Sport tourism – Message from the Director of Smart Cities & Sport

Mélanie Duparc, Director of Smart Cities & Sport

In line with Smart Cities & Sport’s role as a knowledge exchange platform and catalyst for change, this new publication aims to shed light on how best to combine sport and tourism as a catalyst for cities to achieve their goals, be they economic, social or environmental.

The publication starts with key facts and figures on the industry from the tourism sector including sport tourism. It also defines sport tourism – “leisure-based travel participate in and/ or watch physical activities or to visit attractions associated with physical activities” – and the role cities can play in this sector. The current state of sport tourism is then examined, including the impact of COVID-19. The results of the online survey we conducted to take the pulse of the sport tourism sector in our network cities are presented. They show that 85% of cities have developed strategic considerations on sport tourism.

Time has led us to ask cities and sport and / or tourism authorities to tell us more about their strategic approach to sport tourism. From the assessment of the cross-sectoral nature of sport to the identification of synergies between sport and tourism, from risk and opportunity management to choices based on cities’ identity, sport and tourism institutions have access to a large range of multifaceted strategies.

Finally, we move from strategy to action, analysing the different ways in which cities have put their strategies into practice. Five main objectives and axes of the different sports tourism strategies are studied: economic growth, city events, active sport tourism, Olympic dynamics and sustainability.

We would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank all of our contributors for their commitment, their availability, and their willingness to share their challenges in these difficult times, as well as their hopes for a better future.

Enjoy the reading!