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Richard J. Buning and Heather Gibson

Using the event-travel-career concept, this study examined the trajectory of active-sport-event travel careers through stages of development and the corresponding factors and dimensions perceived to influence career progression in the sport of cycling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 amateur cyclists engaged in lifestyles geared toward active event travel. A grounded theory approach revealed that active event travel careers evolve through a complex progression of 9 core themes and related subthemes. The core themes included the first event, starting out, motivation, temporal, travel style, destination criteria, event types, spatial, and later in life. On the basis of these findings, a 6-stage active-sport-event travel career model is proposed consisting of initiation, introduction, expansion, peak threshold, maintenance, and maturity. From this model, theoretical contributions, suggestions for future research, and practical implications for sport tourism and event management are discussed.

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Richard J. Buning and Heather J. Gibson

Utilizing a social worlds perspective, the study examined active-sport-event travel career progression in the sport of cycling. Event travel careers are considered potentially lifelong patterns of travel to participate in events that evolve through stages with distinct behaviors and motivations. Quantitative methods were used to test tenets of an inductively derived model of the active-sport-event travel career for cyclists. An international sample of cyclists were surveyed online; N = 1,452 responded. Using general linear modeling, the results depicted an escalation in motivation related to intellectual, social, mastery competence, giving back, and competition against others with career progression. However, while travel behavior related to preferred events characteristics changed with career progression, preferred characteristics related to destinations and travel style remained relatively stagnant. Implications for destination and event management are discussed.