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Sports Tourism: From Binary Division to Quadripartite Construct


Sofield, T, Sports Tourism: From Binary Division to Quadripartite Construct, Journal of Sport Tourism, 8, (3) pp. 144-163. ISSN 1477-5085 (2003) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/14775080310001690486


The convergence of sport with tourism is a phenomenon of such recent origin that there is, as yet, no universally accepted definition of 'sports tourism'. Until recently the descriptors invariably followed a conceptual dualism with sport on the one side and tourism on the other, each field of study separated out from the other. Sport was further demarcated in a binary fashion between players and spectators. Recent work, however, has reconstituted the conventional binary opposites into 'an other' that is more than the sum of two parts, and this is 'sports tourism'. The construct which best captures this trialectic (sport/tourism/sports tourism) is, in fact, a quadripartite exploration of the original binary division, an expansion of sport and tourism into hard and soft sports tourism, and hard and soft tourism sport. However, this construct omits several fundamental relationships between sport and tourism. These omissions include the centrality of events in formalized sports tourism, the role of sports tourism in creating a sense of place through co-branding and providing the impetus for wider development (as with the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games), the burgeoning partnership between sports organizations and tourism authorities, and the 'sub-culture of the tournament' that invariably accompanies sport tourism but which is not present in tourism sport. These issues are illustrated with examples drawn from Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and, to a lesser extent, Asia. An expanded construct of Gammon and Robinson's framework of sports tourism/tourism sport is then offered which incorporates these additional elements.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sport, tourism, convergence,
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Tourism
Research Field:Tourism not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Commercial Services and Tourism
Objective Group:Tourism services
Objective Field:Tourism services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Sofield, T (Professor Trevor Sofield)
ID Code:29402
Year Published:2003
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2004-08-01
Last Modified:2012-12-12

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