Sports tourism shows great potential globally

Published on : Friday, March 30, 2018

Sports tourismThe sports scenario globally is increasingly getting better. Not just for players and their managers, who are making lucrative deals, but also for various host countries and millions of sports fans who cross borders to watch their favourite players and teams.

This can be clearly witnessed in the hotly-contested bids for hosting global sporting events such as the World Cup, Olympics and closer home, Africa Cup of Nations.

There are now over 1.1 billion international tourist arrivals worldwide, and the UNWTO forecasts that by 2020, the numbers would rise to 1.4 billion.

Tourism now accounts for 9 per cent of the global GDP. Within this extraordinarily-resilient and multi-faceted industry, sports tourism now presents great opportunities for both emerging and mature destinations.

The UNWTO predicts that the global tourism market is expected to grow between two to three per cent, and the sport tourism sector expected to grow by around 14 per cent.


International sports are being considered as one of the primary reasons for this global growth in tourism.

The sport tourism market is a fast-growing sector of the global travel industry equating to Sh 60.7 trillion a year. Some countries have harnessed the opportunity presented by the sports sector.

Major tourism destinations are developing tourism product concepts revolving around pleasure sports such as golf. Kenya has over 40 golf courses, eight of which have hosted major tournaments and are considered to be of international standard. There are a number of smaller courses that offer a unique experience.

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