Sportihome
[Credit: Sportihome]

Sportihome sets sights on European expansion

France: Montpellier-based sports and nature tourism startup, Sportihome, has announced record results from the last 12 months and announced ambitious plans to expand further in Europe.

At a time when the global sports tourism market is already valued at $562 billion by VynZ Research – a market which is expected to be worth more than $2 trillion by 2030, Sportihome reported growth in 2023 that was five times more than over the previous 12 months.

Sylvain Morel and Fred Diaw, co-founders of Sportihome, said: “This financial success crowns years of investment and sustained effort. And this is just the start! After announcing a successful partnership with Holidu, we are stepping up our expansion in Europe by opening several new markets.”

Sports fans can currently book several thousand properties that cater for sports tourism in Europe [supporting more than 20 different sports], on top of 70,000 that are already bookable in France. The new markets include Italy [35,000 properties], Spain [34,000], Croatia [31,000], Germany [21,000], Greece [5,500], Portugal [4,000] and more.

Sportihome COO Morel said: “After seven years, the exceptional results in 2023 have almost enabled us to achieve profitability. We can therefore look ahead to 2024 with full confidence. We expect to reach our profitability milestone by the middle of the year, which gives the whole team an immense feeling of satisfaction.”

Having had success on domestic soil, Sportihome partnered with German travel technology company Holidu in September to increase its inventory of sports qualified lodging and expand its footprint in Spain and Portugal. The two markets offer strong potential for sports tourism, from options for surfing to hiking, golf, cycling and wing surfing [a mix of windsurfing, kitesurfing and surfing].

In partnership with Holidu, Sportihome allows property managers to put their listings through the Holidu channel manager [formerly Bookiply] on more than 15 OTA partners including Airbnb, Booking.com, Abritel [the French vacation rental platform owned by Expedia Group]. As a result, managers can maximise their visibility online, free up time thanks to an all-in-one management solution, and meet travellers who share their passion for sport.

Founded in 2017, Sportihome has signed partnerships with sporting retail brands such as Decathlon and Au Vieux Campeur, the French sporting federations for free flight [e.g. paragliding], water skiing, sailing, fishing and walking, and several dozen sporting events, while some athletes are also sponsored by the business itself. Its ambassador is TV presenter and former windsurfing champion, Nathalie Simon.

To date, the company has raised more than €4.5 million in funding [including a €2 million raise in November 2021] and is backed by institutional investors and private banks.

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