Sports and adventure tourism are categories of tourism now popular with travelers who want to spend their vacation either in sports or adventure related activities. Sports tourism means making a trip to a certain destination either to participate in a particular sports event, or to practice and learn a specific sport. On the other hand, adventure tourism refers to activities and tourist spots that either do not attract or are not accessible to the majority of travelers. It may be because the area under consideration is remote or the offered activities are hard and difficult, or the trip is simply not suited to the majority of travelers.
The travel industry has grown fast since the 1950s: According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, international tourism arrivals experienced a growth from 25 million in 1950 to 684 million in 2000; international tourist arrivals are expected in to reach 1 billion by 2020. An emergent tourism pattern is towards more experienced-based rather than destination-based travels. Travelers today seek unique ways of spending their vacation to find meaning through interaction with their surroundings. Accordingly, tourism providers offer more tailor-made, off-the-beat-path packages. In addition, the growing trend of active lifestyles translated into many travelers seeking ways to integrate their fondness for a particular activity into a trip to a new destination.
When considering a trip, you should check whether travel insurance is applicable to your planned activities. Trips to remote destinations are best done in groups, especially for women. Weather conditions that may prevail at the time of travel must also be anticipated. In addition to these, be sure your travel providers have put safety measures in place. Finally, you should be aware of any medical conditions you might have prior to your trip.
If you plan to do a particular activity as part of a sports-oriented trip, first check out the difficulty level of the program you’ll participate in before paying any due. There are cases, for example, that activities were handled by instructors who are less advanced than their students. A physical activity that is supposed to test endurance might be nothing more than an ordinary workout in a new setting. You should make sure that the activities you are going take fit with your level of skill.
As tourism experiences are becoming more “unique”, considering the growth of sports and adventure tourism, there is an opportunity for individual providers of exceptional sports or adventure experience to out-compete mass-market tourism services. A USAID study for sustainable rural tourism in 2007, for example, found that adventure tourism activities favors sustainable development objectives, channeling economic benefits of development back to community members rather than to large foreign or commercial tourism entities. This means that when planning your trip, the choices you make not only has an impact the quality of your experience but also on the lives of the communities you visit and interact with.