Peculiarities of regional development of sport tourism

J.A. Karvunis1
E.V. Negodenko1
Dr. Med., Professor L.V. Kapilevich1
1Tomsk State University, Tomsk

Keywords: sport tourism, Siberia, regional specifics

Background. Sport tourism has lately been increasingly popular in the Russian Federation to evolve into a new national sport discipline catering for the modern communal and individual values, priorities and demands [6, 7]. Sport tourism requires a harmonized knowledgebase, skills and experience for success in the trekking events in rough terrains; high physical fitness to cope with the natural obstacles and demonstrate high performance in extreme environmental conditions [2, 3, 8]. Sport tourism classes are fairly well represented in our country on the whole and the Siberian Federal Region in particular [1, 4, 5], albeit the relevant sport science is still in need of detailed analyses of their regional specifics and potentials.

Objective of the study was to analyze the regional developmental specifics and potentials for each sport tourism class and local attractions for the sport tourists in the Siberian Federal Region.

Methods and structure of the study. The first stage of the study was designed to interview members of 10 sport tourist clubs across the Siberian Federal Region to produce a sport-specific questionnaire survey form. The second stage of the study included an online questionnaire survey of a broad sample in the local sport tourism sector. Sampled in the Siberian Federal Region for the survey were amateur sport tourists (n=180, including 126 workers, 41 student, 7 unemployed and 6 retired individuals) provisionally split up into three groups by the actual experiences/ sport records. Thus the sample included 15, 50 and 115 tourists with the active sport records of under 1, 1-5 and 5-plus-year sport records, respectively, with 62 of the latter (most experienced) reportedly having the formal sport tourist event management experiences; and 24 out of 50 tourists with 1-5-year experiences also reporting the management or competitive experiences in the formal tourist events under auspices of the relevant sport tourist federations. The least experienced (under 1 year) group was dominated (10 out of 15) by competitors of the informal sport tourist events, with 4 out of 15 reportedly having competitive experiences in the regional qualification sport tourism events.

Results and discussion. Based on the survey data, we made a detailed analysis of the regional developmental specifics for each of the sport tourism classes, plus an analysis of sport tourism attractiveness of every Siberian Federal Region area. It was found that hiking, mountain tourism, rafting, sailing, skiing, caving, cycling and mountaineering sport tourism classes are the most developed and promising in the region, with the Republic of Altai, Republic of Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk Territory offering the best sport tourism attractions for further progress of the sport discipline. Given on Figure 1 hereunder is the classification of the sample by the sport tourism classes. Dominating in the sample were the hiking (41.1%), mountain tourism (36.7%) and caving (37.8%) sport tourism classes; with the sailing tourism rated the lowest (0.6%) on the popularity scale – that is not unusual due to the regional natural and geographical specifics. It should be noted that the above distribution was much the same for every sport tourism experience group.

Furthermore, we analyzed the areal sport tourism attractiveness within the Siberian Federal Region by the sport tourism classes, with the respondents encouraged to check a few most attractive areas at once. The Republic of Altai was ranked on top by the sport tourism attractiveness, as indicated by 69.7% of the mountain tourists, 51.4% of the hikers, 68.3% of the climbers, 39.7% of the water tourists and 76.9% of the motor tourists. The caving tourists, however, ranked on top Khakassia (76.5%) and Krasnoyarsk Territory (67.7%); while the ski tourists reported preferring the Kemerovo Region (68.18%). Given of Figure 2 hereunder is the sample classification by the sport tourism classes.

Figure 1. Sample classification by the sport tourism classes

Figure 2. Siberian Federal Region areas ranked by the attractiveness for the sport tourism

The sample ranked the Siberian Federal Region areas by the sport tourism / amateur tourism attractiveness as follows: Ergaki Nature Park, Torgashinsky Range, Krasnoyarsk Reservoir, Biryusinsky Bay, Kubinskaya and Geneva Caves, Stolby Nature Reserve (Krasnoyarsk Territory); Severo-Chuy ridge, Mount Aktur, Mount Maashey Bash Mount Belukha, Akkem glacier, Akkem lake, Katun and Chuya rivers (Altai Republic); Efremkino village and Malaya Syya village, Pandora’s Box cave, Vinogradovskaya cave, Kashkulakskaya cave (Republic of Khakassia), Baikal Lake, Olkhon island (Irkutsk region), and Kuznetsk Alatau (Kemerovo region). It should be noted that only 41.1% of the sample reported being fully satisfied with the available Siberian tourist and natural resources for their favorite sport tourism class.

The sample ranked the major problems for the sport tourism faced in Siberia as follows: unreasonably high pricing of the sport tourism services; poor quality of the road surfaces; transportation service challenges; and the poor or non-available sport tourism information about the target region. Only 20.6% of the sample reported facing no major problems on the sport tourism routes. The most experienced group, having compared the Siberian sport tourism service infrastructure and attractions with the other regions, mentioned its undeveloped transport infrastructure, highly priced albeit poor quality services, and the severe natural and weather conditions that limit to a degree the sport tourism industry growth in the region. As for the sport tourism benefits of the Siberian Federal Region, the respondents appreciated its widely diverse beautiful landscapes and great natural treasures, plus excellent security systems, particularly in the mountain sport tourism sector.

Conclusion. The study found that the sport tourism attractions of the Siberian Federal Region are largely due to its natural and geographic specifics. It was found that hiking, mountain and caving sport tourism are the most developed and promising sport tourism classes in the region, with the Republic of Altai, the Republic of Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk Territory offering the best sport tourism attractions for further progress of the sport discipline. The Siberian Federal Region policies are recommended giving a special attention to the sport tourism service pricing and quality assurance systems, transport infrastructure development and upgrade projects, and the regional sport tourism attractions overview information/ publications to lure sport tourists in the region.

References

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Abstract

Sport tourism has lately been increasingly popular in the RF to evolve into a new national sport discipline catering for the modern communal and individual values, priorities and demands. Sport tourism requires a harmonized knowledgebase, skills and experience for success in the trekking events in rough terrains; high physical fitness to cope with the natural obstacles and demonstrate high performance in the extreme environmental conditions. We have analyzed herein the regional developmental specifics for each sport tourism class and local attractions for the sport tourists in the Siberian Federal Region.

The first stage of the study was designed to interview members of 10 sport tourist clubs across the Siberian Federal Region to produce a sport-specific questionnaire survey form. The second stage of the study included an online questionnaire survey of a broad sample in the local sport tourism sector. Sampled for the survey were amateur sport tourists (n=180, including 126 workers, 41 student, 7 unemployed and 6 retired individuals) provisionally split up into three groups by the actual experiences/ sport records.

The survey data were analyzed to find the regional progress specifics for each of the sport tourism classes and identify the top sport tourist attractions in the Siberian Federal Region. It was found that hiking, mountain and caving sport tourism are the most developed and promising sport tourism classes in the region, with the Republic of Altai, the Republic of Khakassia and Krasnoyarsk Territory offering the best sport tourism attractions for further progress of the sport discipline.