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Open Access Empirical research on sport tourism behaviour and experience

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Ito's research follows a unique combination of constraint theory and affect valuation theory, combining the fields of leisure studies and social psychology. This multi-disciplinary approach reflects the nature of the field of sport tourism research and is, according to Ito, 'particularly important for Japanese sport tourism where theory-driven research is needed.' Focusing on conducting, 'theory-driven research to provide systematic explanations for sport tourism behaviours and experiences,' Ito's use of constraint theory examines the factors considered limiting in the formation of leisure preferences or that inhibit the participation and enjoyment of leisure. The theory considers three types of constraints, including intrapersonal (e.g. attitude), interpersonal (e.g. a lack of companions) and structural (e.g. a lack of time). He also employs affect valuation theory, which derives from the field of social psychology and proposes that the ideal affect differs from the actual affect and that cultural factors have a greater impact on shaping the ideal affect than they do on actual affect. Conversely, temperament is thought to have greater impact on actual affect as opposed to ideal affect. This theory suggests that where there are large discrepancies between the two, individuals will actively engage in specific behaviours designed to elicit their ideal outcome. Thus, such individuals may demonstrate a preference for engaging in certain leisure activities over others. Leisure activities such as sport tourism seem to play a significant role in minimising the discrepancies between the ideal and actual affect. To gain an in-depth understanding of sport tourism as a whole, it is vital to study all four types of sport tourism to determine the needs, experiences, desires and behaviours of sport tourists. Active sport tourism involves tourists who engage in sporting activities, such as skiing, at their destination. Spectator event sport tourism involves tourists travelling to watch sports at their destination, as demonstrated by the Olympic Games, while participant event sport tourism, as the name indicates, involves tourists travelling to participate in sporting events such as the World Masters Games. Finally, heritage sport tourism – often a secondary or tertiary motivation for travel – describes tourism in which travellers visit a sport heritage site, such as a sporting hall of fame. Ito explains that the, 'Behaviours, needs and experiences of sport tourists likely differ across the types of sport tourism. Therefore, it is important to accumulate knowledge in all types of sport tourism research and apply research results in a practitioner-centric manner.'
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Keywords: ACTIVE SPORT TOURISM; AFFECT VALUATION THEORY; CONSTRAINT THEORY; CULTURAL PSYCHOLOGY; EVENT SPORT TOURISM; HERITAGE SPORT TOURISM; JAPAN; LEISURE STUDIES; MEGA SPORT EVENTS; OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES; RUGBY WORLD CUP; SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY; SPORT TOURISM BEHAVIOUR AND EXPERIENCE; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT; WORLD MASTERS GAMES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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