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Olympics inspire travelers to take active holidays

The current Olympic fever has focused attention on sports that aren't normally shown on national TV, such as windsurfing, sailing and cycling, and seems to have had a positive effect, as travelers are opting for an activity holiday this summer.

travel Updated: Aug 14, 2012 12:31 IST

The popularity of active sports holidays in Europe seems to have increased this summer thanks to the Olympic Games in London.

The current Olympic fever has focused attention on sports that aren't normally shown on national TV, such as windsurfing, sailing and cycling, and seems to have had a positive effect, as travelers are opting for an activity holiday this summer.

Tour company Mark Warner this week reported an increase in the number of people taking tennis, sailing and windsurfing courses at the company's summer resorts in Europe. Bookings for tennis courses have been up by 17 percent year-on-year, and demand for sailing and windsurfing has shown an increase of 20 percent year-on-year.

Other operators have noted the same trends. Wildwinds is a small sailing school located in Greece welcoming clients from the UK, France, Denmark and Germany, among others. Simon Morgan, owner of the company, told Relaxnews that bookings this year for the summer were up by 5 percent compared to summer 2011. "We are expecting the Olympic Games to have a much bigger impact on bookings next year," he added.

Tim Locke, head of marketing at Mark Warner, said in a company statement, "we are noticing a growing trend for people wanting to combine fitness and wellbeing on holiday so we are putting this down to the Olympic effect!"