The term ‘sport tourism’ has been defined in many and different ways. According to Standeven and De Knop (1999, p.12), sport tourism refers to all forms of active and passive involvement in sporting activity causally or in an organized way for non-commercial or commercial reasons that necessitate traveling away from home and work locality. …
Sport tourism can be classified in to three main categories. The first category is nostalgia sport tourism. In this category, people visit museums and halls of fame to view documented articles, trophies, and monuments of great sporting achievements. The second category is active sport tourism. This category includes activity holidays and active events. The third category is event sport tourism. This includes the active and passive participation in sporting events (Gibson, 1998). Gibson (1998, p. 49) further conceptualizes sport tourism to be in three distinct areas: traveling to take part in a sporting event; traveling to watch a sport; or travelling to celebrate, worship, or venerate a sport. More recent definitions of sport tourism suggest that it is more than a two -dimensional synergetic phenomenon. In a more intricate definition, sport tourism is a social, economic and cultural phenomenon that arises from the unique interaction of activity, people, and place (Weed and Bull, 2004, p. 37). Weymouth and Portland as Sport Tourism Destinations Weymouth and Portland are located on the south coast of England. This area provides some of the best sailing waters in the UK. In addition, the area has facilities on land to complement the sailing activities that take place. Before the 2012 Olympic Games, the area already had world class facilities, but some enhancements were necessary to ensure that the facilities were suitable enough to host the sailing competition during the main Olympics and the Paralympics (London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 2012). Considering that sailing is both a competitive and leisure sporting event, there were several types of sport tourists expected to be in the area during the Olympic period. Gibson conceptualizes sport tourism to be in three distinct areas: travelling to take part; travelling to watch; or travelling to celebrate, worship or venerate a sport. From his conceptualization, the types of tourists that can and were attracted to visit Weymouth and Portland during the Olympics can be derived. The first type of tourists that were attracted in the area are the participants (Gibson, 1998, p. 49). The Olympics bring together athletes and sportsmen from all over the world. Therefore, any sportsman that participated in the sailing competition in both the main Olympics and the Paralympics were tourists. Though their main agenda was to participate in the competition, the fact that they were foreigners makes them tourists by default. Also, the sailing competition was not taking place every single day during the games. The athletes, therefore, had some time to spare in between the races. During this spare time, they toured the area to get to explore its aesthetics and to appreciate the advancements that had been made in the area specifically for the sport. The second area of sport tourism is travelling to watch the sport (Gibson, 1998, p. 49). This was undoubtedly the area that produced the largest number of sport tourists. People from around the world had travelled to London to specifically watch the games that were taking place there. Most of the tourists in Weymouth and Portland during this period had come as spectators to the sailing competition. Considering that they were not entirely caught up in watching the games either, they had some spare time. During this time, they either went to tour the area or participated in the sailing sport for leisure. This is in line with Gibson’s second category of sport tourism which includes activity holidays. Therefore, the agenda for this type of tourist was twofold. Primarily, their agenda was to ...
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