Capitalizing on a sport's association with an international destination: The illustrative example of tae kwon do

Hun il Kim, Laurence Chalip

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Destinationmarketers seek to capitalize on sport by appealing to the sport's subculture and by bundling sport with other tourism opportunities. The potential contributions of specially constructed sport opportunities are examined by exploring the contributions that a park devoted to the heritage and practice of tae kwon do can make to American tae kwon do practitioners' interests and intent for travel to Korea. Nine elements were studied using conjoint analysis: price, three park features (tae kwon do competition, tae kwon do cultural heritage and tae kwon do master classes), three typical tours (a tour of Seoul, a modern history tour, and a tour to experience traditional Korean culture), and two physical activities (a local sports package and participation in another traditional Korean martial art). Together, the three opportunities at Tae Kwon Do Park accounted for almost one-third of the aggregate sample's utility for a trip to Korea. Cluster analysis identified four segments: Heritage Seekers, Competitive Tourists, Culturally Conscious Competitors,and Price Sensitives. Opportunities provided by Tae Kwon Do Park were more than sufficient to overcome the negative utility associated with price for all but the Price Sensitives, and all four segments valued some tourism opportunities beyond tae kwon do. However, the mix of preferred activities and tours varied significantly by segment. Segment was predicted by age, a desire to learn about Korea, a desire to master tae kwon do, years of involvement in tae kwon do, role in tae kwon do and level of belt. The likelihood of purchasing a trip to Korea rose with higher levels of belt and as social identity rose, but was lower when financial constraints or knowledge and interest constraints rose. Segment moderated the effect of ethnicity and social motivation on the likelihood of travel to Korea. It is concluded that involvement in a sport can be leveraged to promote tourism to a destination when the destination has a meaningful association with the sport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)307-335
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Sport and Tourism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Heritage Tourism
  • Korea
  • Long-haul Travel
  • Sport Subculture
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Tourist Segmentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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