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Four Surprising Destinations Using Sports to Attract Tourists


Nov 21, 2023

Salem, Virginia: The Ultimate Sports Tourism Destination

The world of sports tourism is vast and varied, offering travelers a range of experiences from attending weekend tournaments to flying with sports equipment. While big cities like New York and Los Angeles often get the spotlight for major events like the Super Bowl, smaller markets are also competing to attract thousands of other events every year. In recent years, four markets have emerged as underdogs in the sports tourism industry: Salem, Virginia; Houston, Texas; Greensboro, North Carolina; and Louisville, Kentucky.

According to Sports Business Journal, these four cities are considered underrated when it comes to hosting sports events and providing a major league experience. Despite their relatively small size and resources compared to larger cities, they have proven themselves capable of attracting major events that draw millions of visitors each year.

In the case of Salem, Virginia, the city is gearing up to host its 100th NCAA championship in 2023. This event is expected to bring in millions of visitors from around the country who will flock to watch some of the best college basketball players in action. The City of Salem has invested heavily in infrastructure and amenities over the years to make sure that this event runs smoothly and provides an unforgettable experience for attendees.

Meanwhile, Houston has seen significant growth in its tourism market due to recent event wins. The city hosted several high-profile sporting events last year including a Major League Baseball game between the Astros and Yankees at Minute Maid Park. This game drew more than 42,000 fans from across the country who were eager to see one of baseball’s biggest rivalries played live on television.

Greensboro has long been known as “Tournament Town,” hosting numerous college basketball tournaments throughout the years. However, this year marks a new era for Greensboro as it hosts its first professional tennis tournament – the ATP Greensboro Open – which is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world. The tournament will also provide an economic boost for local businesses and hotels in Greensboro.

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