Running Away From Home: Understanding Visitor Experiences and Behaviour at Sport Tourism Events
Journal: International Journal of Tourism Research
Existing sport tourism research has been subject to claims of lacking coherence, theoretical underpinning and empirical support. This paper addresses these issues through an examination of a group of distance runners participating in the Cyprus International Four-day Challenge. Using the concepts of serious leisure and social identification, the behaviours of this group of sport tourists are described and explained. The key finding was the strength of identification that participants had with the activity, and the nature of the event itself, which made this identity much more salient than other identities during the course of the event. This sense of identification was used to explain the unique ethos of the group, the use of significant personal effort, the perseverance of participants, the durable benefits obtained by the runners and the career structure associated with this social world.