Tourism is one of the largest industries of the global economy. It produces more than $500 billion yearly and it is estimated that by 2011 it will have summated 10% of the global GDP (gross domestic product). More and more national economies are relying on the visiting tourist. Cyprus is one of the countries with a high degree of dependence. Mass tourism has been the driving force behind the economic development and prosperity enjoyed on the island. Although tourism has helped the economy of the country overcome difficult periods, the development of the industry today is being challenged. The mono-lateral development of the touristic product, the rivalry originating from other destinations, the dependence on tour operators, and seasonality made the country devise a strategic plan for the development of tourism. Sustainable development can be reached through the development of special-interest products; sport tourism is included in these as mentioned in the plan conducted by the CTO (Cyprus Sport Organization). In the first part of the paper the author attempts to provide an insight regarding the implications embedded in defining the phenomenon of sport tourism. In the second part, the potential and the need for the development of sport tourism is presented, especially after the incidents happening after 2001, namely terrorist attacks, natural disasters etc., in the international scene and specifically in Cyprus. In the third part, the author provides information regarding past and present tendencies and occurrences in the tourism sector in Cyprus and future prospects of sport tourism.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.