Sports Travel Is a Winner

This niche market can be a great opportunity for agents By: Kenneth Shapiro
Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West
Shapiro // © 2016 TravelAge West

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When I was 11 years old, my family took a coast-to-coast road trip, and along the way we stopped in nearly all the baseball stadiums across the country. It was a kid’s dream trip, and I’ve cherished those memories ever since.

These days, I have my own sports fanatic in the house. Over the years, my son and I have gone to all sorts of sporting events in cities across the U.S. And regardless of whether the team we’re seeing is major league, minor league or college-level — good, bad or ugly — we enjoy spending time together indulging in a passion we share.

We’ve also been to Cactus League spring training in Arizona, which you can read about in this issue’s cover story, “Take the Family Out to the Ballgame." One of the great things about spring training is that there’s absolutely no stress over winning or losing — the experience is all about having a great time in a beautiful ballpark on a sunny day, which is certainly something that non-fans can get excited about, as well.

Another great thing about sports travel is that it’s ideal for a multigenerational vacation or a group of families that share a similar interest. And these groups usually come together naturally, with very little effort, as people share their plans with other families and friends.

Plus, sporting events are rarely one-time affairs. A successful trip to see a team play could easily lead to future trips to other cities and venues. I know of many instances where a sports-related trip became an annual tradition.

For these reasons and more, sports travel offers a great niche opportunity for travel agents. Whether planning a vacation centered around a particular sport or just adding a sports element to a family trip, travel agents can enrich their clients’ vacations, take an interest in their passions and have a never-ending source of new vacation suggestions — all while increasing their potential profits at the same time.

In a few weeks, millions of people will be settling in to enjoy their own Super Bowl Sunday ritual. Maybe that’s the excuse you need to reach out to families in your database and see who might be interested in traveling to other sporting events throughout the year.

If you don’t get their business this time, as the players say, there’s always next season.