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Special Issue "Sport Tourism: From Local to Global Sustainability Efforts"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2023 | Viewed by 304

Special Issue Editors

School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Interests: the cultural studies of sport, nature sports, sport tourism and ecopedagogy
Coimbra Education School, Polytechnic Institute of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: nature sports; sustainable local development; the impacts of sport tourism events
Prof. Dr. Claude Sobry
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
URePSSS Research Laboratory, University of Lille, 59000 Lille, France
Interests: the economics of sport, sport tourism and sport development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sport tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors within the global tourism industry (United Nations World Tourism Organization, 2020). Within this geopolitical context, small-scale sport tourism events offer a wealth of opportunities for local host cities and communities (Melo, Sobry & Van Rheenen, 2021). Many cities, countries, and regions seek to capitalize on the local and global opportunities of sport tourism. However, as one of the fastest-growing sectors in the 21st Century, the global tourism industry has been challenged to confront the ethical and legal mandates regarding sustainability.

The notion of sport tourism as an innovative tool for sustainable territorial development or “vectors for sustainable development” (Pickel-Chevalier, 2015) has gained recent purchase within the literature (Mazza & Sobry, 2022; Melo, Sobry & Van Rheenen, 2021; Naria et al., 2022;  Van Rheenen & Melo, 2021). These territories have emerged in numerous locations globally, islands of commerce and touristic experiences within nation-states and natural environments (parks, mountain ranges, etc.) that traverse traditional borders and boundaries.  

These entrepreneurial and cultural efforts suggest a need to connect the local context to a global initiative relative to responsible sustainability. Because few sport tourism events would occur without public support and subsidies, local leaders, organizing sponsors, government agencies, and domestic and international sports federations become primary stakeholders in the production of these events. These stakeholders have a moral obligation to promote responsible sustainability and to protect the quality of life of local residents. Responsible local action requires both a global call to action and a consistent framework for sustainable development.

Changes in the socio-political context have led the United Nations (UN) to weigh in on the pressing issue of sustainable development, further expanding our understanding of the concept to include 17 distinct sustainable development goals (SDGs) (UNCSD, 2012). These SDGs, such as responsible consumption and production, clean water and sanitation, and good health and well-being, loosely map onto the three overarching sustainability goals of the triple bottom line first referenced in the Brundtland Report (1987) thirty-five years ago.

Manuscripts are welcome that address novel ways to promote greater standardization of global sustainability efforts at the local, national, and regional levels. These include the development of conceptual frameworks, assessment tools, and policy implications for encouraging sport tourism practices and events that stimulate sustainable development goals.  For this Special Issue, papers that focus on the following topics are strongly encouraged:

  • Novel ways of understanding (knowing and doing) sustainable sport tourism;
  • Conceptual models regarding sport tourism and sustainable development;
  • Critical innovations in sport tourism;
  • Territorial development at the intersection of sport tourism and local, sustainable practices;
  • Global or national management of sustainable sport tourism;
  • Green or ecolabeling and branding linked to sport tourism;
  • Best environmental management practices for sport tourism;
  • New media and emerging technologies linked to sport tourism and sustainability;
  • Critical ecopedagogy and sport tourism development;
  • Stakeholder collaborations in eco-friendly sport tourism activities or events;
  • Other relevant topics related to the subject.

Conference Information: 

IRNIST Sport Tourism Conference in May or June 2023 to be held at Coimbra Education School, Coimbra, Portugal, dedicated to the topic “Sport tourism: from local to global sustainability efforts.”

Prof. Dr. Derek Van Rheenen
Dr. Ricardo Melo
Prof. Dr. Claude Sobry
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sport tourism
  • sustainable development
  • innovation
  • critical ecopedagogy
  • ecolabeling
  • territorial development

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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