By Frank Martin
Sports tourism has expanded worldwide during 2022 and is already once again, a leading force in the recovery for that industry throughout the planet after the pandemic.
The FIFA World Cup in Qatar looks set to do the trick. From mid-November it will involve more than 30 countries around football and, according to forecasts, it will also test the growing recovery of international tourism linked to sport.
Qatar is an attractive Arab state in Western Asia occupying the small peninsula of the same name in the eastern Arabian Peninsula.
With a single land border, to the south with Saudi Arabia, while the rest of the territory is bathed by the waters of the Persian Gulf, Qatar is already in final touches process in order to host the tournament that will undoubtedly move tourists from all over.
An official information based on plane tickets already sold for the football event from November 14 to December 24, confirmed that 2022 will be one of the years of great prosperity for the Middle East tourism after the global pandemic, thanks to the sport.
It is real that the Cup will make the Middle East the fastest growing sports tourism destination in the world, with revenues valued at some $600 billion from sports tourism, a success to be foreseen by the World Trade Organization.
The market that will provide the most Cup participation is the United Arab Emirates followed by Mexico, Argentina, Spain and Japan.
Flight bookings to Qatar from countries fans that will compete in the FIFA World Cup are currently 10 times higher than pre-pandemic levels, another international analysis claimed.
The contribution of the Qatar World Cup to the so-called sports tourism comes at a time when experts believe that in global terms the tourism modality is slowly recovering.
This is good news considering that planetary tourism in general suffered a profound loss during the period in which Covid-19 reigned.
In Europe are in visible restoration sports tournaments and cups.
Statistics from Spain indicate that that country received 592,100 international tourists in 2022 who arrived with the main objective of carrying out sports activities.
The income associated with these visits has been calculated at 650.7 million euros by some sources.
World specialists affirm that tourism and sports are interrelated and complement each other. Sports involve numerous trips both to enjoy them personally and to attend competitions.
Major sporting events like the Olympic Games and other events are major tourist attractions.
At the moment the tourists practice of sports activities is very numerous in the Caribbean, although the massive shows are not as frequent as one would like.
The most sought-after specialties in the tropical Caribbean seas are kitesurfing, or windsurfing, diving, swimming, sailing, sport fishing on the high seas, water skiing, and nautical regattas in general.
Regarding the annual events in the Caribbean region in general, those related to golf, soccer, baseball, boxing, judo, volleyball, beach volleyball and field tennis are becoming more and more frequent, which constitute another attraction for vacation travelers as spectators.