Do sports events promote tourism?

Do sports events promote tourism?

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Many destinations believe that hosting major sporting events can help boost tourism. We considered some examples.

– Rashad Jordan

The world’s most popular sporting events not only attract hundreds of millions of television viewers, but they can also bring large numbers of travelers to the host destinations. Skift reported that more than 330,000 people are expected to visit Las Vegas for the upcoming Super Bowl between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.

So how do sporting events boost tourism?

We put the question to Ask Skift, our artificial intelligence chatbot. Ask Skift used information that appeared in our past news coverage, and we also conducted additional reporting.


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Ask Skift said:

Sporting events can significantly boost tourism in many ways:

Increase in the number of tourists: Major sporting events often attract large numbers of fans, participants and spectators to a destination. For example, the Las Vegas Grand Prix attracted over 100,000 fans, and the Las Vegas Super Bowl in February 2024 is projected to bring in approximately 330,000 visitors.

Economic impact: These events can inject significant revenue into the local economy. The Las Vegas Grand Prix, for example, was expected to inject $1.3 billion into the local economy.

Growth of tourism products: Mega events, including major sporting events, present an opportunity to increase sales of tourism products. Combining offers on one platform, rather than selling separate tickets, can provide a seamless booking and entertainment experience, potentially increasing tourism spending within a destination.

Promotion and brand recognition: These events provide global consumer reach, encouraging travel and promoting brand recognition. They can also be linked to major events or holidays that have wide appeal or recognition, which is a promising way for travel brands to reach new consumers and increase sales.

Extended stays: If the event is held in a city with many attractions, festivals and activities, attendees can extend their trips, offering opportunities for sales, additional activities and a greater experience.

What else you need to know about sports tourism:

UN Tourism has named sports tourism as one of the fastest growing sectors in the travel industry and is forecast to grow by 17.5% between 2023 and 2030. The sector already represents around 10% of global tourism spending.

“The sports tourism market will continue as long as there are new opportunities to play and compete,” Lisa Delpy Neirotti, professor and director of George Washington University’s Sports Management Program, told CNBC, adding that a key goal of sports tourism is to increase the number of visitors to. slow or shoulder periods.

Singapore is one of the destinations that received a tourism boost from a sports event held in its season. The city-state saw hotel rates rise to an average of $440 during its annual Formula 1 race weekend last September, with most hotels exceeding 90% occupancy rates. Singapore’s total hotel room revenue of $366.5 million in September surpassed July 2023’s $360.2 million figure.

Hotels in India experienced a sports-related boom last year through the Cricket World Cup. Hotel rates in most major Indian cities were two to three times higher in October and November than during the same period in 2022. India-based hotel operator Oyo was expected to add 500 new properties to its portfolio him before the tournament to take advantage of the high demand trip. MakeMyTrip announced that it was expanding its home inventory.

Destinations also see sports as a means to achieve their tourism objectives. Morocco’s Tourism Minister Fatim-Zahra Ammor said co-hosting the 2030 FIFA World Cup with Spain and Portugal would help the North African nation meet its target of doubling the number of visitors by that year.

In addition, hosting major sporting events can be a boon to local economies, not just tourism industries.

Officials in Arizona said the Super Bowl 57 festivities in February 2023 helped generate up to $1.3 billion for the local economy. Visitors who came to the state during Super Bowl week last year spent more than $220 million in Arizona, according to the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee.

The 2026 FIFA World Cup is also expected to be a major economic boon for the 16 North American host cities. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that the tournament should generate between $90 million and $480 million in net economic benefit to those cities.

And major sporting events can help increase the number of tourists even after the competition is over. The number of visitors to the Italian region of Piedmont – home of Turin, host of the 2006 Winter Olympics – increased from 3.3 million in 2006 to 4.3 million in 2012.

Barcelona has also had a big tourism hit over the years, in part from hosting the Olympics. Spain’s second largest city welcomed 1.7 million overnight visitors in 1990, two years before hosting the Summer Olympics. It attracted 12 million visitors in 2019.


Ask Skift Is the AI ​​Chatbot for the Travel Industry

Go deeper into the travel business with Skift’s new AI chatbot.

Ask Skift your questions

Photo Credit: An image from Super Bowl 54 between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs. The two teams will face off in the next Super Bowl.

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