Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management

Advisor

Backman, Kenneth

Committee Member

Backman , Sheila

Committee Member

Ramshaw , Gregory

Abstract

ABSTRACT
Sport tourism is a collection of several niche markets (Bull & Weed, 1999) that provides a diverse field of study. The popularity of sport tourism related research has increased in the past two decades (Gibson, 2004). Studies have mainly covered the analysis of mega events, economic impacts, destination management issues, and recreational sport tourism and spectatorship (Higham & Hinch, 2009). Research on the niche market of elite and intercollegiate athletes has been largely ignored. With the growing number of competitions (Costa, Glinia, & Drakou, 2004) and popularity of college athletics (Zgonc, 2010); there is a significant travel flow of intercollegiate athletes. It is necessary to understand these athletes travel behavior, travel needs and motivations on sporting aimed tours. The present study aims to contribute to the acknowledgement and recognition of athletes as a distinct sport tourism market segment.
Athletes travel frequently and under high pressure and stress (Hodge & Hermansson, 2007) with the primary goal to perform, therefore their behavior, needs and motivations could differ from any other type of sport tourists and share similarities with business travelers (Higham & Hinch, 2009). This study also examines their free time, leisure and tourism activities on sporting aimed tours.
After an initial online survey with 6 ACC coaches; a second online survey was designed and conducted with female intercollegiate rowers from ACC Rowing Programs. Descriptive statistical analysis, mean comparisons and regression analyses were run to reveal these athletes behavior, motivations and travel needs on sporting aimed tours.

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Sociology Commons

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