Sport Tourism

Tourism is constantly evolving but there is now an important change in demand and tourist expectation.

Today, segmenting in an innovative way means abandoning the standard segmentation schemes, undifferentiated and generalist, to go digging into what our tourists want in a given time period.

A similar approach, on the one hand, undermines the standardization of mass tourism; on the other it causes the discovery and / or the birth of many niche segments on which to work for an experiential offer in perfect line with the new trends.

Experience that the tourist makes living moments of daily life of the destination that visits, participating actively and personally in the activities that take place, going to dig into the traditions, customs and customs of a place to allow on the one hand the visitor to be able to enjoy (visually and materially) an authentic, unique and personal experience; on the other, to directly influence the vitality of the destination and the rediscovery of its roots by the local population.

With this in mind, a segment of sports tourism has been growing for years now.


  • Sports tourism generates between 12 and 15 million international arrivals each year, with a growth forecast of around 6% per year in the short term.
  • It represents 10% of the world tourism industry, with a turnover of around $ 800 billion.
  • The main countries of origin of sport tourists are the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
  • In some countries, the revenues generated by sports tourism exceeded the threshold of 25% of the total, reaching in Australia the record share of 55%. (Source: ETC, 2013).
  • Of the more than 20 million Italians who practice one or more sports activities, over 11 million have made a tourist transfer. From 2007 to 2013, the sector recorded a + 25% increase in tourism flows and a 20% increase in spending, generating a turnover of 9 billion euro and about 60 million total overnight stays.
  • The number of sports for which tourism is also increased: in 2007 winter sports determined about 49% of journeys while in 2013 the share fell to around 42%.
  • € 1.5 billion dedicated to spending on water sports in Italy such as sailing, canoeing, diving, etc.
  • Approximately 1 Italian out of 4 chooses the destination of their holidays also by virtue of the sports offer.
  • There are about 6.5 million amateur athletes and over 10 thousand professionals.
  • Over half of the expenditure (52%) involved catering and catering businesses.
  • Important repercussions also for recreational, cultural and entertainment activities (24%).
  • The agri-food sector receives 13% of the sustained expenditure from this segment, while transport accounts for around 3%.
  • Relapses also for publishing, manufacturing industries and the trade sector.
  • Choose destinations by consulting the web (35%) and word of mouth of relatives and friends (32.3%) but also attention to social tools.


Unlike what you could imagine, the sporting tourist is not only those who practice a sport in a competitive or professional manner.

The sports tourist is more often than not the enthusiast willing even for long journeys, ready to spend much more than what you imagine, in equipment and for the holiday of his favorite sport. He looks for special places to be able to tell them when he returns from vacation, for his "businesses", he informs himself by reading specialized magazines and has as a reference the champions of his sport.

We can therefore list different categories of tourist related to sport:

  • All travelers who choose the destination of their trip based on whether or not they can practice a specific sport.
  • Practitioners at an amateur level (eg ski clubs, sailing clubs, amateur sports associations for each discipline) who move to participate in: competitions, training sessions, stages, tournaments, etc.
  • Professionals who do not move for professional or business reasons (eg medical staff, physiotherapists, trainers, nutritionists).
  • Staff, management, and employees of both professional and amateur sports clubs.
  • Referees and juries prepared for the checks, evaluations and regular conduct of the events.
  • Journalists, television and radio crews who travel to comment and resume sports competitions.
  • The "sportsman" who travels to watch sports events (eg organized fan clubs or individual sports enthusiasts.
  • The tourist who travels to learn how to practice the sport he has always wanted or what goes "in fashion".

As we can see there are many opportunities for a territory to attract these types of tourists, but there are also many territories that could potentially to attract.

For this we must "unite" the opportunity to practice or attend a sporting event the opportunity to spend a holiday of wellness and fun, expand the offer, in order to involve the group or the family that accompany the tourist sports.



Enhancing the activity of sports tourism allows:

  • Extend the traditional tourist season (de-seasonalization).
  •  Attracting new visitor flows.
  • Create or increment a favorable image for a given destination.
  • Sport tourists are characterized by high spending capacity and longer average stay times compared to other categories.
  • Moreover, once they return to their country of origin, they usually recommend their recent travels to their network of acquaintances.
  • Suffice it to say that 90% of those who traveled to Germany to attend the 2006 World Cup later recommended the same destination to others.
  • According to a recent survey conducted by Eurosport, those traveling to watch sports events are more likely to cover long distances.


No disability




No disability In fact, if you look carefully, the best accessibility refers to the possibility of accessing the information necessary to guarantee the best service available to everyone.

So, as you can well understand, the range of a potential market is expanding dramatically, generating millions of so-called "accessible" tourists. In this regard, it should not be forgotten that every person with disabilities usually travels with two people giving the proportion of 1 to 3.

To this must be added people with temporary disabilities more or less long as problems for fractures or operations, hospitalization due to surgical interventions, problems of excessive obesity, of renal dialysis, of allergies, of pregnancy ..., that to move must be aware of structures indispensable for their situation. A single language for all European disabled people Indeed, if you look carefully, the best accessibility refers to the possibility of accessing the information necessary to guarantee the best service available to everyone.

Un unico linguaggio per tutti i disabili europei



"Tell me what sport you do and I'll tell you who you are!" be an interpretation of the most famous saying about food, but in the same way it could make us know a lot about people. In fact, food, health and sport are different aspects that affect the life of each person in a unified way.

It is now known that sports tourism moves millions and millions of euro around the world becoming the second largest market by turnover, according to now only to religious tourism.

There is no state that does not have its own sport of reference and its own national sporting event. World competitions, marathons, cycling races, F1 or Moto GP races, sailing competitions, tennis and golf tournaments, and you could go on for a long time if you wanted to list everyone.

This list of activities only applies to professional sports, if you add everything related to the "amateur or amateur" sport, the list gets even longer: white weeks or sailing, great background of each degree and difficulty, trekking in the mountains or foot races for all distances, difficulties and environments, just to bring out some of them.

Sport is a major attraction and as such is a significant source from an economic point of view, both from the ACTIVE side of those who practice sports and from the PASSIVE side, those who follow the sport "live".


Sport e Turismo WST

Playing sports is passion and as such every "athlete" lives it all round. Even from an economic point of view, just think of the average cost of a bicycle (racing, mountain biking, downhill) used by amateurs, or even how much it costs to participate in the New York marathon, registration, travel, board and lodging included. Nonetheless, sport weighs financially on those who experience it as a spectator, just think of how much is willing to spend a person to attend the final 100 meters of an Olympics, or the final of the World Cup football or Champions League , or at the Super Bowl in America or at the Wimbledon tennis final just to give some examples.

Active or passive sport involves a flow of millions of people traveling generating a high volume of business.

There are 18 million people in Italy who are interested in sport, and of these 12 million those who move for sports. There are 18 million people in Italy who are interested in sport, and of these 12 million those who move for sports. It is also interesting and important to note that 78% of Italian sports trips have destinations located in their own country. This is a very high percentage, the index of a country made up of sportsmen and dedicated to them, both in terms of physical and geographical opportunities that naturally offers, both in terms of dedication to sport and sport.

This passion for sports tourism "Made in Italy", is also confirmed by the foreign athlete: 8% of European tourists spend their holidays in Italy for sporting reasons.

But if on the one hand the presence of a demand of significant and significant dimensions is evident and statistically documented, on the other hand, there is currently no container that encloses all these worlds, or a fair that satisfies the needs mentioned above. And in fact there are sport fairs, sports tourism scholarships, but an international sport tourism fair has never been conceived up to now.


Our project goes beyond the mere desire to participate or watch sports activities, and opens the doors to Accessible Tourism, proposing the goal of breaking the barriers not only from a spatial and cultural point of view but also from a material point of view, going to make tourism possible and accessible in all conditions.

Nowadays more and more people have to deal daily with special needs related to their singularities. In fact, as reported above, we are not talking only about motor disability, although that is the first that arises to collective evidence, but also other types of needs such as food, relational or intellectual, those of blindness, deafness or also related to the aging of man. All related to the desire to practice and / or make a holiday or a sport without having to give up moving.

These people need careful and equipped facilities to take advantage of travel, vacations and leisure in a rewarding way without obstacles or difficulties, and therefore in terms of autonomy, safety and comfort.

Icons disability

In 2012, the world accessible tourism market was worth € 800 billion (also considering the related industries) and employed over nine million people - including thousands of people with disabilities. Italy is a country with a high tourist vocation and a possible destination for more than 127 million Europeans, 4 of which Italians, with specific needs and who never go on holiday alone (it is 3 the multiplier effect that develops this market!).

Accessible Tourism is today a great opportunity that will increase the turnover of tourism companies that want to invest in this target; just think that only in the last 3 years the number of disabled travelers has increased by 20%, of which only 6% use wheelchairs.

And at the moment what stops most entrepreneurs to invest in the sector is the lack of information. They respond that they do not know how to do and are afraid of making mistakes.

Team Special Athletes
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