Conceptualising Innovative Business Models for Sustainable Sport Tourism

Conceptualising Innovative Business Models for Sustainable Sport Tourism

M. Perić V. Vitezić  J. Mekinc 

University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Croatia

University of Primorska, Faculty of Tourism Studies – Turistica, Slovenia

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In today’s complex business environment, creating and delivering value to the customer, as the ultimate goal of business models, implies continuous research of elements and relationships within the business model. Despite the growing level of quality research in the field of business models, there seems to be a remarkable gap in the topic of tourism, especially in sport tourism. Being a unique combination of an experience-oriented activity (i.e. tourism) and a performance-oriented activity (i.e. sport), sport tourism presents many challenges to service providers. In fostering sustainable and profitable sport tourism, it is reasonable to ask how complex challenges affect business models and whether new model definitions and elements should be propounded. The aim of this paper is to propose a conceptual business model for sport tourism that will consider some critical issues that challenge the industry. First, a range of contrasting perspectives regarding business model elements will be analysed. Second, three potentially significant issues for sport tourism operators – tourist experience, safety and security, and the importance of the environment – will be analysed, and their position within the context of the business model will be discussed. Finally, a new conceptual business model framework for sport tourism will be proposed. This framework would facilitate research into the managerial aspects of sport tourism supply to provide additional guidelines for practitioners, particularly for small, private-owned businesses.


business models, environment, safety and security, sport tourism, tourist experience


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