Vastavam web: Sports tourism is witnessing 10-12 per cent growth as Indians are showing more enthusiasm for visiting a country to attend sports event, according to industry experts.”Globally sports tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to estimates, global sports tourism was worth USD 7 billion in 2017. While it is a mature industry overseas, in India it is in infancy (stage),” Cox and Kings Head, relationships, Karan Anand told.Indians travel to Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and England to watch cricket matches, however, over the last 10 years there is a growing interest to watch the Olympics, the Soccer World Cup and Grand Prix Formula One motor events.
The Olympics or Soccer World Cup are highlights for Indians and they love the atmosphere associated with the games, Anand said,adding that there are people who travel to specific sporting events during the Olympics or a few of them only travel for the opening ceremony.He said this segment is primarily dominated by men who come together to watch the sporting event.Echoing a similar view, Expedia in India Marketing Head, Brand, Manmeet Ahluwalia said India saw a change in travel patterns and rise in incidence of travelling for sports events ever since the launch of Indian Premier League in 2008.
The 2011 ICC World Cup further cemented Indians’ love for travel coupled with watching their favourite sporting stars in action, he added.”We noticed another interesting trend during the 2015, ICC World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Cricket fans explored these two destinations as among the most preferred honeymoon or holiday destination.Over the years, Indians have explored and shown interest in other sporting events, including football, tennis, Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Grand Prix Formula One motor events among others, he added.
KAYAK Director, India and Middle East, Abhijit Mishra said, the sports-tourism industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, which is projected to shoot up to USD 5.72 trillion by 2021.Indians have always loved both sports and travel, so holidays around sporting events are the perfect combination to satisfy two cravings at once, he added.