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The Football FIFA World Cup kicks off. There we go, the 2018 FIFA World Cup has started! Russia should record an important rise in its touristic visits for this event. The country usually attracts 4.3 million international tourists during the June-July time but this year, Russia should welcome between 300k and 500k additional tourists.

Because now, sports events are no longer only on television — they make crowds move for hours, days, or even weeks. These crowds come and admire the show, dream about the athletes exploits, back their favourite team and buy tournament, city or region souvenirs. Some of them even take advantage of the opportunity to extend their stay! And this is exactly what sports tourism is all about — it is no longer only a matter of sport, it is now a matter of short touristic stays when supporters become sports tourists. So, as the good tourism expert you are, prepare yourself to roll up your sleeves to attract them…



Sports events: a godsend for the tourism experts

In addition to being good for health, sport is good for… tourism! Olympic Games, Football or Rugby World Cup, Tour de France, Champions League, Tennis Masters and many others all attract thousands of supporters every year. Between tactical moments and touristic benefits, sports events are real supports for the host country renown. Thanks to sports tourism, it is now possible to set your international image. Tourism players can directly benefit from such rallies, particularly travel agencies and the hotel trade.


The Olympic Games establish a wonderful international promotion tool for the host country, thanks to their media impact (3.7 billion viewers and 25,000 journalists)

Paris 2024 Committee


In Canada, the sports tourism sector generates a sales revenue that reached 2.5 billion dollars in 2011. The 1976 Olympic Games have made Montreal a famous touristic destination in the Western World, where sport is in the spotlight. Nowadays, the Olympic Stadium is considered as one of the city’s main touristic attraction.

For the next 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, tourism is unquestionably set to be « one of the biggest winner of the event, perceiving 30% of the 5 to 11 billion euros of economic benefits this event will lead to” according to Frédéric Valletoux, Paris Île-de-France Tourism Regional Committee President.


Let’s go back to the previous 2014 FIFA World Cup that has made Brazil a privileged touristic destination, particularly for business tourism, boosted by hotels construction and hotel and restaurant trade professionalisation, by way of events organisation.

Brazil expected 600,000 foreign tourists, twice more than South Africa in 2010 but the country welcomed 1,015,000 tourists from 203 different countries. A total of 16.7 million people traveled across the country by plane during the only tournament with a historical record of 572,000 passengers in one day, according to the Civil Aviation Department numbers. For the occasion, Voyageurs du Monde (travelers of the World) had been the only travel agency capable of selling packages for the Brazilian Football World Cup. A lucrative exclusivity that lead the company to no less than 4 million euros of sales, essentially to companies.


Sports tourism infographics

Sports tourists, who are they?

Football is one of the most broadcasted sport in the world, and it is also the Europeans’ favourite sport, who get together to support their country during international tournament times.

According to a study led by Visa, half of the British, French and Germans said they were interested in the sports results. Following its favourite team has become an excellent reason to schedule time off — 20% of the French, 25% of the British and 34% of the Germans plan their holidays where they have the opportunity attend a football game. Young Europeans of less than 44 years old are the first to share this same opinion, mostly the British (77%). To learn more about the travel habits of German tourists and young European travelers see our previous articles on our blog!

For this 2018 World Cup, the sports tourist average basket should be 31% higher than the 2014 World Cup tourists expenses. This rise will focus on accommodation (+10%), catering (+25%) but also transports (+10%) despite the fact that the Russian Government has set measures that are free to receive international visitors the best way possible.



What about my marketing campaign?

A sport event itself only lasts for several weeks, but as a tourism expert, the Football World Cup, as much as all the other sports events, can be used as a springboard to communicate to your future customers.

Do you know Ambush Marketing? Used in the sports marketing, it allows you to take advantage of an event renown and visibility without being invited to it! Through sports meetings, the brand advertises or promote a product without being an official partner of the event. But concretely, how is it like?

Here are some examples of the best Ambush Marketing campaigns, for your inspiration. Now it is your turn to take advantage of the best tactical mediums!


Australia’s Tourist Office campaign — 2018 Super Bowl