Sport tourism is a very lucrative yet underestimated segment of hospitality and tourism industry in Cyprus.
With 27% of travellers choosing Cyprus as a perfect holiday destination because sport tourism is very important to them, according to PwC Cyprus, and 55% of travellers motivated by Health & Wellbeing.
According to Global Wellness Institute’s statistics, sports tourism has a 10% share of the €2.6 trillion global tourism market, which comes to between €203 billion and €305 billion. Moreover, sports tourism sector is anticipated to have a 41% compound annual growth rate between 2017 and 2021.
Wellness tourists on average spend 53% more when travelling internationally an в 178% more, when travelling locally then average tourists, providing higher ancillary revenue for the hospitality industry.
The Ministry of Tourism recognises the high potential of developing this segment, especially as it creates growing demand in the long off-season period that forces 60% of hotels in Cyprus to close down from November till March every year, which are the pick months for sport tourism.
Our ultimate goal is to render sport tourism as an integral part of the country’s tourist product, capable of having multiple added value for our economy.Deputy Minister Savvas Perdios – The Ministry of Tourism
In making Cyprus a destination for sports, the Ministry is introducing a series of incentive schemes aimed at “supporting sport events for the winter months, supporting visits by teams, trips abroad to promote Cyprus as a sports tourism destination and the further improvement of infrastructure in cooperation with the public and private sectors” reports Cyprus News Agency.
Sport tourism estimated revenue in 2017 recorded an increase of almost 30%, while the number of sports visitors has grown by 19.8% compared to the previous year. And the estimate revenue went up from €48 million in 2017 to over €50 million in 2018 showing a further growth trend that has been
A total of 547 sports teams visited Cyprus, in order to train or to participate in a tournament or sports event. Meanwhile, the total number of sport visitors who arrived in Cyprus amounted to 32,529, which is a growth of over 41% since 2012.
Sport tourism segment brings in not just the sports teams and individual athletes but also amateurs, friends and families and a wealth of spectators, all of whom need convenient, suitable for their needs accommodation and infrastructure, for which the Wimbledon Park apart-hotel chain with its Tennis Academy network that includes Clubhouses and gyms among the many amenities is a perfect accommodation solution.
Travellers from all over the world (84 nationalities) visit Cyprus with expressed purpose of sport tourism, while many more people combine it with general tourism thus the statistics reported are the minimal estimate of this segment.
The key target markets are Russia and United Kingdom, which make the highest percentage per country of sports visitors year after year, followed by Switzerland and Poland.
Estimated average cost reached € 1,480 per visitor and accommodation comprised 95% of that expenditure, with just Tennis segment bringing in over €2 million per year.
Considering that 6 out 10 hotels in Cyprus completely shut down from November till March every year, Wimbledon Park’s strategy of specifically targeting sports visitors to fill the quieter months and building a full-cycle solution for them to stay, train and compete as well as working with organisations that organise various sports events to provide a comprehensive and integrated offering to those travellers.