Sports Event Holidays – 2017 (01.10.16)

This week marked World Tourism Day  on 27 September under the slogan  ‘Promoting Universal Accessibility’. It seems particularly apt coming so soon after the world successfully embraced and celebrated the Rio Paralympics earlier in the month.


As the world’s tourism industry expands (reaching over 1.1 billion international travel journeys a year), the importance of encouraging and facilitating people with difficulty accessing some sites – the millions of travellers who are disabled, young or old –  becomes more and more obvious. The good news is that in many holiday destinations, accessibility has improved. We at Nomadic Thoughts for example, have enjoyed sending disabled clients on African safaris, European cultural excursions, Asian train holidays and many previously under-supported historical monument tours.


In addition, as people broaden their desire for activity holidays and adventure experiences we have constantly tried to open up opportunities to send younger children and their families to the remoter wilderness areas, be it on wide-ranging cultural awareness trips or all-action sporting holidays. We are also very proud of our record in assisting the older generation to continue with their travels. Examples of this include climbing mountains, exploring jungles, touching glaciers, riding rivers, immersing themselves in new religions as well as learning new skills from cooking and painting to sports and photography.

We have also celebrated the news that we have managed to send clients previously nervous about travelling, on overseas trips they thought they would never be able to undertake.

Often leaving the front door and making it to the airport is a journey enough. So when one is able to successfully plan and put into action a holiday for a client who previously could not fathom travelling further afield, it can be one of the most rewarding aspects behind offering a personalised travel service.


That people of all ages, disabilities and accessibility issues should have the best opportunities to participate in tourism activities wherever possible, is of paramount importance to us at Nomadic Thoughts. The complexity of a person’s physical and mental difficulties should not restrict their ability to enjoy their trip.

Sport is just one area that has embraced both the participant’s and observer’s ability to enjoy themselves.

So, inspired by this month’s Paralympics I am highlighting my month-on-month hit list of next year’s top sporting occasions. Certainly they are worth planning a holiday around, whether as a short break or an extended trip, a fan, or participant.


One of my fondest Nomadic Thoughts memories was talking to a client whose trip we had arranged to China. The main purpose of this had been to support their son in his first Paralympic games, in Beijing eight years ago. The excitement of a family embarking on such an extraordinary sporting experience, with added mega-bonus of a trip to such a wonderful destination was thrilling to hear about.

2017 Sporting Events – To Plan a Holiday Around:

Although the March and September events focus on participants with disability and accessibility issues, the other sporting occasions do also offer excellent supporter facilities, with easy-access fan-disability support.

January (26-29th             Australian Open                                               Melbourne


February (6-19th)              World Alpine Ski Championships               Piz Nair, St Moritz


March (14-25th  Special Olympics World Winter Games   Graz & Schladming, Austria


April (21-30th                    World Masters Games                      Auckland, New Zealand


May (28th)                           Indianapolis 500                                                Indiana, USA


June (17-27th)                    America’s Cup                                                   Bermuda


July (1st-23rd)                      Tour de France                                  Germany/France


August (5-13th                 World Athletics Championships                 London, UK


September                                  Invictus Games                                       Toronto, Canada


October (15th – )            Surfing – Big Wave League           Hawaii/Mexico – 2017 T/B/C


December/January                                Ashes 2017               Brisbane/Adelaide Australia