Sports tourism has grown with technological advances.
Technology is rapidly improving the sports tourism industry. Not only is equipment becoming more sophisticated, durable, and functional, but it is also becoming easier to make travel arrangements, acquire accommodations, and purchase entry tickets for sports tourism.
Materials are being manufactured to create lighter and stronger equipment. For example, snow skis are now made of titanium, and bindings can be made from a computerized model of your foot. Advances in lightweight, waterproof, and breathable materials are improving the comfort and performance of skiwear.
There are continued attempts to manufacture artificial snow. This will lengthen the time frame for a ski resort to remain open since they will not be dependent upon winter snow.
Long gone are the days of needing to coordinate with a travel agency for sports tourism. The ability to buy tickets online has made the process much more convenient and time efficient. You can now purchase tickets to an event or vacation destiny with a few strokes of your computer keyboard, tablet, or phone.
Once you have purchased your tickets for your favorite ski resort, smart cards can allow you access to multiple lift gates. In some locations, the same ticket will give you access to lodging, food, equipment rentals, and lessons.
Making arrangements for lodging has also changed dramatically with the advent of the Internet and apps. The sharing economy has created a new model where travelers can make arrangements directly with providers of places to stay.
Airbnb was founded in 2008 as an online marketplace for people to list, find, and rent vacation homes for a processing fee. Airbnb became a player in the U.S. sports tourism arena when they became the title sponsor of the 2015 Airbnb Brooklyn Half Marathon. It also made its name when the FIFA World Cup in Brazil was held, and the hotel industry could not accommodate all visitors. AirBnB picked up the slack and was able to accommodate visitors who otherwise would not have had a place to stay. In addition to cost savings for travelers, it was a win for local residents who made money renting out their homes and rooms.
While the hotel industry is making noises about the competition coming from AirBnB, it is highly unlikely that this company alone could disrupt the industry. There is a niche population that is attracted to this new platform of finding lodging. People that are attracted to AirBnB are Internet savvy, believe in the philosophy of a sharing economy, and have little disposable income for traveling; but they want to attend sporting events.
Marketing and Social Media
As with any other industry, sports tourism businesses are smart to advertise on social media. With the ability to target specific audiences, this type of new advertising will yield stronger results than the old model of mass media.
The use of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram allows you to keep current with your favorite sports venue. If you are following your favorite place or checking out something new, you can keep aware of trends, special events, discounts, and activities. You can see real-time posts and pictures and get an idea of what the place looks like if you have never been there.
It is safe to say that technology is making it easier for people to make arrangements to visit their favorite sporting events. In turn, this is good news for the sports tourism industry.
Sports Facilities Advisory and Your Sports Tourism Needs
If you have any questions about the sports tourism industry, please call Sports Facilities Advisory at (727) 474-3845 or visit our website today.