Does CrossFit Owe its Success and Popularity to its Tourism Scene?
(2017) Does CrossFit Owe its Success and Popularity to its Tourism Scene?, no. 93.
Purpose: CrossFit is a mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercise regimes with the stated goal of improving fitness and physical performance. It is growing in popularity and has a strong community known to motivate and push the participants to maximise performance. The travel motivations of CrossFitters' have not yet been described. The attendance to CrossFit events is high but CrossFitters' travel motivations to CrossFit events have not yet been assessed in academia. The aim of this study was to explore whether CrossFit is encouraging fitness enthusiasts to approach leisure and tourism in a different way, whilst assessing CrossFit as a catalyst of events tourism by identifying patterns and trends of CrossFit events. Method: This paper has followed the positivist theory collecting quantitative primary data, successfully through survey methods, from a convenience and snowball sample of CrossFitters. The foundation of this project is based on CrossFitters' motivations which is explored in depth and as a result the influence this has upon their leisure and events tourism activities. Results: The results of this study suggest that the influence CrossFit has on the individuals whom practice the sport are immense. The findings also show that not only is there an increase in demand to travel further afield to CrossFit events, but also the demand to practice their sport whilst on holiday, as findings suggest the majority of CrossFit athletes select their destination based on being able to train away from home. The study also found that CrossFit positively affects events tourism as participants as more likely to have overnight stays when attending events. Some variables such as the level of experience of CrossFit athletes are found to be significant with regards to particular motivations such as; the concept of winning and competing. Furthermore, practicing CrossFit seems to be important factor regarding participant travel intentions. This study also provides valuable research on a widely under-studied topic by creating increased awareness of this innovative niche market both in academia and within the tourism industry, which this study demonstrates has the potential to grow significantly in the future. Research Limitations: There is some preliminary evidence on beginner athletes and this gives some support for a larger study in future to be investigated further. Additional research using a qualitative approach is also required to explain certain responses of CrossFit athletes regarding CrossFit tourism.