Modeling the Institutional Factors Affecting the Exploitation of Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Sports Tourism Industry Using an Interpretive-Structural Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


1 PhD Candidate of Sport Management, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

2 Associate Professor of Sport Management, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran

3 Sport Management Department, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

4 Sports Centre, Imam Reza International University, Iran

5 University of Rijeka, Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Opatija, Croatia

6 Master’s Student in Sport Management, Faculty of Sports Sciences, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The purpose of this study is to examine the most important institutional factors that support the exploitation of entrepreneurial opportunities within the sports tourism industry. The present study is a qualitative research based on data gathered from available documentary studies and semi-structured interviews conducted with 35 experts in the field of sports tourism and sports entrepreneurship in Iran. The interpretive structural model (ISM) was used to analyze the data. According to the results of the research, 74 indicators were identified and classified under 11 institutional factors, including rule of law, government policies, social norms, social values, social beliefs, expert knowledge promotion, social knowledge promotion, public sector support, private sector support, complementary attraction, and information technology, at five hierarchical levels. Government policies and public sector support were identified as fifth-level factors that act as the model’s cornerstone. Finally, the research results suggest that for the growth of the sports tourism industry in developing countries such as Iran, other identified factors must also be involved in the growth of this industry. In this regard, the existence of an appropriate legal, normative, supportive, and educational environment will affect the ability and willingness of market participants to identify and take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities in the emerging sports tourism industry.


Main Subjects

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