Sports tourism industry set to triple, says TUI

Sports tourism industry set to triple, says TUI

TUI’s Sports Division has predicted a massive rise in the popularity of sports-affiliated tourism - and has major plans to add more sporting events to its travel brochure portfolio. With the recent South Africa FIFA World Cup, Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the forthcoming Ashes Test series in Australia, providing million pound cash injections into the industry, the travel giant expects niche and experiental travel to become increasingly important for agents and operators. Speaking exclusively to Travel Daily, Marc Bennett, managing director of the EMEA sport division, said that sports tourism could grow by “two or three times” by offering inimitable products. “There’s a large part of our consumer market that is no longer interest in the flop and fry holiday or sitting on a beach,” Bennett said. “They want something more. Anecdotally I’d expect to see sports tourism to double or maybe even treble over the coming 12 months or so. But it’s not just the more obvious sports like football, rugby and cricket - there’s an increase in charitable sports tours, be it kayaking, fishing or charitable walks.” TUI’s Sports Division is now in the process of signing deals with the NBA and NFL in the US, to increase its American sports offering. “TUI carries a huge number of travellers from the UK to the US,” added Bennett. “For our new customers we’ll be able to give them the opportunity to go to New York Knicks Games in New York and Miami Dolphins American football games when in Florida. Within the next couple of months it’ll be ready to put out to consumers.”

Gary Marshall
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Gary Marshall
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