The best definition of sports tourism: an active journey in a preserved and if possible majestic natural environment, in contact with the elements.
The sports tourist doesn’t stand still, he contemplates the beauty of the natural site where he finds himself while experimenting an activity that challenges him. He tries to discover places that are new or difficult to access and to surpass himself physically. He wants to get physically involved in his discovery of tourism.
For a long time, travelers visited sites or monuments to take the postcard picture that everyone else had already taken. Today, on the contrary, we set ourselves an original and unprecedented goal, and give meaning to our travels.
This trend can also be discovered through the development of solidarity trips, wellness trips, language trips, etc.
The sports tourist generally makes it a point of honour to respect the environment and this aspect is essential when choosing his destination.
Sports in the open air or on the sea, the sports tourist loves nature and limits his impact on the environment as much as possible: bivouac rides, cycling routes, surfing or kitesurfing camps… Here are the activities that perfectly combine the visit of preserved natural places and the practice of intense sports.
Sports tourism has also benefited from the emergence and development of “accessible” sports.
Thus, we can all practice paddle, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or kayaking and therefore choose to experience a sporting holiday without the need to play sports all year round. Indeed the advantage of these sports is that any type of sportsman (or non-sportsman) can take advantage of it, it is enough to adapt it to his level.
Sporting activities are often associated with the destinations, this reinforces the combo of natural site and sport: The Basque coast/The Surf, the Calanques de Cassis/Le Paddle, the Gorges de l’Ardèche/The Kayak, North Brazil/Kite Surf etc…
For some destinations, sports tourism can attract visitors in all seasons. Mountain destinations in France have understood this opportunity and have been working on this positioning for several years.
The Airbnb study, carried out by Yougov in 2016, shows that more and more tourists are planning their holidays around local sporting events. This is the case for 20% of French, 25% of British and 34% of Germans.
Sporting events contribute to the image of a destination. They make it known, make it attractive and build tourist loyalty. Biarritz does this every year with the Biarritz Quiksilver Maïder Arostéguy, a popular surfing competition.
La diagonale des Fous, the mythical race of Reunion Island, popular with the greatest trailers from all over the world, is also part of these destination-related events.
So, to sum up: by the deckchair, the long queues at museums or attraction parks, the dream trip has a new face made of large spaces, end of day aches and pains and memories of adventures. Here we vote 100% for!
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