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Sport tourism is one of the fastest growing market segments in the tourism industry and is receiving increased attention for its social, environmental, and economic impacts upon destinations. Prior research in tourism impacts has tended to focus exclusively on tourism as a whole and does not differentiate among the different types of tourism that may be present in a destination. The purpose of this study was to examine how residents of Indianapolis, Indiana perceived the impacts sport tourism has upon their city. A total of 347 surveys were returned in a mailed questionnaire. Exploratory factor analysis revealed a four factor structure of social benefits, environmental benefits, economic benefits, and general negative impacts. Social and economic benefits were strong predictors for support for further sport tourism development revealing a strong identification with the advantages of sport tourism in their city such as an increased cultural identity and social interaction opportunities.
Ross is with the Dept. of Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Hritz is with the Dept. of Health and Applied Human Sciences, University of North Carolina – Wilmington, Wilmington, NC 28403.