Chongqing - The Chongqing Marathon is expected to drive about 300 million yuan (about USD 43.48 million) of sports tourism consumption annually, according to the latest data from the Chongqing Administration of Sport.
Starting from Nanbin Park in Chongqing’s Nan’an District, over 30,000 participated in this year’s 2023 Chongqing Marathon. The relevant authorities of Chongqing plan to organize more than 20 marathons in 2023.
“I spent over 10,000 yuan a year on sports equipment, including sponsorship provided by sports brands,” said Tang Nanjin, a running enthusiast who is also in charge of promoting running culture in a sports company.
Tang added that each year, he needs to purchase four pairs of running shoes, shorts and a vest for summer, and tights and leggings for winter. In addition, sunglasses, sports watches, headphones, knee pads, and wrist guards are also included in his list.
“There are only 14 professional running equipment shops in Chongqing,” said Tang. “But the numbers of shops are on a year-on-year growth trend.”
By 2025, the total scale of Chongqing’s sports industry development target will reach 100 billion yuan, with annual sports consumption per capita reaching more than 1,500 yuan.
The Chongqing Marathon was held on March 19th, with a high occupancy rate of hotels near Nanbin Road.
“Our rooms were in short supply half month ago,” said a staff at a business hotel in Nanan District. “Because the Chongqing Marathon is usually held on Sunday, people from other cities who participated in the event usually arrived in the city on Friday, hanging around for a couple of days here.”
“A large-scale Marathon event will drive people’s consumption in terms of clothing, food, housing as well as transportation,” said Tang. “People who come from other cities to participate in the event will try the local food, visit famous places, check in hotels, or take a taxi.”
“We should make full use of the cultural attributes of our mountain city to further promote the development of Marathon-related industries,” said Zhu Qiushi, vice president of Chongqing Institute of Modern Industry.
Zhu continued, stating that "the increasing number of participants and Marathon events, and the related industrial chain are also being extended. Therefore, the government can use the influence of the Chongqing Marathon to support the development of local companies."
"For example, we can focus on the weak categories of domestic sports goods and equipment and introduce some high-tech intelligent sports equipment to promote the growth of the Chongqing manufacturing industry," said Zhu.
According to the General Office of Chongqing Municipal People’s Government, the next plan is to create international sports events and activities with Chongqing characteristics and continuously enhance the impact of sports events.
Chongqing can strengthen communication and cooperation in sports event setting-up by leveraging the construction of the Chengdu-Chongqing economic circle.
For instance, during the 2023 Chongqing Marathon, the 2023 China Chengdu-Chongqing International Sports Expo and the 5th Chongqing Sports Industry Expo were held simultaneously, including exhibitions and activities like running events, intelligent sports, and sports tourism, etc.
Zhu added, "At the Expos, particularly some sports-related timing equipment, event communication and command terminals, mobile positioning systems, and even sports-related cultural and tourism products were presented in a vast market, bringing consumers more cutting-edge and rich product experiences."
Combining industries and activities can generate a massive flow of people and attention, enhancing the city's exposure and stimulating the development of regional consumption and related sectors.
By 2035, it is estimated that the total scale of Chongqing’s sports industry will reach over 200 billion yuan, becoming one of the pillar industries of Chongqing.
(Liu Meihui and Liu Yujing, as interns, also contributed to this report.)
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