Sporting Holidays Gaining Ground in Europe

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 19 August 2011

 According to the latest survey of the World Travel Monitor, commissioned by ITB Berlin, over the last five years there has been a double-digit increase in sporting holidays among European tourists, which has even overtaken cruises, which five years ago ranked ahead of sporting holidays.

Germans in particular are keenest on sports, and account for 42% of the nine million sporting holidays taken by Europeans abroad. At 14% the Dutch rank second. In other European markets sporting holidays make up only 6% or less.

Among sporting holidaymakers the most popular destination is Austria, which among Europeans attracts 24% of the market, followed by Italy and Germany, which each account for 11%.

During the last five years Germans also preferred Austria for testing their sporting limits. At 42% Austria ranks ahead of Italy (18%) and Switzerland (14%).

The most popular activities among European sporting holidaymakers are hiking (38%) and cycling tours (23%). They are followed in third by motor sports (car, motorcycle and motorboat racing) at 14%. At 10% golf ranks fourth in the sporting popularity stakes.

Among German sporting holidaymakers hiking (34%) and cycling (25%) are the leaders among the top ten most popular sporting activities, while 9% of German sporting holidaymakers prefer golf.

Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel and Logistics at Messe Berlin, Sporting holidays are a niche segment with a serious potential for tourism in the future. A growing awareness of ones body and mind means that people are increasingly keen to improve their health when on vacation.

Sporting holidaymakers belong to the wealthier parts of society and as such are a much targeted segment of the market. European sporting holidaymakers average 43 years of age, and most of them live in households without children. More men than women are attracted to sports when they are on holiday. At 45 years of age, German sporting holidaymakers may be a little older than the European average, but in all other respects they are no different than other European citizens.

ITB Berlin 2012 will take place from Wednesday, 7 to Sunday, 11 March. Wednesday to Friday is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the trade show, the ITB Berlin Convention will be held from Wednesday, 7 to Friday, 9 March 2012.

See also: Hong Kong Sevens: Its Not Just Rugby!

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