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May 27, 2024
Sports tourism

From Stadiums to Sightseeing, Sports Tourism Takes Centre Stage in India

Sports Tourism Takes Centre

70% of Indian travellers keen to travel for national and 73% for international sporting events

In recent years, sports tourism has been gaining attention and growing rapidly as a segment in the travel industry. According to industry research, the global sports tourism market is projected to reach USD 1.8 billion by 2030, fueled by fervent fans eager to combine travel with their love of sports. 

Major sporting events have been attracting fans from around the world, showcasing their passion and enthusiasm for sports. According to Booking.com’s Travel Trends data for 2024, 45% of global travellers want to travel for sports and attend events like the World Cup, Paris Olympics, Formula 1. This trend is especially strong in India, where nearly three-quarters (73%) plan to travel for international sporting events in 2024.According toBooking.com’s flight data, India is even among the top 5 Asian booker countries for the upcoming Paris Olympics 2024.

Domestic Sports Fandom

Sports fandom isn’t limited to international events. 76% of Indians would travel for local sports competitions and events in their home city or state and 70% expressed interest in travelling for national events like Indian Premier League, Pro Kabaddi, Indian Super League and more.

Sports as a travel factor

Booking.com’s Travel Trends data for 2024 also reveals that 23% of Indian travellers consider sporting events when choosing travel destinations. Some of the key motivators that are driving Indians to travel for sports are:

  • The excitement of the game: 71% of Indians said they would pack their bags to witness their favourite player, team or sport in-person.
  • Meeting friends or family overseas: 67% of Indians see sporting events as an opportunity to connect with their friends or family living elsewhere.
  • Connecting with new fans: 65% of Indians travel for a sporting event  to connect with other fans in a new destination.
  • A reason to holiday: 56% of Indians travel for a sporting event just to make a trip out of the occasion.
Santosh Kumar, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia, Booking.com
Santosh Kumar, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia, Booking.com

Santosh Kumar, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Indonesia at Booking.com, said: “Sports tourism gives travellers an opportunity to combine the joy of exploring new destinations while enjoying their favourite team or players in action, boosting local economies and tourism. Easier visa access, improved connectivity and rising disposable incomes are some of the factors driving this trend. For all sports enthusiasts journeying across India and the world, Booking.com remains committed to enhancing their travel experiences by offering various travel components like rental cars, flights, attractions and unique places to stay to create a comprehensive, integrated itinerary.”

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