Sport Tourism Market Trends and Analysis by Tourist Profile, Sponsorship, Post Event Analysis, Challenges and Opportunities, 2023 Update

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Sport Tourism Market Overview

The sport tourism market is driven by various factors such as cost, weather, the reputation of local residents, availability of attractions and activities to experience, quality of accommodation, the proximity of accommodation to sports venue, accessibility of the destination, sports venue, and other aspects of tourism infrastructure and others.

This report provides valuable insight into sport tourism trends. 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 sport events are judged by their tourism impact, destination case studies are provided for valuable context, advertising activity demonstrates how specific tourism sectors are utilizing sport sponsorship, and the challenges and opportunities section forms recommendations for companies and destinations on how they can increase their presence within sport tourism.

Major Upcoming Sport Events (2023-2025) Ryder Cup 2023, Italy (Rome), World Snooker Championships 2024, UK (Sheffield), Copa America 2024, Ecuador (subject to final confirmation), Olympic Games 2024, France (Paris), UCI Road World Championships 2025, Rwanda (Kigali), and ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, India, and World Rowing Championships 2025, Australia (Perth/Sydney)
Key Sport Tourist Profiles Sport event tourists, Active sport tourists, Nostalgia sport tourists, and Passive sport tourists.
Key Trend Niche Sport Tourism and ESG
Key Sports Sponsorship Activity Hotel Sector and Airlines Sector
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Sport Tourism Market Segmentation by Tourist Profiles

The main sport tourist profiles are sport event tourists, active sport tourists, nostalgia sport tourists, and passive sport tourists.

Sport event tourists: The sport tourism segment is widely acknowledged as a crucial contributor to the growth and success of a destination or tourism enterprise. Sport event tourism is a popular form of tourism where visitors travel to attend major sporting events. These events are often considered hallmark events, such as the 100m sprint final at The Olympics or the annual Super Bowl. This group of tourists is known to allocate a higher budget than the average international or domestic traveler, with the aim of enhancing their overall sports and tourism experience and creating lasting memories. Sport tourists who attend high-profile sporting events typically pay a premium for their event tickets due to the high demand.

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Key Sport Tourism Trends

Niche sport tourism and ESG are the prominent sport tourism trends gaining prominence in the market.

Niche Sport Tourism: It has been observed that a significant number of tourists are engaging in niche sports as a key or supplementary factor for their travel decisions. The popularity of pickleball in the US experienced a significant increase in 2022, with 36.55 million individuals participating in the sport. The tourism industry experienced a significant surge of 600% in the year 2022 when compared to the previous year. Moreover, the hosting of significant NFL events in certain European countries has created a positive impact on the sport’s popularity in the region, leading to an increase in domestic tourism for these events. Additionally, it is possible that this could also lead to an increase in international tourism to the US, as European sports enthusiasts may become fans of the sport and subsequently travel to the US to attend a game.

ESG: The governance in sport event organizations has come under intense scrutiny. The demand for social and environmental sustainability is changing the way sports events are run. The growing demand for sustainable experiences, services, and products among consumers and sports tourists has compelled event organizers and other companies in the sport tourism supply chain to exhibit their commitment to minimizing their social and environmental footprint. It is imperative for sport event organizers, competition regulators, and sport tourism companies to integrate sustainability into their operations and experiences. Failure to do so may result in negative public perception, leading to boycotts and tourists opting for alternative companies that prioritize sustainability.

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Sport Tourism Market by Sport Sponsorship Activity

Hotel Sector: Accor’s announcement of becoming an official partner of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games in France is a significant development in the country’s hospitality industry. The strong bond between Accor and Paris event organizers has been evident since the bidding phase, as demonstrated by their recent partnership. Accor, a prominent hospitality company, has maintained its position as the primary shirt sponsor of Paris Saint-Germain Football Club for several years in a row. Accor’s announcement of the deal was strategically aimed at gaining significant exposure to the vast social media following of the club and its players, which at the time amounted to a staggering 395 million fans.

Airlines Sector: Qatar Airways, made a significant announcement in May 2017. The company revealed a new partnership deal with FIFA, which would make it the official airline and partner of the organization until 2022. As part of the agreement, several events were sponsored by Qatar Airways, culminating in the highly anticipated 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar. As an official partner of FIFA, Qatar has secured significant marketing and branding opportunities for FIFA World Cups. These events have a massive global audience, with a projected reach of over two billion people per tournament. Through its partnership with FIFA, Qatar Airways has the potential to expand its reach to over 50% of the world’s population. Similarly, Delta Air Lines established a partnership with the New York Yankees in 2008, serving as their official airline partner. The initial agreement was for a period of more than ten years, with an annual fee of $1 million. Delta Airlines offers exclusive benefits to supporters and associates of the New York Yankees, such as entry to the Delta Sky360 Suite.

To know more about the key sport sponsorship activities in the sport tourism market, buy the full report or download a free sample report

Key Highlights

  • DIt has been observed that a significant number of tourists are engaging in niche sports as a key or supplementary factor for their travel decisions. The popularity of pickleball in the US experienced a significant increase in 2022, with 36.55 million individuals participating in the sport. This figure represents a substantial rise from the 5 million people who played pickleball in 2021.
  • Cultural tourists can be attracted by offering experiences such as stadium tours and hall of fame visits, which can be utilized by sport teams, destinations, and specialized tour operators. GlobalData’s Q3 2021 Consumer Survey reveals that a significant proportion of global respondents, 33%, have expressed a penchant for cultural trips.
  • The popularity of pickleball in the US experienced a significant increase in 2022, with 36.55 million individuals participating in the sport. This figure represents a substantial rise from the 5 million people who played pickleball in 2021.

Reasons to Buy

  • Gain insight in to the different types of sport tourist.
  • Understand key themes currently impacting sport 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.

Delta Air Lines
Qatar Airways

Table of Contents


Sports Tourist Profile

Key Trends

Post Event Analysis

Sports Sponsorship Activities

Challenges and Opportunities


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