Open Access
BIO Web Conf.
Volume 29, 2021
International Conference “Sport and Healthy Lifestyle Culture in the XXI Century” (SPORT LIFE XXI)
Article Number 01003
Number of page(s) 9
Published online 15 March 2021

© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021

Licence Creative CommonsThis is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1 Introduction

The Russian Federation has a lot of unique natural landscapes. The Far East, Kamchatka, Altai and Krasnodar Krai, Karelia, the Central Russian Upland, the Pskov region, and Siberia amaze with their natural diversity. The listed tourist destinations (and the list is far from being complete) annually attract large numbers of tourists visiting for sports. Sports tourism is a unique phenomenon in the life of modern society. However, if in Russia, when defining this concept, it is customary to treat this phenomenon mostly as a sport, then in other countries (except for the former Soviet republics) this phenomenon is rather considered as one of the types of tourism.

The statistics collected by VTSIOM experts conducting a telephone survey of 1 600 respondents over the age of 18 for the Center for Regional Policy Development on November 13 and 16, 2019 (who were asked the question: “What domestic destinations for sports tourism would you like to visit in 2019?”) revealed the following data: 21% of respondents would like to visit Sochi and 3-4% each would like to visit Altai, Krasnodar Krai, the Caucasus and Dombai [1]. The results of this survey probably did not include such sports and tourist destinations as the Urals, The Far East, Kamchatka, etc. due to the duration of flights and crossings, as well as the high cost of air and railroad tickets.

As for the purpose of travel of Russian travelers within Russia (which have also been identified by the VTSIOM specialists), sports in one or another form in travel and recreation attract only 4% of Russian tourists (for this reason the absence of the Karelia, which has a great potential for the development of sports tourism, in the list of “desired destinations” becomes clear). The first places were taken by the goals of visiting new places and cultural tourism, gaining 49%, 42% of tourists who would like to just relax and have fun; the goal of another 40% of tourists is to visit relatives and friends. Tourists getting out into the wilds constitute 21%. The categories of responses “rest and have fun” (7%) and “see nature and wildlife” (21%) raise questions about what these trips mean, whether it is just cooking kebabs in the wild or road trips, as well as hiking, skiing, horse riding or cycling. If the purpose of a trip to nature or for entertainment is not just contemplation of nature or watching TV, but also active recreation in the form of, for example, skiing or cycling, then we can already talk about a sports form of tourism. The remaining variants of answers were business tourism, 6%, educational tourism, 2%, and other types, 4% [2]

The purpose of this study is defined by the authors as definition of a category apparatus of sports tourism to avoid confusion in the concept of “sports tourism” and to identify problems of its development in the Russian Federation.

In an attempt to understand what at this modern stage of the society development the phenomenon of sports tourism is, we have conducted an analysis of Russian and foreign scientific literature on this topic. According to the authors Devine, A., Boyle, E. and Boyd, S. [3], sports tourism is certainly one of the types of tourism for tourists unsatisfied with traditional recreation (sun, sea and sand) who are looking for a variety of ways to spend their leisure time. The authors of [4] also believe that sports tourism is one of the types of tourism, while noting that sports tourism is based on sports events attended by tourists. The authors of the paper [5] agree with this opinion, while, considering sports tourism, focus on the sports activities offered at the destination. This thesis is shared by the authors of the paper “Cost and benefits of sports events tourism: The case of the Singapore Grand Prix” [6]. The authors of [7] are taking this idea further and consider sport and event tourism as an incentive for city rebranding.

Of interest is the paper [8], the authors of which divide sports tourism into three separate segments: attending sports events, attending sports-related attractions and participating in sports events, and take into account both professional athletes and amateurs.

A number of authors consider sports tourism as both a sport and as recreation exclusively in an economic or social context. For example, the paper [9] examines the views of golf course managers, golfers, and the general population about the economic and social impact of golf courses in tourist destinations. In the paper [10], the authors explore the social impact of a small sporting event and its impact on the willingness to support future events. The authors of [11] and [12] consider similar issues in the context of a large city and a large-scale sports event. In [13], its authors consider the differences in marketing and promotion of sports hotels versus ordinary ones. The authors of [14] studied the degree of satisfaction of the runners of the First Knoxville Marathon.

As for Russian and Belarusian studies, they mostly consider sports tourism as a sport. For example, the papers [15-18] view sports tourism as a national sport, referring to the allRussian sports register. Supporting this thesis, we can note that in the Russian Federation there is an Order of the Ministry of Sports of the Russian Federation of April 16, 2018 No. 345 “On the Approval of the Federal Standard of Sports Training in the “Sports Tourism” Sport”[19]. For the first time the concept of “sports tourism” (as a sport) was introduced in the Soviet Union. The USSR ceased to exist about 30 years ago, but the tourist heritage is successfully developed by its modern descendants. The essence of this phenomenon lies in the organization of hikes of different levels of complexity, with the use of various vehicles and without, both alone and with groups of like-minded people. During the development of sports tourism in the USSR, tourists-athletes mastered new routes, made safety rules, determined the levels of difficulty and requirements for participants. Experience allows creating several classifications of routes according to the level of difficulty, taking into account age categories and the presence of special training.

Nevertheless, in the papers [20-22] Russian authors consider sports tourism solely as a form of recreation. And the authors of the paper [23] view sports tourism as a sport and a type of recreation simultaneously.

One of the most interesting papers is an article by Nizhny Novgorod authors M.V. Efremova, I.P. Smirnova, N.A. Shimin, dedicated to the study of the conceptual apparatus in the field of sports tourism. Analyzing the regulatory legal acts and specialized literature, the authors identified definitions with overlapping subject areas, including “sports tourism”.

2 Materials and methods

In preparation of this article, the following methods were used: analysis, classification, logical and content analysis, search, system approach and comparison.

3 Results and Discussion

Having analyzed the articles of Russian and foreign authors, we can conclude that there are different approaches to the definition of sports tourism. On the one hand, a number of authors when considering the concept of “sports tourism” refer exclusively to a sport with a similar name. On the other hand, a number of authors attribute to sports tourism one of the types of tourism, which is divided into two types depending on the purpose of the trip: active and passive.

Active and passive forms of sports tourism vary in purpose. If a passive sports tourist goes on a journey as a fan, spectator or sightseer to attend sports competitions, sporting events or sports tourism facilities, then for active sports tourists the purpose is to practice some sport when they move from home destination to another one, for example, into the neighboring region or to another continent, that is, in this case, the tourist acts as a participant.

If we consider sports tourism as a sport, the following types classified by means of movement are officially registered: motor, cycling, water, mountain, equestrian, skiing, sailing, hiking, underwater and speleo tourism, hiking based on competition on routes, or overcoming obstacles.

The variety of sports tourism can also include tourist-oriented multisport events, which are competitions in the mastery of a variety of tourist equipment and tactics.

Thus, we present a classification of sports tourism types (represented in Figure 1).

Based on the data presented in the Figure 1, we can conclude that sports tourism can be considered as a sport and as a form of recreation. At the same time, sports tourism as recreation can be divided into active and passive, with the difference being that in the passive form of tourism, a tourist travels as a spectator or a fan, while an active form of sports tourism assumes that a tourist travels as a participant in certain sporting events, sometimes even with a non-competitive purpose, but only with a recreational one. Sports tourism as a sport always has a competitive goal and implies active participation in the process.

In accordance with the definition of tourism given in the Federal Law of the Russian Federation “On the Basics of Tourism Activities in the Russian Federation, ” dated 24.11.1996 No. 132-FZ [25], the term “tourism” refers to temporary departures (travel) of citizens from their place of permanent residence with medical and recovery, recreational, educational, sports, professional and business, and other purposes without engaging in activities related to obtaining income from sources in the place of temporary residence. At present, due to the development of marketing tools and the widespread development of the Internet and social networks, the definition of tourism, including sports tourism, provided in the Federal Law No. 132-FZ is outdated and needs to be corrected. Of course, usually people go on vacation to relax from their work and making money. However, in the current conditions, when the pace of life, especially among people in large cities, is extremely tense and full of various events, few will refuse earning extra money. And tourists on vacation, including those involved in sports tourism, are no exception. The easiest way to combine business with pleasure is to advertise sports equipment on the Instagram social network. Moreover, it can be advertised by both consumers of this equipment going on vacation, for example, to a ski resort, and sellers of this equipment, for which services of sports tourism can be used specifically. Therefore, we propose to understand sports tourism as a temporary departure of a traveller from the home destination for the purpose of active or passive participation in activities that are somehow related to sports.

Unlike other types of tourism, sports tourism often does not incur special costs, due to the fact that tourist routes are laid in the natural environment. This type of tourism can be attributed to the social type. According to scientists, sports tourism is chosen by young people, students, teachers, doctors, and intellectuals. This type of tourism allows to experience a certain enjoyment of natural and cultural landscapes, in addition it is a complex kind of recreation. Table 1 presents the main destinations for the development of sports tourism in Russia.

As can be seen from the Table 1, almost the entire territory of the Russian Federation can be used for the development of sports tourism.

As for the problems of the development of sports tourism in Russia, there are quite a lot of them.

1) Russia has quite a lot of natural landscapes and beautiful places of interest at any time of the year. However, with the increase in housing construction in major cities, such places are becoming less accessible, due to the fact that previously residents of commuter towns could literally walk into the forest for hiking or skiing; now almost in any case they have to use commuter trains or private transport to reach them. In addition, tourist routes do not correspond to the scale of the country in terms of quantity, quality and safety. Therefore, one of the activities of regional authorities should be helping in the creation of conditions for the development of civilized tourism.

2) State support. In Russia there is no propaganda that could unite the population and encourage residents to develop this type of tourism. Tourism clubs in Russia today exist in Moscow (at the expense of trade unions), St. Petersburg (St. Petersburg Club, which has become a joint stock company), and in Yekaterinburg (has the status of municipal and is kept at the expense of the city budget). There are also a few clubs for tourists at higher educational institutions on a voluntary basis. Modern legislation in the field of physical culture and sports practically deprives tourists of the opportunity to receive state financial support. Basically, the legislation regulates creation of public sports organizations, while the created organizations must independently find sponsors or are forced to work exclusively as commercial structures. Moreover, in 2015, amendments were made to the Federal Law “On Physical Culture and Sports in the Russian Federation”, which further limit the possibilities of organizers of physical culture and sports events. In this document, amendments were made to the Article 39 [26]: “the organizers of physical culture events and sports events are obliged to provide medical support to their participants.” It turns out that, for example, weekend hikes, which are inherently physical activities, require medical support, that is, every collective skiing, hiking, kayaking, etc., now, according to the interpretation of officials, should be observed by a doctor.

3) Lack of specialists. Indeed, the development of this type of tourism leaves much to be desired, so it is necessary to learn from experience of foreign partners, creating courses, conducting various trainings and seminars, and conferences. Perhaps after all these events, we could get to a new stage of development. To reduce the potential danger of sports tourism (if we talk about its active form), a system of training tourist personnel is needed, and first of all, instructors in types of tourism (water, mountain, skiing, etc.) and guides. To date, universities practically do not train specialists of this profile. Higher educational institutions are engaged in the areas of “Social and cultural service and tourism”, “Management in tourism”, “Tourism”, “Hotel business”. None of the universities has an “Instructor in the types of tourism” major with the “instructor in hiking, water, etc. tourism” qualification. Accordingly, such training should be carried out, taught by experienced professionals in sports tourism, and in no case by managers.

4) Infrastructure. The most important problem of all Russian tourism, and sports type is no exception, is the high cost of the key tourism components: both travel and accommodation. The tendency to build expensive luxury accommodation facilities and the destruction of public sanatoriums, boarding houses, holiday homes including departmental, in the territories of which housing is built directly or under the guise of accommodation: “apartments” are also, in fact, housing. For the development of sports tourism in Russia, it would be very important if the legislative bodies of the Russian Federation solved this problem, and left public recreational areas for the people and accommodation affordable for the majority of the population.

thumbnail Fig. 1.

Classification of sports tourism types.

Table 1.

Major tourist destinations in Russia.

4 Conclusion

After analyzing over two dozen scientific papers on the development of sports tourism, we can conclude that despite different approaches to the definition of such a form of activity as “sports tourism”, this category should be considered both from the point of view of tourism and from the point of view of sport. In order to generalize this social phenomenon, we suggest that sports tourism should be understood as a temporary departure of travelers from the boundaries of their home destination for the purpose of active or passive participation in activities in one way or another related to sports. Analysis of the development of sports tourism in Russia showed that several large clusters of sports tourism have been formed in the Russian Federation, including Moscow, St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Crimea, Urals, Caucasus, Siberia, Far East, Volga region and Karelia. However, their successful development is hampered by some problems, such as poor infrastructure, lack of government support, difficult access to some destinations and lack of dedicated specialists.


All Tables

Table 1.

Major tourist destinations in Russia.

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1.

Classification of sports tourism types.

In the text

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