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Sport tourism development book reveals new insights on growing leisure activity
Date:10/4/2011

When we travel for sport -- whether to play it or watch it -- we can develop strong bonds with the place we visited to do that. Sport tourism is a fast-growing research area that's intrigued Dr. Tom Hinch since his youth. And, because it's become a leisure phenomenon with increasingly major economic and environmental impacts for many countries it's all the more timely that Hinch and his New Zealand co-author, James Higham of the University of Otago have collaborated on the second edition of their landmark foundational text, "Sport Tourism Development."

Hinch, whose particular interest is in our attachment to place, says the field is gaining momentum as hallmark events like the Olympic Games and World Cup of Soccer draw hundreds of thousands to travel across continents to experience the spectacle firsthand and, frequently, to travel round the country they visit, taking in natural and urban sights.

"Event, active, and heritage-based sport tourism have been gaining momentum in terms of industry activity," he says. "Major sporting events attract a lot of attention and countries like South Africa which hosted the World Cup of Soccer in 2010, and Brazil which was awarded both the World Cup of Soccer in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, are examples of countries bidding to promote their country as a player on the world stage."

A sporting event can also give one a glimpse into a place's cultural identity, says Hinch. While visiting Clemson University in South Carolina he attended a pre-season football game that drew 74,000 spectators. "It gave me an insight into the culture of place that is sometimes difficult to obtain as a tourist on a standard package deal. Going to a sporting event has a cultural dimension to it: the colours, the pageantry, even the way the fan next to you is experiencing the game -- all provide an insight into local culture.

"There are many different travel experiences that people might have, so, for example,
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Contact: Jane Hurly
jane.hurly@ualberta.ca
780-492-6821
University of Alberta - Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation
Source:Eurekalert

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