15 February 2009

Racing Cyclists as Sports Tourists

Racing Cyclists as Sports Tourists: The Experiences and Behaviours of a Case Study Group of Cyclists in East Kent, England

Author: C.J. Bull - Chris Bull is Head of the Department of Sport Science, Tourism and Leisure at Canterbury Christ Church University, North Holmes Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 1QU, UK. Email:
DOI: 10.1080/14775080701400927
Publication Frequency: 4 issues per year
Published in: journal Journal of Sport & Tourism, Volume 11, Issue 3 & 4 August 2006 , pages 259 - 274
Subjects: Sports Tourism; Tourism & Leisure;
Formats available: HTML (English) : PDF (English)
Previously published as: Journal of Sport Tourism (1477-5085, 1029-5399) until 2006

What little work exists on cycling tourism tends to be focused entirely on economic impacts with little coverage of the participants themselves and, furthermore, the coverage looks mainly at 'cycling holidays' of one sort or another with day visits and cycle racing being largely ignored. This paper offers a modest attempt at redressing this imbalance by examining the travel behaviour of a small group of racing cyclists in East Kent together with their attitudes towards place and environment and their socio-economic and demographic profile. The work is part of a broader study concerned with cycle tourism and, more generally, sports tourist typologies and is also designed to explore various ideas underpinning the 'sports tourism participation model' outlined in Weed & Bull (2004). The paper shows that the cyclists constitute an important group of sports tourists, in terms of their overall travel patterns and related behaviour and motivations. As sports tourists, both the importance of the activity and the level of participation is high and thus they can be located towards the driven end of the sports tourism participation model.

Keywords: Sports Tourism; Cycle Tourism