Carreño Clemente: “the aim of sports tourism is to maintain the quality of the service”
Juan Antonio Carreño Clemente, expert in physical activities and sport and a professor at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, directed one of the Tourism and Sport courses during the Adeje Summer University, looking at the relationship between the two activities in the Canary Islands.
Carreño Clemente asked students to answer the question, “what is more natural – to go to a shopping centre or spend six hours in front of the television or go for a walk in the mountains or to a beach. Everything is relatively near in the Canary Islands, and one of the advantages we have is that to practise sport here we don’t have to travel 40 kilometres to do so. And given all the resources we have to hand right here, he told students “there are activities to suit everyone”.
Tenerife has, he pointed out, an important sporting culture and “the excellent weather conditions which attract people in the world of cycling, swimming and other sports. The short distances people have to travel between centres also means that someone can go from the sea to the mountain in just a few hours”, something practically impossible in other parts of Europe.
At the same time Carreño Clemente explained that these kind of advantageous conditions allow a diversification of the tourist offer on the island.” He said the people who visit Tenerife tend to be “sun seekers, athletes, the elite and those in search of spiritual renewal, thus one can design both a sporting tourism product and one that is designed to offer escapism on holiday”.
However he added that “tourists are very sensitive to price and there needs to be a competitive offer”, while maintaining quality services”.