The Importance of Experience in Participant’s Motivations in Recreational Sport Tourism Events in Portugal
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Portugal is a country with excellent natural conditions for the practice of a number of sporting activities. Until now, the research on recreational practitioners is scarce, mostly those issues related to health benefits and well-being of sports. Through a theoretical review of recreational sport tourism events based on Gammon and Robinson (Journal of Sport & Tourism 8:21–26, 2003), Gibson (Sport Management Review 1:95–102, 1998) and Getz (Sport Marketing Quarterly 7:8–13, 1998), this study intends to perceive the participants’ experience in Portugal by defining a framework model based on Weed and Bull’s (Sport tourism: Participants, policy and providers. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 2004) conceptualization, and being supported on the interaction among people, place and activity. The participants’ experience has been analysed within the sports activities developed in water, land and air as per the characterization made by Aspas (Los deportes de aventura: consideraciones jurídicas sobre el turismo activo. Editora Prames, Zaragoza, 2000). The methodology was developed in two stages. The first involving in-depth interviews to the responsible managers of sport events companies. This information was processed with the software MAXQDA12. The second stage was composed by a survey applied during some selected events organized by the previously interviewed managers. These results allow to identify the variables concerning the constructs to the theoretical model, thereby assessing whether these constructs have a positive effect on the resulting experience obtained from sport tourism events and recreational participation in sport tourism.
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