With so many high profile sporting events occurring throughout 2010 the travel industry is getting ready for an increase in ‘sports tourism’. With the decline in tourism in 2009, this appears to be the catalyst to the recovery of global tourism. Industry experts predict that this year will post record profits, with sports tourism contributing to 14% of the overall travel and tourism receipts of 2010.
In July, the World Sport Destination Expo will play an important role in the promotion of sports tourism, offering destinations an opportunity to secure future business and unlock new markets. Some of the destinations tipped to benefit from the ‘year of sports tourism’ include South Africa, China and Spain. February will be the year that the Olympic Games return to Vancouver, ensuring that Canada also sees a healthy growth in their tourist market.
South Africa is the host of the 2010 World Cup and is expected to welcome over 450,000 foreign visitors over the course of the tournament. Another destination expected to benefit from increased numbers is India, home of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Ashish Kishore, head of hotel and retail business Yatra.com believes that “If India gives a positive image to the world at that time, and then it will be a golden period for Indian tourism,”
The 2010 Asian Games held in China, will provide a boost in China’s tourism economy concluding the years run of mega sporting events. Experts predict that the Asian Games will break visitor records in the Games 59-year history.