[Publication] A systematic review of sport tourism research in Japan
An article written by Dr. Eiji Ito (Wakayama University) and Prof. Tom Hinch (Distinguished University Professor, Wakayama University / Professor, University of Alberta), was published in an academic journal, Taiikugaku kenkyu (Japan Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences).
A systematic review of sport tourism research in Japan
Eiji Ito, Faculty of Tourism, Wakayama University, Wakayama City, Japan
Tom Hinch, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada / Center for Tourism Research, Wakayama University
Taiikugaku kenkyu (Japan Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences), Vol. 62, No.2, pp. 773-787, December, 2017
Japan is scheduled to host 3 major international sporting events during the next 4 years: the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, and the 2021 Kansai World Masters Games. The prospect of these events provides a strong incentive for sport tourism research in Japan; however, it is more important to ensure that this scholarly effort is sustained after the sporting events take place. It is also important to build on and integrate existing knowledge in the fields of sport sciences and tourism. It is important to grasp the state of sport tourism knowledge in Japan, and one way of doing this is to conduct a systematic review. Therefore, the purposes of this research note are to: (a) review sport tourism research articles published in Japanese journals; (b) identify trends in research methods and thematic patterns; and (c) discuss avenues for future research. For our systematic review, we used 2 major academic search engines, CiNii (Articles) and J-Stage, to identify articles on sport tourism research published in Japanese journals. The following combinations of keywords were used to drive the search: (a) ”sport'' and “tourism'' and (b) ”sport'' and “kankou'' (i.e., a Japanese word used broadly to mean “tourism''). This resulted in the identification of 52 sport tourism research articles that included “sport'' and “tourism'' (or kankou) in their title, abstract, keywords, or journal name. More than half of the articles (63.5%: n＝33) were published in the 2010s. The majority of sport tourism articles focused on active sport tourism (32.7%: n＝17) and participant-based sport events (30.8%: n＝16). The vast majority of the articles (78.8%: n＝41) were empirical in nature, 19.2% (n＝10) being literature reviews and 1.9% (n＝1) being conceptual. Among the empirical research articles, case studies (43.9%: n＝18) and questionnaire surveys (39.0%: n＝16) were frequently employed. The majority of the sport tourism articles addressed social and cultural themes (71.2%: n＝37), followed by economic themes (13.5%: n＝7), whereas fewer articles were related to environmental themes (9.6%: n＝5). While accumulation of additional knowledge about the major international sporting events scheduled for Japan remains crucial, our systematic review indicated that future research should also address gaps related to: heritage sport tourism, qualitative methodologies, cross-cultural/national approaches, environmental topics, and theory-driven research. Integration of interdisciplinary knowledge in tourism, sport, and other related studies will help to encourage sustainable sport tourism development after the events have been held.
sustainable development, research trend, research method, research theme, kankou