Sports tourism: the golden signing for travel agencies

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Sports tourism: the golden signing for travel agencies
Source: Esencial Tours
September 17, 2021

The segment is one of the ones that will take off with the greatest force on the road to recovery in the sector

Sports tourism moved more than 600,000 million euros worldwide in 2019. Only Spain in 2019, 5.440 million euros were generated in sports-related trips. 

For many travel agencies sports tourism is the great unknown, however, through one of the pioneering tour operators in this niche, Esencial Tours, travel agencies will be able to acquire all kinds of packages for sports anywhere in the world with complete peace of mind. . 

If we have to think about a sector damaged especially by COVID-19, we will all agree that it has been tourism, but if we also add the adjective "sports" to the noun, we find that sports tourism has been extremely damaged , even more if possible. This occurs due to massive events, the decrease in public capacity in stadiums, etc. 

It is important to note that sports tourism lost 80% of its business in 2020 due to the pandemic. But first we have to analyze some data to know the consideration that this part of the industry must have.

The sports tourism sector at an international level takes more and more relevance, confirming itself as a quality tourism that combines two passions that any traveler can have: the trip itself to discover new destinations and the possibility of being able to attend important events related to sports . 

The sports segment of tourism cancels out the seasonality of destinations, something that is of great concern in our industry. Sports activities are constantly being carried out anywhere in the world. This factor helps us a lot to think that it can be a good alternative to have a business throughout the year. 

According to the data published by Egatur (Tourist Expenditure Statistics) and the INE, sports tourism generated in 2019 only in Spain some 5,440 million euros. In percentage, we are talking about 6.9% more than in 2018, and an increase that represents a historical record for the sector. International tourism spending is around 87.3% in the leisure, recreation and vacation category, which is where the sports segment is pigeonholed.

Studies indicate that 4.3% of all trips made in 2020 for leisure, recreation or vacations by residents in Spain were started mainly for sporting reasons. 

The total expenditure associated with trips made mainly for sporting reasons was 522.7 million euros for residents in Spain in 2020 and 396.7 million euros for international tourists. 

In approximately one out of every three resident trips, specifically 30.2%, sports activities are carried out. This figure stands at 17.2% for foreign tourism. Against this, the frequency of attendance at sporting events is higher in foreign tourists, 2.6%, than in resident trips, in which 0.9% attend.

If we speak globally, we can realize its importance. Global management consultants AT Kearney have estimated the value of the industry to be around $ 620 billion. That figure represents a significant portion of the estimated $ 4.5 trillion value of the US tourism industry as a whole.

As a significant fact, we can comment that the final of the Champions League last 2019, which faced Liverpool against Tottemham, generated 123 million euros in Spain in a single event, of which 66 million remained in the Spanish capital. It is a clear example of what a single event can mean for the country's coffers. 

Golf is one of the most significant sports in terms of average spending per person, being considered an elite sport. A sport that generates in Spain, directly or indirectly, 13,000 million euros with 1.2 million tourists. Spain is considered the first country in the world in international tourism of this sport.

The tourist who comes to play golf in Spain, spends 5 times more than the average tourist. It is currently the segment that is gaining more relevance within the sports tourism niche, as well as being the most interesting and profitable, economically speaking. 

If we have to talk about sports activities that generate high income in this type of tourism at the national level, it is worth highlighting the Sailing World Cup, the Sierra Nevada Snowboard World Cup or the Moto GP Grand Prix in Jerez. Only in these 3 events they generate more than two million tourists and 2.9 billion euros.

Other additional sports of notable economic interest are hiking, which moves 3,600 million euros, and water sports, which generate about 2,600 million euros. 

If we have the ability to unite the quality of Spanish tourism with the excellence of sport, we will be able to offer different options to not only national but international clients. 

All these ingredients are the secret of the Esencial Tours programming. A leading tour operator in the national and international market especially in Latin America and Spain. Spanish company that was born in 2005 and that since its inception wanted to make a difference. By 2006, sport and music were implemented in the market as part of the tour operator's programming, far beyond mere ticket sales. 

Sara Navarrete, CEO of Esencial tours, explains to us “that sports tourism is one of the most profitable and with a higher average expense. Clients who come to see a Champions League final match or a Spanish classic, an Open or any F1 or Moto GP race, come ready to live the experience and enjoy the best services, but above all what they need, yes or no it is to have absolute confidence that what they have bought they will get when they arrive at the hotel ”, he tells us. 

"Commitment to the customer is essential in this type of business. Nothing should be left to chance, it is a relationship with the client of full trust. I remember when I started promoting packages, in the previous economic crisis; My goal was to create a business line that did not exist until then and introduce it as a tour operation, and that travel agencies could sell sport as a vacation package. Many of my clients asked me if it was a profitable business, mainly because they had no experience, and they were very afraid of the whole issue of ticket management. That is when the trust that the client places in the person and the name that you have forged over the years comes into play, due to the seriousness and professionalism that you have shown. This type of relationship builds customer loyalty,

Therefore, in order to open new tourism options, it is essential to incorporate sports tourism into the travel agency's portfolio, because apart from being an offer of added value for the client, it will allow them to seasonally adjust the sale and be able to offer a product throughout the year. year, to make available to the client the enormous sports and musical offer that exists today.


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