Gammon, Sean James
Sporting Pasts – Tourist Futures.
Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.
The last fifteen years has seen significant growth and advancement in the study of sport tourism. The publication of numerous texts, journal and conference papers - along with the progress made to the Journal of Sport and Tourism are testament to the subject’s maturity. In tandem with these developments institutions in higher education have seen a proliferation in modules, programmes and courses at both under graduate and post graduate level in sport tourism, as well as notable increases in PhD theses with sport tourism related themes and perspectives.
This commentary presents a synthesized critical evaluation on my research publications and their impact upon the developments of sport tourism detailed above. The ten publications chosen have come from both journals and book chapters, and are a blend of conceptual and empirical studies. Whilst the majority of the published are conceptual in nature the methodology adopted in the empirical studies have ranged from qualitatively driven research using in-depth interviews and observational methods – to more quantitatively driven studies which implemented questionnaire and document analyses.
The case is made that the evaluated published works have both collectively contributed to the knowledge in the areas of sport tourist motivation with particular reference to nostalgia and heritage. More specifically, the synthesis demonstrates that the selected studies have contributed in laying the foundations of sport tourism by introducing and explaining the synergistic relationship between the two concepts of sport and tourism, as well as identifying definitive sport tourism markets – and doing so providing unique insights into the distinct sport and tourism-related services and experiences required by each. Furthermore, not only do the published works introduce, define and categorise for the first time the concept of heritage sport tourism but also offer the first empirical studies on the experience and design of sport stadium tours. Collectively, the papers are regularly referred to in the literature and, as a consequence, continue to stir debate and further research in the area which, in turn, will contribute to the general advancement of sport tourism.
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