When Vishal Somal lands in Singapore for a short holiday next month, the city-based restaurateur will head straight to a big gallery filled with Ferrari fans at the Marina Bay Sands Circuit to catch a Formula 1 race live. “I have been dying to get into my Ferrari jersey since I was a kid,” said Somal.
The 33-year-old is among a small but growing number of travellers who visit a foreign destination not to take in its sights but to experience sports that they follow passionately. “Such travellers do not indulge in sightseeing and shopping like regular tourists,” said Kashmira Commissariat, chief operating officer (outbound division), Kuoni India.
The company is offering four-day (September 23-26) tours to the Singapore Grand Prix starting at Rs 27,000 per person, which includes return airfare, accommodation and walk-about pass to the racing circuit.
In the past two years the number of sports enthusiasts from cities travelling abroad has grown by 15 % to 18 %, said travel agents. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in South Africa last year has been a turning point, they added.
“Enquiries for the 2012 London Olympics, particularly the opening and closing ceremony have begun pouring in. We are in the process of designing a product,” added Commissariat.