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Leisure, sport, health and tourism

ocio y turismo

antonio pastor abreuThe Word “ocio” in Castilian meaning “leisure” in English and coming from the Latin “otium” was first introduced into Castilian in the XV century with the discovery and reading of the classics. Since then and up until a few years ago leisure was considered as a synonym of idleness and not wanting to work.

For Aristotle leisure was the basis of all things, to be used to achieve mans’ supreme aim: happiness. From here the leisure which Aristotle spoke about refers to human activity rather than something utilitarian; that is to say free time.

Leisure as we well know is related to many parts of daily life like education, the family and work and more comprehensively to the quality of life.

Tourism and sport make up part of a group of activities that can be carried out during our free time.

Within the leisure market there are an infinite number of companies including hotels, commercial centres, theme parks, sports centres, shows, therapeutic centres, etc.

The aim of our presentation is to understand the needs of the market and future trends in sport and physical activities as well as the leisure business.

As Joaquín Reverter – Masia (Lleida University) wrote “Leisure, tourism and sport are three characteristics of modern society”.

Physical training, looking after our health and tourism are part of a group of activities that we can carry out during our free time. Sport and tourism are leisure activities San Salvador, 2000; Hinch et al., 2005).

In 1996 Argyle  in a fairly recent definition states that leisure includes an entire set of activities that a person carries out in their free time because they wish to, without external pressure, with the aim of enjoying themselves, entertaining themselves and developing themselves at the same time or with another aim that does not implicate material benefit.

The World Leisure & Recreation Association WLRA (published a paper in 1993 on leisure education which put together the overall position of the Council on what is considered leisure, some of these activities are highlighted as follows:

Leisure is an important resource for personal, social and economic development and especially for the quality of life.

It promotes general good health and wealth and offers various opportunities that allow individuals and groups to choose activities and experiences that suit our personal needs, interests and preferences.

Modern societies are undergoing profound economic and social changes which in turn make significant changes in the quantity and rules governing available free time during each individual’s life. These trends will have implications on the supply and demand of goods and services especially sport.

ANTONIO PASTOR ABREU
Asociación Iberoamericana de Periodistas Especializados (AIPT)

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