The of the fastest growing sectors of the

The Economic Impact of Sport

Kerry-Ann Simmons 59317

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The University of Trinidad and Tobago













            This review is based on the
assessment of the economic impact on sport tourism. Giving a brief description
sport tourism, the types of sport tourism, a theory that is used for sport
tourism and some methods used to find out the impact sport tourism had on the
urban community of Indianapolis, Indiana. The information is based on an
article title; “The Perceived Impacts of Sport Tourism: An Urban Host Community

This study was done to examine an urban
population of tourism business representatives’ on how they perceived the
impacts of sport tourism as it relates to the social, environmental and
economic impacts in the community of Indianapolis, Indiana.


            The experience that is gained
through travel to participate in or view sporting activities is referred to as
Sport Tourism. This involves staying away from the normal environment that one
is accustom to or going to another country or destination. This is one of the
fastest growing sectors of the global travel industry and has been getting a
vast increase of attention from its social, environmental and economic impacts.
The tourism industry is a hospitality and service industry.

There are three types of sport tourism
which are: Sport Event Tourism, Active Sport Tourism and Nostalgia Sport
Tourism. Sport Event Tourism is where sporting events are promoted as a tourist
attraction such as the Olympic Games which are called hallmark events. This
type of tourism also includes tourism associated with professional sport teams
and college football. Active Sport Tourism consists of the persons that travel
in order to participate in sporting events such as tennis, kayaking, and
surfing etcetera. This type of tourism is further broken down into “Activity
participants” and “Hobbyists” which describes the Activity Participants as
those individuals who are amateur and travel to take part in competitions in
their chosen sport whilst they are described as the individuals that travel to
engage in sporting activities for leisure. Nostalgia Sport Tourism entails
venturing to famous sport-related attractions by visiting sporting hall of
fames, sport museums and other famous sport venues.

A theory used to establish and evaluate
sport tourism was the Social Exchange Theory. This theory is a social, psychological
and sociological perspective describing social behavior as an exchange process
between individuals or groups. Its purpose is to maximize the benefits and
minimize the cost. Human relationships are formed by using the cost-benefit
analysis which weighs out the potential benefits and risks of social
relationships and if the risks outweigh the rewards, persons tend to terminate
the relationship. The theory has been used as a means of assessing tourism
related impacts to a destination.


            The article of study analyzed a four
factor structure of social benefits, environmental benefits, economic benefits
and the general negative impacts. This analysis showed that the social and
economic benefits were in support for the development of sport tourism as well
as showing the advantages of sport tourism in the city such as cultural
identity and social interaction opportunities.

Throughout the article there were many
distinguished definitions of sport tourism and different studies were done by different
personnel to make a contribution. It is important for tourism studies to explore
the social impacts of tourism on host communities. It was seen that not
everyone in a host community perceives the impacts of tourism in the same way,
this is a result of opinions, beliefs and expectations regarding tourism that
varies from the general population to the occupational group studied. Some
residents though, were not aware of the different types of tourism segments who
visited their destination so they were unable to properly respond to the
questions asked about the impacts.

“Empirical research on the social impact
of sport tourism on local host communities are limited” stated by Barker, 2004;
Fredline, 2006; Ritchie and Adair, 2004. Due to this there were few studies
investigating the specific tourism market segments and their recognized impacts
on destination. Through this there was a growing importance placed on studying
impacts from the destination point of view increasing the likelihood for
resident support for the development of tourism, enabling policy makers to
enhance the quality of life for the community.

Tourism development will be aided when
the benefits outweigh the costs of splitting environmental and social resources
with tourists. Sport events may have both positive and negative impacts on the host
community residents.


            In conclusion, from the recent
studies there are limited empirical research on the social impact of sport
tourism on local host communities. There is economic gain from sport events
that contributes to sport tourism but the smaller scale events showed to have
contributed to social benefits such as volunteering and the events brought the
communities together. There were lots of variations in this research, from the
negative impacts to the positive impacts of sport tourism.






N., & Ross, C. (2010) The Perceived Impacts of Sport Tourism: An Urban Host
Community Perspective. Journal of Sport Management, 24, 119-138.