Health and Sport. Economic and Social Impact of Active Tourism

Eur J Investig Health Psychol Educ. 2019 Sep 5;10(1):70-81. doi: 10.3390/ejihpe10010007.


Concerns with health and wellness are currently a global trend. Consequently, people have increasingly been engaging in some form of regular sports practice in their adult lives. This is evidenced by the rise of markets that are related to the sports sector. One of those market trends is active tourism, which refers to the practice of physical activities in natural environments within a tourist destination. In this context, people travel to certain places, typically with friends or as couples, to engage in sports activities of greater or lesser intensities. This allows for them to disconnect with their daily routines and provides them all of the positive health-related outcomes that are associated with exercising. Therefore, health tourism is also an efficient tool against sedentariness. The present study explores which sports are currently the most popular amongst active tourists, which attributes they value the most when choosing a destination, and what is their expenditure pattern. To this end, a sample of 60 individuals who have engaged in some form of active tourism in Galicia is surveyed. The findings suggest that active tourists are particularly interested in dedicating their discretionary time to travelling and they have a higher daily expenditure within the destination than the average tourist.

Keywords: active tourism; health; sports; wellness.