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Chapter 5: What Drives You to Travel?

Boston sports paraphernalia

Boston sports paraphernalia

Track and Field will be popular at the 2012 London Olympics

Track and Field will be popular at the 2012 London Olympics

2012 is a big year for sport aficionados, in addition to a slew of international and national sporting events – the 2012 Summer Olympics start in late July. To help sports fans near and far, hotels.com has accumulated a list of destinations that are hosting big events this year or are perennially sports hot spots.  

Domestic

New Orleans, LA - $150

With a host of sporting events coming to New Orleans in 2012 and 2013, it’s no wonder the city’s hotels and tourism are rebounding so well. New Orleans saw hotel room prices rise 11% in 2011. In March 2012, the NCAA Men’s Division 1 Basketball Tournament championship game will be held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. In August, The Big Easy will host the Arena Football League championship, the Arena Bowl XXV. Towards the end of 2012, the city will continue to host a variety of college football bowl games which will continue into January 2013. The Who Dat Nation will host Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.

Boston, MA - $176

This northeast city has a reputation for housing die-hard sports fans. Boston, which saw hotel prices rise 6% in 2011, heralds several major league sports teams including the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins and New England Patriots. Not only is this city stuffed with fanatic fans, but it also provides travelers opportunities to explore sports history. Tour Fenway Ballpark, the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. More of a collegiate sports fan? The area is home to many colleges and universities including four NCAA Division I members: Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern University and Harvard University. Check out the “Beanpot Tournament” where these four schools’ hockey teams compete annually for bragging rights over the cross-town rivals. It sells out annually so get tickets early!

International

London - $242

London will play host to an array of sporting events this year. The 2012 Summer Olympics Games, officially known as the Games of the XXX Olympiad, will start July 27 and run through August 12, 2012. This is a busy year for London hotels as the country is also celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday, so find a great deal on London hotels now. Hotel room rates in London have risen 12% and are expected to increase more as the Games and other important events draw near. Other big events going on in or around London include Wimbledon and the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire.

France - $205

France is home to the best known and most prestigious cycling race in world, Tour de France, which will celebrate its 99th anniversary this year. Although the course changes every year and oftentimes one or two stages are in neighboring countries, most of the race will wind through France ending on Paris’s most-famous street the Champs-Élysées. This year’s race starts in the Belgian town of Liège and tours through parts of the French Alps, French Riviera, Pyrenees, and ends in Paris. Want to see the last segment of the race? Book your hotel room now as year-over-year hotel room rates in Paris rose by 8% and could be at a premium when the races end on July 22.