Sport-Tourism Running Events in the Post-COVID-19 World: Any Sign of Change?

Ana Chersulich Tomino, Marko Perić

Abstract


The covid-19 pandemic has led to significant restrictions on sports and the sporttourism event industry. Consequently, event organisers must consider and implement new safety strategies to protect event attendees. This empirical study focuses on active runners and their intention to attend future running events following the covid-19 crisis, and the perception of how important they find some of the nonpharmaceutical safety-related protective measures when attending sporting events (e.g. limited number of people, prescribed minimum distance, no-contact payment etc.). To collect data, a survey questionnaire was conducted in February 2021 among the running community in Croatia. Besides descriptive statistics, anova and t-test were employed to test whether statistically significant differences exist in the perception of safety protective measures among participants depending on their motivation and the type of running event. Respondents are very impatient regarding events and it seems they do not perceive the safety protective measures as very important. The majority of respondents plan to attend one-day races in their home country within a few weeks and they are mostly motivated by competition and improvement of racing skills, socializing and fun. The type of motivation and the type of running event are not found to have a major influence on the perception of safety protective measures. Even though running is an outdoor sport, safety protective measures might be a challenge for event organizers in the future. Revealing the runners’ intentions to visit running events and their attitudes towards safety protective measures, this study could shape event organizers’ future managerial and security strategies.

Keywords: sport-tourism events, running, covid-19, safety-related protective measures


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