Ethnicity and Tourism
Ethnicity affects many aspects of tourism but is an aspect that is still poorly understood. Ethnicity is a concept that is quite problematic due to its variability and complexity in relation to social structure. Tourism has contributed to the process of the formation of identity in new nations and at the same time may encourage the majority population to reevaluate the perceptions they have on minorities.
Sporting activities have given rise to a new form of tourism. This is what is now known as sports tourism. If we talk of sport as a way of tourism we must first give a definition of sport tourism. Therefore sport tourism includes travelling away from an area where one resides to either take part in a sport for recreation, for competing, traveling to observe sports at grassroots or elite level or travelling to visit a sport attraction like sport hall of fame or water parks and so on. Tourists who get involved in sports at a specific destination do this for a number of reasons such as dedication, competition or just personal achievements ( Ottevanger, 2007)
How sports have influenced tourism
Tourism and sports are both key elements of the culture in today’s society and have a great influence on the behavior in society today. From 1960’s sports has greatly become an international matter attracting a lot of media attention, money as well as interest by politicians. Tourism remains a large industry and it continues to develop and grow. For this reason then a combination of sports and tourism can be quite lucrative and have a lot of cultural influence. Sports and tourism can contribute to each other’s development .since late 1980s; sports tourism has become increasingly popular. Events like Olympics rugby, commonwealth games, Asian games and football world cups has made it possible for travel companies to get the opportunity of allocating official tickets and be able to sell them in packages which are inclusive of hotels, flights as well as excursions. Sports tourism can be categorized into two either those who travel to participate in the sporting events or those whose travel specifically to observe the sports.
There has been an increased focus on sports and a spread in knowledge regarding this subject particularly in recent years thus an increase in sports tourism the tourism industry can also help in the evolution of local sport facilities or give an opportunity for the creation of facilities which would not be possible. It has been noted that international events like the Olympics have lead to a shift in focus from in the audience that have now come to the realization that there are so many sports that exist in the world ( Ottevanger, 2007).One of the sports where most people usually focus on is football. The popularity of football has gone up due to events such as world cup. It is the Olympics which has made it possible for many sports to come together and hence an increase in sports tourism.
Hosting the Olympics is a very much coveted opportunity. All these countries who seek this chance want to stimulate tourism in their nations. This is because they know very well of how holding the games will bring so much exposure to the nation. A specific example is how the 1992 Olympics really benefited tourism industry in Barcelona. The 1992 Olympics brought Barcelona to the center of the world giving this historical city a new lease of life. These games bought the Catalan culture into the eyes of the entire world. This is a perfect way of how tourism is seen to have helped in bringing out a city that was previously unknown to the rest of the world. The ethnicity of the Catalan people is known by the entire world. This was unheard of in countries outside western Europe .a lot of transformations were done to the city ahead of the Olympics in terms of building new sporting complexes and the renovations of EI Prat Airport as well as Olympic port. Barcelona holding this Olympics in 1992 apart from the sporting spectacle itself was promotion of tourism in Spain and Barcelona (Luna, 2010).
This means due to the Olympics many people outside Western Europe became aware of this region and hence wanted to visit these areas. The Olympics changes the fact that Spain and the Catalan culture was unknown thus making Barcelona and Catalan culture hit the map becoming prominent in culture, geography and cuisine. As a result of this Barcelona is now among the top four countries that are mostly visited in Europe, others being Rome, London and Paris.
Many people have the perception that sports travel means organizing group tours to mega events such as football world cups or even Olympics .however someone who is travelling individually to play golf or go for kite boarding is also part of the large sports tourism industry. This means that sporting activities have generally brought about an increase in tourism. This is because more and more people are getting g interested in sporting activities today .meaning that they are willing to go any extra mile so as to take part or just see sporting activities.
Ottevanger, H.(2007). Sports Tourism: Factors of influence on sport event visit motivation. Retrieved October 1, 2013 from http://www.du.se/PageFiles/5054/Ottevanger.pdf
Luna, E.(2010). How the 1992 Summer Olympics Benefitted Tourism in Barcelona. Retrieved October 1, 2013 from http://www.articlesbase.com/vacation-rentals-articles/how-the-1992-summer-olympics-benefitted-tourism-in-barcelona-2889994.html
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