We have known for years that sports tourism is one of the opportunities and a cure for the seasonality of our tourism, ie the way to fill it before and after the season, but we can never fulfill that potential properly, with positive examples.
One such positive example is the Blue Lagoon and Istria. Namely, the best concrete proof of this thesis is that two European sports championships are coming to Poreč. After Croatia hosted the first official judo competition after the "lockdown", the European Cup in Dubrovnik, two big European judo championships are coming to Poreč.
Thus, from November 4 to 6, Poreč will host the best juniors of the Old Continent, and from November 9 to 10, the best junior seniors (U23) of Europe will fight for the titles of European champions on the tatami in Poreč.
412 athletes from 40 countries will take part in the European Junior Championships, of which 235 are male and 177 are female. In the continuation of November, from Monday 9th to Tuesday 10th in Poreč, younger judo seniors compete, 352 of them, of which 208 judokas and 144 judokas from 36 countries.
The host for the accommodation of athletes and organizers is exactly Plava Laguna, and the guests will stay in Hotel Parentium and Hotel Molindrio Plava Laguna.
Now it follows key factor i the answer when asked how sporting events can extend the tourist season.
In the upcoming two judo events that will take place in Poreč during November, Plava Laguna will realize more than five thousand overnight stays, report from Plava Laguna on our request. And in the month of November!
In addition to the specific numbers of overnight stays, it should certainly take into account the additional tourist spending in the destination. Only 764 competitors and additional support staff, organizers, etc.… will create non-board consumption in the destination, create a "hat" in the city, and thus we get the opportunity to prove ourselves as a destination, both tourist and the opportunity to motivate some teams from 40 countries preparations in Croatia. Events and sports competitions are just an addition to the rounded story around sports tourism.
Blue Lagoon is recognized with a focus on sports tourism
Thus, Plava Laguna organizes numerous sports events and is a partner and sponsor of various sports events - from Poreč Half Marathon and Triathlon, Triathlon 5150, IronGirl and IronKids races, bicycle and racing races in Poreč and Umag, Istrian Winter League powered by Plava Laguna, all the way Plava Laguna ATP Croatia Open Umag and many others.
"Large sports events outside the main tourist season are a great motive for the arrival of not only athletes, but also accompanying staff, family and friends, as well as a good opportunity to promote our destination. Blue Lagoon recognizes the importance and value of such events and is open to athletes during their sports preparations and sporting events"
Of course, in the whole story about sports tourism we must emphasize the importance of the destination as well as quality infrastructure, health facilities, physiotherapists, proximity to hospitals, sports specialists, etc.… and a number of other accompanying sports services. Istria has excellently positioned itself as one of the positive examples in which the existing infrastructure enables and supports the development of this specific form of tourism.
"In Plava Laguna, the sports infrastructure has been developing together with the rest of the infrastructure - we have been hosting active vacations since 1957. We have one of the best infrastructures for sports events in Croatia, if not the best, with excellent service in the hotels of Plava Laguna. Our approach is that our "holiday playgrounds" in Porec, Umag, Rijeka host the best holidays. And that all our guests are VIP guests, regardless of whether they are staying in 2 or 5 star accommodation”They conclude from the Blue Lagoon.
It is not an opportunity in football, but in "small" sports
Everyone focuses only on football, which in my opinion is a mistake. There is much greater potential in "small" sports. Of course, not everyone can attract the most famous football clubs in the world, if we succeed, it's just icing on the cake and added value, but the base must be all other sports.
Few people are aware that, say, one event such as judo in Poreč can generate five thousand nights, or that last year in Umag the World Karate Camp and the World Youth League generated 20.000 nights through just one event. Of course, as I pointed out, big sporting events such as the European and World Championships are just the icing on the cake, but they don’t come by chance.
The four key areas in which we need to focus in sports tourism are: recreation, preparation of athletes and various camps, organization of major sporting events, as well as promotion that includes our successful athletes.
In conclusion, the European Judo Championship in six days of reflection will achieve over 5.000 overnight stays. It is sports tourism.
Cover photo: Hotel Parentium, Plava Laguna