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Sports Tourism Boosts Bookings and Travel Insurance Sales – Travel Weekly

From high school soccer tournaments to the World Cup, sports-related travel is a major driver for local and national economies across the U.S and around the world. Passionate sports fans, eager to travel after sticking close to home during COVID-19, are investing big bucks to become part of the action.

A state of the industry report released in May by the Sports Event & Tourism Association (Sports ETA) found that as consumers return to booking trips, sports-related travel for amateur and collegiate sports has rebounded from pandemic lows faster than leisure travel. Data shows this sector saw huge gains in 2021 — to the tune of $39.7 billion in direct economic impact. The survey, conducted by Tourism Economics and sponsored by Northstar Meetings Group, revealed that more than 175 million people traveled for amateur or collegiate sports in 2021, up 82 percent from the 96 million who did so in 2020.

“In the US, we’ve seen incredible growth, particularly at the youth and amateur sports level, which for years has been referred to as almost being recession-proof — even during the worst economic downturns,” says Jason Gewirtz, editor and publisher of Sports Travel Magazine.

“And there’s a built-in fandom with the fans of a college team, especially if you went to a university. Most people are willing to travel or go back to campus for a game.” 

Gewirtz notes that when people began contemplating gathering again, some of the first things back were outdoor youth sports tournaments. “Parents were more than happy to shell out money to follow their kids to championship games,” he adds.

“We saw convention centers in major cities around the country whose first events back were not conventions or meetings but volleyball tournaments. Indoor sports tournaments were attracting, in some cases, tens of thousands of people. We were hearing reports from cities whose entire hotel inventory was filled with nothing but youth sports,” says Gewirtz. 

“That gave a lot of confidence to the sports tourism industry, and I think many destinations realized the importance of sports as a driver of travel when it comes to filling hotel rooms and adding to the local economy.”

Sports ETA president and CEO Alan Kidd adds that thanks to some of the CARES money that municipalities got, the development and construction of youth sports facilities across America in the past year accelerated. 

“A tremendous amount of inventory came online that created jobs and opportunities. Then, as states began to open and 2021 went through, we saw some real lift in the second half of the year,” says Kidd. 

“The expansion of youth tournament travel teams in every single sport has outstripped everybody’s projections and we’re predicting now that 2022 will exceed our benchmark numbers from 2019, which is an extremely rapid redeployment of capital back into sports. And with the expansion of some of the television rights for amateur, collegiate, and professional, you’re going to have more and more visibility across the country in sports.”

Travel advisors say pro sports tourism market is booming

Avid football, F1, golf and basketball fans have flocked to destinations near and far to immerse themselves in sports events, says Anbritt Stengele, founder and president of Chicago-based Sports Traveler, which specializes in event tickets, hotel rooms and VIP travel packages to sold-out sporting events worldwide.

“Sports travelers are the most passionate of all travelers. It doesn’t matter where the event is, or how much the event costs; they want to see their team play, and …….

Source: https://www.travelweekly.com/Strategic-Content/Allianz-Partners-sports-travel-insurance

From high school soccer tournaments to the World Cup, sports-related travel is a major driver for local and national economies across the U.S and around the world. Passionate sports fans, eager to travel after sticking close to home during COVID-19, are investing big bucks to become part of the action.

A state of the industry report released in May by the Sports Event & Tourism Association (Sports ETA) found that as consumers return to booking trips, sports-related travel for amateur and collegiate sports has rebounded from pandemic lows faster than leisure travel. Data shows this sector saw huge gains in 2021 — to the tune of $39.7 billion…….

From high school soccer tournaments to the World Cup, sports-related travel is a major driver for local and national economies across the U.S and around the world. Passionate sports fans, eager to travel after sticking close to home during COVID-19, are investing big bucks to become part of the action.

A state of the industry report released in May by the Sports Event & Tourism Association (Sports ETA) found that as consumers return to booking trips, sports-related travel for amateur and collegiate sports has rebounded from pandemic lows faster than leisure travel. Data shows this sector saw huge gains in 2021 — to the tune of $39.7 billion…….

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