics or the annual Super Bowl. They are willing to spend significantly more than the average international or domestic tourist to make their trip memorable and optimize the sporting and touristic experience they receive.

Active sport tourists

Active sport tourists can be further segmented into ‘activity participants’ and ‘hobbyists.’ Activity participants are individuals that are amateur players who travel to take part in their chosen sport while hobbyists are individuals who engage in sport-related travel as a form of leisure.

Nostalgia sport tourists

Nostalgia sports tourists will travel to famous sport-related attractions This can include visiting halls of fame, sports museums, or going on stadium tours. Sports teams, destinations, and specialized tour operators can use experiences such as stadium tours and hall of fame visits to appeal to cultural tourists.

Passive sport tourists

Passive sports tourists possess a similar profile to sports event tourists. However, most passive sports tourists have dedicated fans and may often be season ticket holders. They will follow their team wherever they go domestically and will often travel internationally if their team is playing in a competition that requires them to do so. Passive sports tourists differ from sports event tourists as they often do not have the same levels of disposable income, with many of them hailing from lower socioeconomic classes but possessing a strong passion for their sports team.

What are some of the major upcoming sport events?

Some of the major upcoming sports events are as follows:

Ryder Cup 2023, Italy (Rome)

Italy has never hosted the Ryder Cup before. The Marco Simone course recently hosted the Italian Open and passed the test of the pros playing on the course. It is 30 minutes from the center of Rome, with views of the city from the course.

Super Bowl 2023, US (Arizona)

This will be the fourth Super Bowl hosted in Greater Phoenix. Hosting a Super Bowl gives the region and state an abundance of high-quality exposure that would normally cost millions of dollars. The Arizona Tourism Office stated that hosting this mega event in Phoenix is an impactful way to create repeat visits. Additionally, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated that it would be no surprise to see the economic impact of the 2023 game reach around $1 billion as the Phoenix metro area continues to grow.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India

This will be the first time the competition will be held completely in India. Three previous editions were partially hosted there. This event will attract hordes of domestic tourists. In 2020, it was stated that cricket accounted for more than 80% of the Indian sports economy.

For more insights on the global sport tourism market, download a free report sample

Market report scope

Key types of sport tourists Sport Event Tourists, Active Sport Tourists, Nostalgia Sport Tourists, and Passive Sport Tourists
Major upcoming sport events Ryder Cup 2023, Italy (Rome), Super Bowl 2023, US (Arizona), and ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India


  • These key trends report provides valuable insight into sports tourism. The four main types of sport tourist are profiled to inform marketing strategies, major trends impacting this type of tourism are assessed, past and future sports events are judged by their tourism impact, destination case studies are provided for valuable context, and advertising activity demonstrates how specific tourism sectors are utilizing sports sponsorship and the challenges and opportunities section forms recommendations for companies and destinations on how they can increase their presence within sports tourism.

Reasons to Buy

  • Gain insight into the different types of sport tourist.
  • Understand key themes currently impacting sports tourism.
  • Understand the tourism impact of major events.
  • Look at key sponsorship trends that are improving the visibility of tourism companies.
  • Gain a detailed understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this space.

Key Players

Delta Air Lines

Qatar Airways

Mandarin Oriental (Emirates Palace)


Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Overview of sport tourism

Major upcoming sport events: 2023 – 2025

Sport tourists

Sport tourists

Key trends


Niche sport tourism

ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance)

Past events


2022 Australian Open

Future events

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

Destination case studies

Global Sport Impact (GSI) Cities Index: 2022-2025

Paris and Beijing

Advertising activity

Hotel sector: Sponsorship

Airline sector: Sponsorship

Challenges and opportunities





Frequently Asked Questions

The key types of sports tourists in the global sports tourism market are sports event tourists, active sport tourists, nostalgia sport tourists, and passive sport tourists.

Some of the major upcoming sports events are Ryder Cup 2023, Italy (Rome), Super Bowl 2023, US (Arizona), and ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India.

The key types of sports that have sponsorship deals with hotel brands are Soccer, Ice Hockey, Golf, Basketball, American Football, Motosport, Cricket, and Triathlon.

As vaccination rates across the globe continue to improve and travelers become more accustomed to living with the virus, demand for sports tourism is quickly reaching pre-pandemic levels. However, sports that naturally practice social distancing and can be played in social bubbles could benefit in the long run due to the pandemic. Many travelers are participating in niche sports as either a primary or secondary motivation for travel. Major domestic leagues are venturing abroad. The demand for social and environmental sustainability is changing the way sports events are run. Governance in event organization has come under intense scrutiny as well.


Can be used by individual purchaser only


Can be shared globally by unlimited users within the purchasing corporation e.g. all employees of a single company

Get in touch to find out about multi-purchase discounts
Tel +44 (0) 20 7947 2960

GDPR + CCPA Compliant

Personal and transaction information are kept safe from unauthorised use.

Recently Viewed Reports

Looking to stay on top of industry & market trends?

Sign up to receive regular alerts for our latest analysis and reports. No matter your industry focus, you can keep your finger on the pulse with our timely updates.