Sport tourism makes up over 20% of the total market in western countries, and accounts for 13% worldwide.
However, in Greece the sub-sector of sports tourism occupies a very small share of tourism at large, despite, at least in theory, the country offering the perfect setting and climate for this specific niche to flourish.
One of the few ‘success stories’ in terms of sports tourism in Greece has been taking place on the island of Spetses for nearly a decade, proving the potential it could hold for the industry as a whole.
The Spetses Mini Marathon attracts world-renowned athletes and thousands of amateurs every year in October as the island in the Argosaronikos Gulf welcomes all the participants and visitors.
The founder and Chairman of the Organising Committee Dr. Marina – Lida Koutarelli Spetses Mini Marathon says she is “extremely proud” of its appeal to the visitors and athletes alike who remain loyal to the motto “Victory Is Participation”.
The largest multi-sporting event in Greece, the 9th Spetses Mini Marathon will take place this year on 4-6 October 2019 on the beautiful island of Argosaronikos under the auspices of the Municipality of Spetses and the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO). The event has steadily grown since 2011 as has received over 35 international awards.
The numbers are testament to its success, with over 18,000 visitors and athletes attending, while 1 in 2 participants arrived from abroad to take part in the Spetses mini Marathon.
Mass bookings are expected for the first time this year with more than 150 people from major travel agencies from Russia, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Italy. 100% of the hotels are full for the weekend, not only in Spetses but also in the surrounding area for at least two nights.
According to a recent nationwide survey, over 99% of participants expressed a desire to come back, over 97% would send their friends, while 99.5% of participants considered it to be the country’s largest and best-known sporting event.
With regards to promotion, over 65 subscription channels abroad have aired matches, while on social networks, @spetses_marathonaccount has 42.4k followers, the largest amateur sport account in the country.
This year’s event will include three races (5km byGARMINSeries, 10km and 25km) and three swimming events (1.5km, 3km and 5km) thus meeting the requirements of all participants! There will also be children’s events, as every year, including running and swimming races, as well as the SUPEventbyBIC®.
The 360 local volunteers from Spetses give their best during the whole three days as well as the parallel cultural and social events.
by Stefania Souki