Why is Sports Economic Develoment?

Direct visitor spending associated with sports tourism in 2017 was $11.4 billion.1

Direct visitor spending from sports tourism benefits communities through a positive economic impact.

  • Sports tourism drives visitor spending into local economies. 
    • Overnight stays generate lodging revenue.
    • Visitors patronize local restaurants.
    • Visitor shopping generates retail sales.
  • Sports tourism increases lodging and sales tax revenue, benefiting local governments.
    • Communities that collect lodging and rental taxes see increased tax revenue. 
    • Sales tax revenue is increased through visitor spending.
  • Sports tourism increases revenue opportunities to offset slow seasons in tourism economies.
    • Communities that host sports events in their slow seasons benefit from an offset of lost revenue.

Indirectly, sports tourism also benefits communities.

  • Sports tourism can improve Quality of Life for those who live in the area.
    • Hosting quality events increases community engagement.
    • Venues, trails, green spaces, water ways, and other recreation assets that draw tourists also benefit locals.
  • Recreation communities have higher property values.
    • As quality of life improves, increased property values follow in 'recreation communities.'2
  • Recreation communities improve job opportunities.
    • Areas with recreation attract more residents with higher incomes and faster earnings growth than areas without.3
  • Sports tourism promotes and increases exposure for host destinations.
    • Sports events act as marketing platforms, promoting the host destination and creating exposure through myriad media channels.
    • Sports events draw visitors who otherwise may not have considered visiting - and often brings them back again. Of parents traveling for youth sports, almost 60% return to the destination for vacations and 74% recommend the destination to others.4
If your community could benefit from a better sports tourism initiative, reach out to us.
We'd love to hear from you!



1National Association of Sports Commissions 2017 State of the Industry Report

2Outdoor Industry Association

3Headwaters Economics 

4University of Florida