Active Sports On Holidays
The best-known from of this sport holiday is undoubtedly the skiing holiday. Skiing can pursued at different levels (beginner, experienced, simply for pleasure, or in pursuit of high performance and excellence ), by different age groups, and in different settings- at a ski school, a ski coursxe, a ski clup, or privately. Skiing is the classic example of sport tourism and the most populer of all winter sports activities. Every year it introduces 40-50 million visitors to the Europen Alps, with 40,000 ski runs and around 12,000 cable ways and lifs to support this popular holiday industry (Mader, 1998). From Britain alone it is estimated that around 653,000 people took ski holidays worth some US$321 million in 1991-92(Mintel international Group, 1992).0 the ski market is now said to account for around 20 percent of the total European holiday market.
In the last 25 years the holiday market for winter sports has expanded to the extent that there are now holiday packages to suit many tastes and financial means. Skiing is no longer the preserve of high-altitude dwellers,nor is it limited to the rich and famous. Increasingly, with the provision of self-catering chalets and camp sites to complement hotels and clubs,millions of people throughout the has developed world can enjoy touristic experience of mountain beauty at the same time as learning to ski on all five continents of the world.
Cross-country skiing,sometimes known as Nordic skiing or langlauf, has also become very popular. Because this sporth activity is easy learned and the equipment is less expensive than required for downhill skiing, it is practiced by many sportists. The fact that beginners can,from day one,enjoy langlauf in a circuit of loipe(i.e., twin-grooved tracksz) integrated in the countryside and free of the use of ski lifts are but two strong point of this sport(Clough, 1989).
Snowshoes are the hottest new trend in winter recreation. Accourding to Schwiesow(1995), snowshoeing is the second fastest-growing winter sport behind snowboarding as outdoor enthusiasts for simpler, more convenient ways toget outside during the winter.
Some other new trends are dogs sledding and ice fishing. Many of the best known winter sport resorts in the United States and Canada have at least one dog sled tour company from which to choose. Alaska is provably the best known place for dog sledding, the state’s official sport ( Sloan, 1995). Ice fishing is popular in Minnesota ;there are plenty of companies that will rent huts by the day, week or mount (Sloan, 1995 ).
Thw model of the skiing holiday (that is,a holiday with a single sport as the primary intetion-offered an different levels to different age groups and under different organization forms ) has recently been adopted by varios other forms of sport. Holiday concerns, holiday organizations, (cultural ) societes, and private sport schools now provide holiday courses in sailing, gliding, riding, golf, driving, cycling, mountaineering, surfing and so forth.
Cycling tours often follow the ski-holiday model. Nowdays there are hundreds of cycling holidays on offer, of all lengths, levels, and degrees of comfort. Some are organized by well-known cyclist, but very often people decide to organize their cycling holiday themselves. Cycle-friendly countries are growing in number. The world’s most cycle-friendly country is probably the Netherlands due to its low, flat physical characteristics. Bike paths are provided all over the Netherlands from the smallest village to the biggest town. Cycle weekends are also offered by youth organizations, communities, tourist boards, hotels, and so forth.
Hotels especially are trying to reach the cycle tourists by offering half or full board, bike hire, and route maps, this is called a single-center or fixed point holiday because the tourists is based at one hotel orcampsite and takes day rides out from there to explore the surroundings. Some hotel chains offer hotel-to-hotel tours with accommodations each night in a different hotel; the luggage is transported by the hotel manager.
More sophisticated are those bicycle tours that include not only a guide, but also a bicyle technician, a medical doctor, and support vehicle ( Cample, 1995 ). It is possible to take a cycling tour almost anywhere in the world. Reputable companies throughout North America and Europe operate bycling tours China, Africa, Vietnam, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bali, and Thailand, an deven high-altitude regions such as the Atlas Mountains and Tibet.
Since the mid-1960s, the bicyle has divided into subspecies of racers, mountain bikes, toures, and hybrids. All-terrain bycling has become one of the fastest growing segments of the recreation industry. Sales of all-terrain bicycles in North America skyrocket from 300,000 bicycles in 1984 to over 2 million in 1986 ( Crandall, 1987 ).
At the January 1998 London International Boat Show, the assembled boat builders acknowledged that their industry is facing worldwide problem, a declining interesting in boating:46 percent of sailorsand 35 percent of motor boaters are now over 55 years of age, and boating magazine subscriptions are down by 20 percent in six years. The problem is not limited to Great Britain-the downward trend is acute in the United States, home of the world’s biggest boat industry. In the last decade, turnover in the United States has fallen from $10 million to $8 million, an deven trough “recreational spending has grown by more than 50 percent in seven years,… boating’s share has shrunk from 3.7 percent to 2.1 percent” ( Groom, 1998, p. 1 ). In 1984, owning a boat was sixth on a wish list of American consumer preferences, but by 1996 it became the 15th.
Nevertheless, the link between water sports and holidays is increasing with sailing becoming a very popular holiday activity. The use of smaller and more easily transportable craft, such as dinghy car-toppers, jet skis, and windsurfes, has increased and together with multihulled and chartered cruisers these crafts provide for a wide range of interests. While the Caribbean and the Mediterranean are the most popular seas, it is now possible to charter yachts in the South Pacific, the Seychelles, Australia, Alaska, Brazil, Thailand, and the Galapagos Islands ( Robinson, 1984 ).
Martin and Mason’s survey ( 1990 ) indicates that between 1.5 and 2 million people take part in water sports while on holiday in Britain. Britain has been described as a mecca for boating holidays on the country’s two thousand miles of inland waterways each year ; about 87 percent are U.K. residents and 13 percent are inbound tourists principally from Europe ( Hhoseason, 1990 ). A 1986 survey (veal, 1986 ) found that over half of those who take part in sailing do so only when on holiday.
Also worth mentioning here are the old, great clipper ships thar a century or mre ago sailed around the world. The Mediterranean and the Caribbean are popular ports for such ships as the Star Clipper, the Star Flyer, the Windstar, and Clup Med’s two play boats. On some, visiting “crews” learn to navigate and handle the sails.
Valef Yachts, a Greek company, advertises “ a vacation fit for a million-aire,” offering its Christina I for around US$100,000 per week for 12 people, none of whom need to have previous yachting experience. With a crew of nine, it has acruising range of 9,500 kilometers of Mediterranean water and includes its own private speedboat for water skiing, a small sailboat,and aWindsurfer for exploiring the Greek islands ( Richins, 1992 )
New sports are constantly developing and tourist are continuously in search of new thrills and experiences. One of these is body-boarding, broadly practiced in Australia, NEW Zealand, and the U.S states of Hawaii and California. The Atlantic coast in France is visited by an increasing amount of tourist who want to body-board and surf.
Riding holidays, either wholly equestrian for real enthusiasts or with time on horseback worked into the itinerary of a more general trekking holiday, are increasingly popular. Riding holidays fall into two broad categories:trailing ( that is, overnighting along the way ) and the more sedate trekking. Two-week holidays offer a one-week horse-riding class, followed by trailing.
Some tour operators specialize in adventure treks, others in the gentler alternative, trekking on ponies; some provide ranch where campfires, rodeos, and square dances inject an element of fun ( Atkins, 1995 ).
The Barbados Tourism board has devised a unique criket holiday coached by their own legendary mster, Sir Garfield Sobers, described on his retirement as arguably the greatest criketer of all tlme. Here, the idea is for asquad of enthusiasts to be coached every morning on the famous Kensington Oval in Bridgetown and to play games against local sides in the afternoon ( Heald, 1992 )
Tennis and golf resorts are competing with each other to offer the finest facilities and the most expert professionals to improve visitors’ games. That golf provides an incentive to travel has been understood in Europe for the 1930, but only in recent years have resort areas such as the Spanish Costa del Sol recognized the economic benefit to be gained from the mass migration in winter of Britain’s golf enthusiasts ( Stoddart, 1994 )
But golf tourism is not confined to the Northern Hemisphere: “emerging economies” in Southeast Asia are now investing heavily in courses, hoping to attract Japan’s wealthy golfers,and Thailand promoted 1993 as the “ Visit Thai Golf Year.”
Apart from golf, the Iberian peninsula has also specialized in racquet sports. The Barrington Sports Club at Vale do Lobo, an exclusive resort in the Algarve, is patronized mailny by British aspirants to squash fame ( Jones, 1992 ). Another resort where racquet sports are the centerpiece is nueva Andalucia, near Marbella in Spain. Alongside 360 apartments and pent-houses are 22 squash and racquets courts, plus facilities for badminton and table tennis, as well as a gymnasium and fitness center, jogging track, bowling green, 10-pin bowling center, a pistol range, putting green, and three swimming pools.
Walking remains one of the least commercialized and most informal active recreations, often casula and unorganized in nature. Yet its popularity is evidenced by the huge number of guidebooks available, most of which are commercial publications, and the increasing number of travel firms offering package tours.
Fast and convenient forms of transportation hve brougt real adventure-type walking holidays to a growing number of people, so that a trek in the Himalayas is no longer reserved for Sir Edmund Hilary. Indeed the path to Everest has become so popular that as long ago as 1981 it required a special expedition to clean up the debris around the base camp ( Tuting, cited in Ryan, 1991 )