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How Sport is Driving Fans' Travel Preferences in 2020

Sports fans
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Booking.com reveals how sporting events are driving fans' travel preferences in 2020 as this year is set to be an incredible year for fans;, especially in Summer 2020.

In addition to 12 European cities hosting UEFA EURO 2020™, Australia will play home to the ICC T20 World Cups, while Japan will put on a major international sporting spectacle. With such an exciting sporting calendar on the horizon, fans from all corners of the world are prepared to do anything it takes to experience the action in person.

With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, Booking.com, the Official Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner of UEFA EURO 2020™, reveals just how far fans are willing to go to ensure they can support their favorite team live in the stadium and not miss out on key sporting moments.

Global sports fans go to extraordinary lengths to see their team live

Research conducted by Booking.com in 29 markets, among more than 19,000 football fans, shows that almost half (49%) of global fans would rather travel to watch their team live in 2020 than go on a family vacation*. 

When it comes to priorities in life, planning and booking their sports trip is high on the list, with 43% of global sport fans saving money specifically to travel to see their team or favorite athlete play. Over a quarter (26%) confess that they are willing to spend less on their child’s or partner’s birthday presents than on traveling to a major sporting event. 

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Fans turn sporting bucket lists into reality 

It has also been revealed that almost two thirds (63%) of global fans are desperate to travel to a sporting event, as they don’t want to risk missing out on a historic moment, whilst 73% state that they want to experience the atmosphere live in the stadium. 

Attending the UEFA European Championship™ is particularly aspirational for a number of global sport fans, with nearly one third (30%) firmly placing it on their bucket list as a sporting event they want to experience at least once in their lifetime.

In line with their utmost desire to be in the stadium to witness key moments live, it seems as though fans’ dreams of attending live matches may be turning into a reality. Booking.com reports that last month it saw a marked increase (43%) in searches for accommodations in UEFA EURO 2020™ host cities, with check in dates between 12 June - 12 July, when compared to the same time last year.** 

Amongst all of the host cities, Bucharest, Baku and Bilbao experienced the largest surges, as searches grew over 150% for each, compared to last year. 

And, when it comes to arranging travel plans for UEFA EURO 2020™, UK, Russian and German fans are showing signs of being the most organized, as they top the list of nationalities searching for accommodation in host cities. 

 

Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, said: “There’s no denying that sporting events are driving travel choices that individuals are making in a big way. With excitement sweeping the sporting world this year, especially around UEFA EURO 2020™, fans are desperate to be there in person and we are excited to help them experience these amazing moments live. It’s amazing to partner with UEFA™ to ensure that fans have the best experience while traveling to watch this epic tournament.”

Don’t miss out on memorable sporting moments 

With so many iconic moments at the UEFA EURO™ championships over the years, Booking.com ambassador David Villa has revealed his all-time favorites. From jaw-dropping strikes to last minute winners, the UEFA EURO 2008™ Golden Boot winner has had a shot at recreating the best ones – whetting the appetite of fans for this summer’s spectacle. 

David Villa said: “It’s an electrifying year for sport and I can’t wait to experience the live atmosphere at UEFA EURO 2020™ across all the host nations and witness more incredible moments! Given the quality on show, this is shaping up to be one of the best international tournaments of all time for fans, so it’s incredible to get the opportunity to travel and be a part of it.”

Booking.com has a wide range of incredible places to stay to support any traveling fans’ needs! Visit Booking.com now or download the Booking app to book your next sports inspired stay.

*Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among 19,392 football fans aged 18 or over in 29 markets (including c.900 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, Indonesia, US, UK, Colombia and Russia; and c.400 each from Belgium, Denmark, Croatia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mexico, Singapore, Israel, South Korea and Sweden). Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th August and 2nd September 2019

**The data analysts at Booking.com compared the amount of searches during the month January 2020 for participating cities during the time of the UEFA championship 2020 (12 June 2020 - 12 July 2020) with searches for the same weeks and destinations during January 2019.

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