Everything You Need To Know About Sports Tourism

Sports Tourism has turned out to be an exciting venture to work amongst in the sports industry. People passionately want to travel thousands of miles to watch their favourite players do their thing on the field, and the number of this target audience is growing enormously. 

Today at ESM, we bring you a closer look at what sports tourism exactly offers as a field of work in a short series of questions answered by Mr Aman Varindani. 

A brief intro about Mr Aman Varindani

Mr Varindani has more than three years of experience in the sports tourism industry. He currently looks after the alliances and sales at Dreamsetgo – travel arm Dream Sports (www.dreamsetgo.co)

He shares his knowledge about the sports industry in India through this article.

Sports tourism – Q&A

  1. How is sports tourism different from normal tourism?

It is essential to delve into the different types of tourism to understand sports tourism in greater detail. 

Sports tourism can be a part of any of the different types of travel like leisure travel or business travel. Whether it is a family travelling for leisure who merge a sporting experience into their itinerary or whether it is an organization travelling for a conference who also attend a sporting event, it all comes into the broader term – Sports Tourism. 

In short, Sports Tourism is a type of travel where a FIT, GIT or Company travel to a sporting event – whether Domestic, Inbound or Outbound. 

FIT: Free Independent traveller

GIT: Group inclusive tour

2. What are the pre-requisites for someone who wants to work in the sports tourism industry?

Anyone who wants to work in sports tourism needs to know two markets fairly well – Sports Events Industry and Travel Industry. In the last few years, I have come across several individuals who feel their knowledge of ‘Sports’ is enough to make it in the Sports Tourism industry. Unfortunately, that is not true. Your knowledge in the Travel industry is as important. The different types of job profiles in sports tourism can be – Marketing, Sales, Operations & Partnerships. Depending on your personal skill set, along with your knowledge of sports events and the travel industry, you can land the perfect role for yourself.

3. Work-life of a professional in Sports Tourism Industry.

Depending on your job profile, your work-life can differ. Your passion for sports and passion for travel can propel you to greater heights but it is important to mix this passion with hard work in order to achieve success. 

Work on a border aspect is divided into two zones – 1. Work leading up to a sporting event. 2. Work during the event. 

There is a lot of work that goes into leading up to a marquee sporting event like a Cricket World Cup. Sales, Operations & Marketing plans are decided approximately 365 days in advance.  

Post-implementation of the above, your work during an event changes into other aspects like client servicing, focus on operational execution, customer satisfaction, feedback, building relationships, business development and networking. 

4. When youngsters like us or aspiring sports management students think about working in Sports Tourism, the general idea in mind is that they will get to travel the world. How real is that thinking? Or is it the correct mindset?

This is the most common question asked by anyone aspiring to be in the sports travel industry. According to me, it is an incorrect way to approach a job with this mindset. 

As per my previous answer, there is much more work that goes into a build-up of a tournament than what goes on during a tournament. Planning and execution of business objectives take place throughout the year that is a job just like any other without the requirement of travel. 

There is no denying that some job roles include travelling to sporting events in order to help the organization achieve maximum success. But the objectives of this travel are purely to achieve the objectives and not as leisure.

5. We know India is a cricket-loving country but other sports are gaining fame gradually. For which other sports apart from cricket Indians travel to experience live?

Cricket is by far number 1 in terms of sports travel. Football comes second followed by Tennis. (Not counting the Olympics as it is a multi-sport event)

6. Leagues around the world have started but with an empty stadium. How do you think it will affect sports tourism?

As per everyone’s knowledge, one of the worst-hit industries during Covid-19 has been the sports and travel industries. 

As long as there is no travel and no fans allowed inside stadiums, revenues for clubs, teams and rights holders are going to take a big hit. 

From a sports tourism firm’s point of view, it is definitely a big hit as the core business includes the requirement of fans travelling to a sporting event. It is important to monitor virtual hospitality and experiences at such a time. Virtual and Digital platforms can be extremely effective to bring fans as close as possible to a ‘sports travel’ experience. 

The sports industry is going through tough times due to the pandemic, but it is certainly one that has got a very bright future up and coming, the world definitely hasn’t seen enough.

Hope you had great learning out of this article. To learn more about various careers in sports management, click here.

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