2013 is a great year for spectator sports with plenty of major football, rugby, tennis and golf tournaments taking place. This year also offers a great opportunity to actually get out there and try the numerous sports on offer across the world.
Barcelona in SpainBarcelona places itself firmly on the sports stage after hosting the 1992 Olympic Games. And in fact, the Spanish city has since seen a double footfall of travellers, which is largely attributed to the games. Simply a fantastic destination for individuals who love outdoor charms of Mother Nature while engaging in several physical activities, Barcelona offers a combination of year-round clement weather and natural geography. It is considered as a center of sports activities as it holds various game competitions such as wake-boarding, biking, in-lining, snowboarding, and skiing. It has been selected to host the 2013 FINA World Championships, a world championship for aquatic sports like water polo, open water swimming, swimming, and diving, for two weeks.
Sydney in Australia
Sydney is one of the world’s great places to spend sports holidays with a rich sporting legacy left after the successful Olympic Games which were held here in the year 2000. Sydney offers a wide variety of water sports and outdoor activities (as you’d expect) such as skiing, snorkelling, scuba diving, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, water rafting, hiking and horse riding. Certain areas along its coast also offer power sports such as water skiing and jet skiing. It also allows its visitors to simply go sailing. The Apia International Sydney tournament, a joint WTA Tour and ATP World Tour tennis tournament, is also held here each year in January at the Sydney’s NSW Tennis Center.
Vancouver in Canada
Vancouver is the west coast’s haven for numerous recreational sport activities. And since hosting the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the variety of quality of sports and amenities on offer has slid up an extra notch. Travellers can enjoy numerous outdoor activities such as snowshoeing or skiing during winter and kayaking or hiking during warmer months. You can also join the enthusiastic locals at the beaches, on the trails on Vancouver Island, or watching a hockey game. From the BC Lions to Vancouver Canucks, there is surely a sport for everyone. The 21st Challenge Cup’s Annual AAA Hockey Tournament will be held at various best arenas in Vancouver area from May 17 – 20, 2013. Also, the 2013 International Judo Tournament will take place at Richmond Olympic Oval, Vancouver on February 2, 2013.
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
Considered an outdoor paradise, Brazil offers all types of outdoor and sports activities imaginable, from hand-gliding to horse riding; from canoeing to mountain biking; to sailing; to mountain climbing; to walking; to scuba diving; and to kite surfing. Establishing itself as the hottest sports destination in the world, the most popular sports with Brazil’s tourists include sailing, kite surfing, and wind surfing. Depending on the wind, Brazil’s weather and waves provide its visitors a great infrastructure to practice various aquatic sports. On June 15 - 30, 2013, Brazil will host the FIFA Confederations Cup, a prelude to the FIFA World Cup in 2014. Rio de Janeiro is also preparing to host the 2016 Olympic Games.
From zorbing to bungee jumping, to the more conventional activities of tramping and skiing across spectacular landscapes, New Zealand offers its outdoor tourists a whole host of sports choices. A sports mad country, New Zealand started the commercial bungee jumping that has spread to many parts of the world. For the entire year, it caters many other sports such as motorsport, equestrian, horse racing, rowing, cycling, diving, swimming, tennis, golf, and touch rugby. The ISF World Softball Championships, a premier international softball event, will take place in Auckland, New Zealand on March 2013. New Zeeland is also home to the ‘9 Great Walks’ including the Abel Tasman Coast, Heaphy Track and Kepler Track.
Morocco has been keeping up with travellers increasing interest in sporting holidays. It offers magnificent trekking opportunities, impressive tennis and golf facilities, ski resorts, adventurous off-piste skiing, and excellent fishing areas. The country’s national sport obsession is football. Tourists can join some of the beach kick-about games or just enjoy watching local cup matches or league. Try a biking adventure in the High Atlas Mountains. Also, the country offers excellent water sports like diving, kayaking, river rafting, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, yachting, and sailing. In December 11-21, 2013, it will host the FIFA Club World Cup, the 10th edition of the FIFA-organized football tournament.
Malaysia is one of the major locations for many sports spectators and enthusiasts. It has been a host for numerous international sports events such as Formula 1, golf, power boat racing, cycling, and motorcycling. Travellers can climb and hike up to the Mt. Kinabalu summit and can walk and trek the jungle in Sabah. It also holds other popular sports including football, squash, badminton, and hockey. The country is not only abundant in sports facilities, but also a popular location for water sports, sailing, and diving. The MKA, Malaysia Kendo Association, will be a host to the 10th AKT (ASEAN Kendo Tournament), which will take place in Penang, Malaysia on August 23 – 25, 2013.
Just voted Asia’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination, South Korea offers a hot climate, an extensive coastline, and numerous national parks, South Korea offers numerous recreational and sporting activities. It offers traditional martial arts like judo and Taekwondo; global sports like baseball and football; several world-class and affordable golf courses and golf club memberships; popular water sports such as diving, sailing, and boating; and spectacular walking and hiking trails. The final stage of the 5th edition EAFF East-Asian Cup, the East Asia’s football championship, will be played in South Korea on July 20-28, 2013. Expect South Korea to become a world leader in sports tourism too, as the country hosted the Special Olympics Winter Games in early 2013, leaving a strong sports infrastructure.
Qatar considers sports as one of the nation’s most important social activities. There exists a wide range of options for those who are interested in either as spectators or partakers of the sports activities. Its most popular spectators’ sports are cricket and football. The country’s extensive coastline along with the hot climate make various water sports, sailing, boating, and diving popular choices for many visitors who wish to take part in such sporting activities. The 21st edition of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, a part of the ATP World Tour 250-Series, has just been played in Doha’s Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. And of course Qatar is preparing to host the 2022 World Cup.
Just voted the Caribbean’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination, Jamaica is a leader in sporting activities; Jamaica offers unique opportunities to whet its visitors’ appetite for excitement. It offers a wide range of sporting activities including diving, snorkelling, dog sledding, fishing, sailing, golf, horse riding, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, tennis, river boating and rafting, zip lining, and tennis. It will be a host to the Miami Soccer Cup 2013 at Sunset Beach Resort and Spa, Montego Bay on May 15-19, 2013.
London in UK
Fresh from hosting the hugely successful 2012 Olympic Games, London offers a great deal to sports enthusiasts. There’s just about every sport you can imagine; archery, watersports, wrestling, bowling, martial arts, horse racing, snooker, cycling and greyhound racing. The Olympic legacy is thriving and very noticeable. The mainstream sports of football, cricket, rugby, golf are omnipresent. This summer London hosts the British Athletics Grand Prix at the Olympic Park on 27 July 2013. The NFL is hosted at Wembley Stadium on 29 September and the Ashes is played from 18 to 22 July 2013.
Sochi in Russia
One of the hottest sports destinations right now, the city of Sochi will showcase its sporting prowess to the world in early 2014 as it hosts the Olympic Winter Games and also the Paralympic Winter Games. Running from 7 to 23 February 2004, expect 15 different sports including snowboarding, luge, ice hockey, bobsleigh, alpine skiing and biathlon.
Silk Route, Central Asia
The Great Silk Road is made of the Central Asian countries Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. And the best way to explore these countries is just as the nomads and travellers would have done in centuries gone by; on horseback and on foot. The four thousand mile Silk Road beckons with each country retaining its own unique culture and history.