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Tourism & motorsport explored at BU

18 September 2009

BU's Dr Bruce Grant-Braham The relationship between motorsport and tourism was a key discussion at an international tourism conference held recently at BU.

Due to the level of attraction generated by motorsport, tourism is now the core reason for the hosting of many top-level motorsport events.

This is the view of BU’s motorsport and tourism expert Dr Bruce Grant-Braham who spoke at the prestigious Advances in Tourism Marketing Conference, hosted by the university’s International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research.

Dr Grant-Braham’s research paper titled ‘Sports Tourism and Motorsport’ reveals how motorsport events such as Bexhill-on-Sea, Le Mans 24H and the Malaysian F1 have received significant support and funding from government bodies simply for the tourism benefits they attract.

Director of BU’s Motor Sport Research Group, Dr Grant-Braham has undertaken extensive research into the impact of motorsport and the important relationship between the sport and the tourism industry.

Speaking in front of an audience of more than 150 leading tourism and marketing academics and professionals from across the globe, he said:

“Motor sport hallmark events have actively attracted sports tourism for 107 years, and local and national governments have recognised the mutual synergy since the sport began.

“Tourism contributes to the viability of many hallmark motorsport events and some of these events would not take place without government subsidy which is often attracted by promise of inward tourism.”

Using Australia’s successful Surfer’s Paradise –SuperGP event as an example, Dr Grant-Braham also highlighted how Motorsport tourists will stay longer in an area if supplementary events such as festivals or carnivals are organised by the host community.

He ended his talk by arguing that tourism organisations should look closer to home when attracting visitors, highlighting studies which reveal high levels of spending by local spectators, and explaining that “valuable as oversees tourists are, organisations should focus on attracting tourists within the host country and host community too.”

The Motor Sport Research Group, based within BU’s School of Services Management, conducts research into both the business of motor sport and the physiological aspects of competing in it.

Experts from the group are working on a number of groundbreaking research projects which will provide new and interesting insights into the sport’s competitors and how the sport is perceived.

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