Amsterdam,
20
November
2019
|
12:00
Europe/Amsterdam

From Cancelling a Honeymoon to Risking Their Job - Booking.com Unveils How Sports Fans' Optimism and Dedication to Travel Differs Around The World

Summary
  • Nearly 1 in 5 global sport fans confess that they would happily cancel their honeymoon or lose their job in order to travel to avoid missing their team participating in a major sporting moment

  • 87% of global sports fans have completed between one and five trips in the last year to watch their team play live, with football fans being the most likely to travel to show their support 

  • Affordability (77%) and location (73%) in relation to the stadium or venue are the deciding factors for global sports fans when selecting their place to stay when traveling to see their team compete

  • Booking.com announces football legend and UEFA EURO 2008 champion David Villa as its latest brand ambassador, who offers unique insights into what fans’ dedication means for athletes

AMSTERDAM, 20 November 2019 – 2020 is set to be an exciting sporting year. With UEFA EURO 2020™ taking place across 12 European cities, and with other international sporting spectacles taking place in Japan and Australia through the year, fans are already gearing up to travel and watch their favorite teams and athletes compete on the global stage. 

As excitement builds, Booking.com, the official Accommodation and Attractions Booking Partner of Partner of UEFA EURO 2020™, reveals which nationalities have the most optimistic sports fans, how far they would go to make sure they can travel to watch their team’s big moment live, how this influences their travel behaviors and what matters to them most when selecting their home away from home for these momentous occasions. Working with football legend and UEFA EURO 2008™ champion David Villa as the brand’s latest ambassador, Booking.com also shares unique insights into what the fans’ dedication and never-ending optimism means when competing on the big stage. 

UEFA EURO 2008 Champion and Booking.com Global Ambassador, David Villa, explains: “Our fans’ support during the UEFA EURO 2008 Final was indescribable and their unshakable optimism definitely carried our team to victory that year. And knowing that your fans will support you through thick and thin and that they are willing to dedicate time and money to travel to watch us play in some of the best stadiums in the world is truly inspiring. It is what motivates you to always give your best - on and off the pitch.”

Global sports fans look ahead to 2020 with great expectations
A third (34%) of global sports fans believe that they will see their national team or player win an international tournament within the next year. The expectation level is therefore huge within fan sets as they prepare for tournament after tournament in 2020. 

Colombian cycling fans are the most optimistic fans across the 29 markets surveyed with 63% stating that they think they’ll see their national riders bring home some big wins in 2020, followed by rugby fans from New Zealand (63%) and Spanish football fans with 59% declaring that they expect their team to go all the way in an upcoming tournament. 

Despite the Netherlands reaching the UEFA Nations League Final and topping their UEFA EURO 2020™ qualification group, Dutch football fans don’t share the same level of optimism as their Spanish counterparts; just 17% believe their team can go on to win in 2020, making them the least optimistic fans surveyed.

Dedicated fans will cancel anything to ensure they can travel to watch their team
A combination of Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) and dedication to traveling and showing their support in the stadium results in unwavering commitment as nearly 1 in 5 (19%) of global sport fans admit they would happily cancel their honeymoon if it meant they could travel to watch their team live in a big game. 

Indian cricket fans (41%), Chinese basketball fans (41%) and football fans in Thailand (32%) top the rankings when admitting to being happy to cancel their romantic trip. 

Similarly, nearly 1 in 5 (18%) global sports fans confess that they would even quit their job if it meant they could watch their team compete in a major final. This number increases further among 18 to 34-year-old global sports fans to 26%.

From the Latin American markets surveyed, Brazilian football fans (21%) are more likely to quit their jobs to follow their team to a major international final versus Argentinean (18%), Mexican (18%) and Colombian (15%) football fans. 

Belgian football fans are the least likely football fans set to risk it all and cut loose from their current employers in order to travel and watch their team win a major international final, with only 7% admitting that they would be willing to do so. 

Travel planning for the big match
Traveling to see their team live in action is a clear priority for many global sports fans, with a whomping 87% confirming they have completed between one to five trips in the last year alone and over half (56%) having traveled both internationally and domestically to watch their team or player. The sports that get most fans on the road are football [soccer] - with 69% of global sports fans having traveled to watch a game live outside of where they live - basketball (20%) and tennis (17%) make up the top three most traveled for sports.

Once they know which games they will be traveling to, fans start looking for the perfect place to stay. Topping the list of considerations when looking for the perfect place to stay are affordability (77%) and location (73%) in relation to the stadium or venue, while one in two (50%) look for accommodations that have a spa or hot tub to relax in post-match. 

Yet, despite affordability being important for global sports fans, 32% happily admit that they would be willing to pay more for sports travel than their family vacation. Cricket fans (39%), swimming fans (38%) and e-sports fans (38%) are most likely to spend more on their travel to watch their respective sports.

Showing support on match day
Almost one third (28%) of global sports fans wear lucky charms when attending a game, while 15% have developed a superstitious routine that they always perform before or during a game to ensure their team wins.

Aside from having rituals, 79% of global sport fans say they would never leave a match early, regardless of whether they thought their team was going to lose. 42% stay out of respect for the team or players, whereas 35% stay because they will not give up hope that their team or player can still come back and turn the game around. 

Arjan Dijk, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Booking.com, said: “With the football-fuelled excitement of the UEFA EURO 2020 tournament set to sweep across Europe and beyond, as well as other major international cricket and athletics extravaganzas coming up in Asia, 2020 will definitely be an unforgettable year for sports. With a mission to make it easier for everyone to experience the world, we know that finding the right place to stay - no matter what the occasion may be - is key to getting the most out of every trip. We’re excited to help bring fans the best experience through our partnership with UEFA, easily booking their ideal accommodation base as well as great things to do in each host city.” 

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Notes to Editors

Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently conducted among a sample size of 22,603 sports fans (with a skew towards football fans in panel recruitment) aged 18 or over in 29 markets (including 1,000 each from Australia, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, China, Brazil, India, US, UK, Russia, Indonesia, Colombia and South Korea; and 500 each from New Zealand, Thailand, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Hong Kong, Croatia, Taiwan, Mexico, Netherlands, Sweden, Singapore and Israel). Fieldwork was undertaken between 8th August and 2nd September 2019. 

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About Booking.com
Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the world’s leading digital travel companies. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com’s mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. By investing in the technology that helps take the friction out of travel, Booking.com seamlessly connects millions of travelers with memorable experiences, a range of transportation options and incredible places to stay - from homes to hotels and much more. As one of the world’s largest travel marketplaces for both established brands and entrepreneurs of all sizes, Booking.com enables properties all over the world to reach a global audience and grow their businesses. Booking.com is available in 43 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including more than 6.2 million listings alone of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.

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