Exploring residents’ perceptions of the socioeconomic impact of sport tourism

Main Article Content

Giovanni Raso
Domenico Cherubini


The main objective of this study is to investigate and assess critical factors related to the socioeconomic impact of sports tourism on territorial growth. The study highlights the significance of residents' perceptions regarding the economic and social consequences of hosting sporting events in gaining public support for such endeavours. This research relies on primary data collected from diverse regions throughout Italy via a specialized Google Module, with a particular focus on the intersection of sports and tourism. Notably, 84% of the sampled population expresses support for the idea that hosting sporting events can yield potential economic benefits for the hosting region. While these initial findings are preliminary, they strongly indicate that the population is inclined towards organizing sporting events in their own regions. This inclination creates opportunities to consider long-term investments in hosting sporting events, which can stimulate tourist influx and subsequent economic growth in the involved territories.

Article Details

How to Cite
Raso, G., & Cherubini, D. (2024). Exploring residents’ perceptions of the socioeconomic impact of sport tourism. Sustainability and Sports Science Journal, 2(2), 73–86. https://doi.org/10.61486/QWDZ4905
Sport management and sustainability


Achilleos, A., Makrominas, M., Markides, C., Alexandrou, R., Konstantinidis, A., Papacosta, E., ... & Tselepos, L. (2021). Promoting active sports tourism through technology and evaluating its economic impact: experiences from Cyprus. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 25(4), 297-315. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2021.1965009

Bazzanella, F. (2019). Perceptions and Role of Tourist Destination Residents Compared to Other Event Stakeholders in a Small-Scale Sports Event. The Case of the FIS World Junior Alpine Ski Championships 2019 in Val di Fassa. Sustainability, 11(24), 6909. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11246909

Bull C. & Lovell J. (2007). The impact of hosting major sporting events on local residents: an analysis of the views and perceptions of Canterbury residents in relation to the Tour de France 2007, Journal of Sport and Tourism, 12, 229-248. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775080701736973

Cheung, S. Y., Mak, J. Y., & Dixon, A. W. (2016). Elite Active Sport Tourists: Economic Impacts And Perceptions of Destination Image. Event Management, 20(1), 99-108. https://doi.org/10.3727/152599516X14538326025198

CONI – Censis. (2008). 1° Rapporto Sport e Società. Roma, CONI.

Daniels, M., and W. Norman. (2003). Estimating the Economic Impacts of Seven Regular Sport Tourism Events. Journal of Sport Tourism 8:214-222. https://doi.org/10.1080/1477508032000161528

Eiji, I., Higham, J., & Cheer, J. (2022). Carbon emission reduction and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Annals of Tourism Research Empirical Insights.

Ejarque, J. (2003). La destinazione turistica di successo. Milano, Hoepli.

Freshwater, D. (2000). Rural America at the Turn of the Century: One Analyst's Perspective. Rural America 15(3):2-7.

Garruti, C., Claval, P., Pagnini, M. P., & Scaini, M. (2003). The farm-holidays: a diversification attempt of the tourist supply. Calabria event. Paper presented at the Part VI: Tourism, Sustainable Development and Culture Turn.

Getz, D. (2008). Event tourism: Definition, evolution, and research. Tourism management, 29(3), 403-428. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2007.07.017

Gibson, H., Lamont, M., Kennelly, M., & Buning, R. (2018). Introduction to the special Issue active sport tourism. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 22(2), 83-91. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2018.1466350

Gibson, H.J.; Kaplanidou, K.; Kang, S.J. (2012). Small-scale event sport tourism: A case study in sustainable tourism. Sport Manag. Rev. 15, 160-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2011.08.013

González-García, R. J., Añó-Sanz, V., Parra-Camacho, D., & Calabuig-Moreno, F. (2018). Perception of residents about the impact of sports tourism on the community: Analysis and scale-validation. Journal of Physical Education and Sport, 18(1), 149-156. https://doi.org/10.7752/jpes.2018.01019

Gorman, J., Calhoun, K. (1994). The Name of the Game: The Business of Sports. New York: Wiley.

Gratton, C., Shibli, S., & Coleman, R. (2007). The economics of sport tourism at major sports events. Sport tourism destinations, 233-247. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-7506-5937-6.50024-9

Gursoy, D.; Milito, M.C.; Nunkoo, R. (2017). Residents' support for a mega-event: The case of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Natal, Brazil. J. Destin. Mark. Manag. 6, 344-352. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdmm.2017.09.003

Higham, J. (1999) Commentary - Sports as an Avenue of Tourism Development: An Analysis of Positive and Negative Impacts of Sports Tourism. Current Issues in Tourism 2:82-90. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683509908667845

Higham, J., Hinch, T. (2002). Tourism, Sport and Seasons: The Challenges and Potential of Overcoming Seasonality in the Sport and Tourism Sectors. Tourism Management 23:175-185. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0261-5177(01)00046-2

Homafar F, Honari H, Heidary A, Heidary T. & Emami A. (2011). The role of sport tourism in employment, income and economic development J Hosp Manag Tourism, 2 (3), 34-37.

Kim W. & Walker M. (2012). Measuring the social impacts associated with Super Bowl XLIII: preliminary development of a psychic income scale, Sport Management Review, 15, 91-108. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2011.05.007

Kim, C.; Kaplanidou, K. (2019). The Effect of Sport Involvement on Support for Mega Sport Events: Why Does It Matter. Sustainability, 11, 5687. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205687

Kim, N., Chalip, L. (2004). Why Travel to the FIFA World Cup? Effects of Motives, Background, Interest, and Constraints. Tourism Management 25:695-707. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2003.08.011

Konstantaki, M., & Wickens, E. (2010). Residents' perceptions of environmental and security issues at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Journal of Sport & Tourism, 15(4), 337-357. https://doi.org/10.1080/14775085.2010.533921

Kozhokulov, S., Chen, X., Yang, D., Issanova, G., Samarkhanov, K., & Aliyeva, S. (2019). Assessment of Tourism Impact on the Socio-Economic Spheres of the Issyk-Kul Region (Kyrgyzstan). Sustainability, 11(14), 3886. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143886

Lee, C., Taylor, T. (2005). Critical Reflections on the Economic Impact Assessment of a Mega-event: The Case of 2002 FIFA World Cup. Tourism Management 26:595-603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2004.03.002

Li, J., Nguyen, T. H. H., & Coca-Stefaniak, J. A. (2020). Coronavirus impacts on post-pandemic planned travel behaviours. Annals of Tourism Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2020.102964

Mao, L.L.; Huang, H. (2016). Social impact of Formula One Chinese Grand Prix: A comparison of local residents' perceptions based on the intrinsic dimension. Sport Manag. Rev. 19, 306-318. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2015.08.007

Mazza, B. (2022). Introduction. Interpretive Categories for the Study of Local Development Prospects for Active Sport Tourism. In Sport Tourism and Its Territorial Development and Opportunities (pp. 1-18). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-323-91341-6.00002-1

Morfoulaki, M., Myrovali, G., Kornilia-Maria Kotoula, Karagiorgos, T., & Alexandris, K. (2023). Sport Tourism as Driving Force for Destinations' Sustainability. Sustainability, 15(3), 2445. https://doi.org/10.3390/su15032445

Nunkoo, R. and So, K.K.F. (2016), "Residents' support for tourism: Testing alternative structural models”, Journal of Travel Research, Vol. 55 No. 7, pp. 847-861. https://doi.org/10.1177/0047287515592972

Ouyang, Z.; Gursoy, D.; Sharma, B. (2017). Role of trust, emotions and event attachment on residents' attitudes toward tourism. Tour. Manag. 63, 426-438. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2017.06.026

Parra, D.; Calabuig, F.; Núñez, J.M.; Crespo, J. (2017). The Relevance of the Social Impact of Sports Events in the Context of Public Financing of Sport. In Sport Entrepreneurship and Innovation; Alonso Dos Santos, M., Ed.;Routledge: New York, NY, USA, pp. 117-140.

Parra-Camacho, D., Ano Sanz, V., Ayora Perez, D., & González-García, R. J. (2020). Applying importance-performance analysis to residents' perceptions of large sporting events. Sport in Society, 23(2), 249-263. https://doi.org/10.1080/17430437.2019.1627330

Parra-Camacho, D.; Aguado-Berenguer, S.; Núñez-Pomar, J.M. (2015). Costs of holding a sporting event: The host community perception. J. Sports Econ. Manag. 5, 17-36.

Perić, M. (2018). Estimating the Perceived Socio-Economic Impacts of Hosting Large-Scale Sport Tourism Events. Social Sciences, 7(10). https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci7100176

Porter, M. (1990). The Competitive Advantage of Nations. New York: The Free Press. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-11336-1

Porter, P. (1999) Mega-sports Events as Municipal Investments: A Critique of Impact Analysis. In Sports Economics: Current Research, J. Fizel, E. Gustafson and L. Hadley, eds., pp. 61-74. Westport: Praeger.

Prayag, G.; Hosany, S.; Nunkoo, R.; Alders, T. (2013). London residents' support for the 2012 Olympic Games: The mediating effect of overall attitude. Tour. Manag. 36, 629-640. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2012.08.003

Ritchie, B., & Adair, D. (2002). The growing recognition of sport tourism. https://doi.org/10.1080/13683500208667903

Rómulo Jacobo González-García, Mártínez-Rico, G., Bañuls-Lapuerta, F., & Calabuig, F. (2022). Residents' Perception of the Impact of Sports Tourism on Sustainable Social Development. Sustainability, 14(3), 1232. https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031232

Rua, S. V. (2020). Perceptions of tourism: a study of residents' attitudes towards tourism in the city of Girona. Journal of Tourism Analysis: Revista de Análisis Turístico.

Sánchez-Fernández, M. D., & Cardona, J. R. (2016). Impacto De Las Actitudes De Los Residentes Sobre El Grado De Aceptación Del Turismo De Playa, El Turismo De Deportes, El Turismo De Naturaleza Y El Turismo Cultural/Impact of Residents Attitudes on the Acceptance Degree of Beach Tourism, Sports Tourism, Nature Tourism and Cultural Tourism. Podium, 5(2), 56-75. https://doi.org/10.5585/podium.v5i2.162

Sánchez-Sáez, J.A.; Segado-Segado, F.; Vidal, A. (2018). Sports events socially responsible as the engine for local development. J. Sports Econ. Manag. 8, 172-186.

Swindell, D.E., & Rosentraub, M.S. (1998). Who Benefits from the Presence of Professional Sports Teams? The Implications for Public Funding of Stadiums and Arenas. Public Administration Review, 58, 11-20. https://doi.org/10.2307/976884

Taks, M. (2013). Social sustainability of non-mega sports events in a global world. Eur. J. Sport Soc. 10, 121-141. https://doi.org/10.1080/16138171.2013.11687915

Yuan, M. (2001). Reoperationalizing Economic Data Collection. Annals of Tourism Research 28:727-737. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0160-7383(00)00085-2