Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing areas of the global travel and tourism industry. Quite obvious are the links between the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism Networks – spotlighting the interplay between these markets and the economies of the driving countries.
Sport and its allied events play an integral part in the development of all aspects of a countries economy, be it the sociocultural dynamics, job creation, health, environment or GDP.
The pressure to win the bid to host mega-events and reap the rewards thereof, is evident in the increasingly aggressive bidding process that precedes the awarding of mega-events to bidding countries. Eg. London’s bid for the 2012 Olympics – and the fierce competition from both Paris and Madrid.
ITTFA reports that the UNWTO, has been actively advocating to position sport and mega-events in national tourism development strategies in order to maximize their potential as a driver of growth and development.
The Sports and Events Tourism Exchange, with the backing and support of both South African Tourism and the dti, will ensure that South Africa is seen as one of the top Sports and Mega Events destinations.