This week’s top story is about sports tourism.

Even as the Rio de Janeiro Olympics faces a variety of potential headaches, spending on sports tourism continues to grow. The World Travel Market estimated more than $600 billion is spent globally on sports tourism, and big name tournaments and championships attract millions of international fans, along with plenty of anger when things don’t go as planned (take this summer’s Euro 2016 soccer tournament as one such example).

As more tourism boards and travel agencies realize the power of marketing sports packages to these enthusiastic fan groups, what strategies will they need to target sports lovers? Read on for more thoughts, plus all of this week’s top stories.

Are Sports Fans the Travel Industry’s Next Great Opportunity?
With interest and attention for the 2016 Summer Olympics kicking into a high gear, it’s the perfect moment to talk about the impact of sporting events on travel spending. With the World Travel Market estimating that sports travel and tourism is worth upwards of $600 billion globally, more travel companies are realizing the potential of crafting custom travel packages for fans heading to big name events like the Super Bowl, Euro 2016 and Copa America. Read more

Travel Marketers Rethink Their Focus on Millennial Travelers
As Skift emphasized in a recent trend report on the age group, millennial travelers are the focus of an outsize amount of marketing spending and attention in the travel industry. Yet not all travel marketers are convinced this is the right approach. “We’re heading away from the age thing; those traditional demographics just don’t work any longer,” said Fergus Boyd, digital and IT director for hospitality brand Yotel in an interview last week. Instead, the savviest travel brands are retooling their marketing efforts to focus on travelers within a specific “psychographic” mindset. Read more

Boeing Partners Partners with Iron Maiden to Make the 747 “Cool” Again
Ever since its launch in the early 1970s, Boeing’s 747 airliner has been the king of the skies, with more than 1,500 of the aircraft now having been built since its launch. But as its chief competitor Airbus has ramped up its own efforts with planes like the A380, the 747 has lost some of its luster. However, the airline hopes a new branding campaign with the band Iron Maiden (whose frontman Bruce Dickinson happens to be a commercial pilot) will help revive interest in the plane for both passenger and cargo purposes. Read more

Are Travel Agents Missing Out on Social Media?
There’s been good news recently for the travel agents. More millennials are spending on travel agents than ever before, and new technology tools are helping them interact with customers in new ways. But amidst this resurgence in consumer interest, a new report suggests many could be doing more to engage potential customers using the power of visual-focused social media platforms. Read more

WOW Air and the Future of Budget Travel
With Iceland’s low-cost airline WOW Air set to launch new routes from the West Coast of the United States to Iceland later this summer, there’s been increasing interest in the carrier from passengers and industry observers alike. Given that budget upstarts like Norwegian and WOW are stealing plenty of attention (and according to some executives, market share) from the legacy airlines, this week’s interview with WOW Air’s CEO Skúli Mogensen offers some additional insights into the company’s philosophy and marketing strategy. Read more

User Generated Content and the Power of Peers on Travel Decisions
“User-generated” content gets plenty of lip service from travel marketers as one of the industry’s newest trends. But why exactly is user generated content (UGC in marketing-speak) so valuable? According to new research, it actually leads consumers to purchase. This has lead an increasing number of travel brands into the UCG space to try and boost the creation of such content and drive more authentic endorsements from consumers. Read more

Photo Credit: Sports fans aren't just enthusiastic supporters. They're also big spenders, generating billions of dollars a year in travel purchases. Andrew Moore / Flickr