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Sport-related travel on the rise with over 1.6 million Australians looking to travel overseas for sporting events in 2018, research from Cathay Pacific reveals.

  • Research reveals 1.6 million football fans looking to travel to international games
  • One in three (28 per cent) would travel to every away game if money was no object
  • Cathay Pacific launches special flight deals to celebrate round 9 in Shanghai

Forget stay-cation, sport-cations are shaping up to be this year’s hottest travel trend with 1.6 million Australians booking overseas travel around specific sporting events this year alone.

The trend comes off the back of new research from Cathay Pacific, revealing one in three (28 per cent) footy fans would travel to every international away game of the premiership season if money was no object.

The top reasons Australians book a sport-cation include:

  • Atmosphere of a far-flung game (72 per cent)

  • Warm weather associated with overseas travel (70 per cent)

  • Access to authentic international food (52 per cent)

The research shows sport-cations offer travellers the opportunity to indulge in an activity they love, while trying local delicacies with 80 per cent of Aussies ditching traditional footy fare for local specialities while attending overseas games.

Beyond the meat pie, the three top foods fans would like to try on match day while travelling include:

  • Noodles (39 per cent)

  • Dumplings (35 per cent)

  • Sushi (34 per cent)

Interestingly, the desire for more exotic meals eclipses the most popular home-game choice hot chips (29 per cent) and an Aussie meat pie (25 per cent).

Celebrating the rise of the sport-cation, Cathay Pacific has launched special flight packages to the Shanghai 2018, including flights, game tickets and the option of accommodation to see Port Adelaide FC take on the Gold Coast Suns in May.

For travellers flying out to see Port Adelaide FC take on the Gold Coast Suns, the airline has created a guide on the best things to do in the vibrant city of Shanghai. The top ten recommendations are:

  1. A Niang Mian; the local go-to for noodles

  2. XiaoYang ShengJian; a must-visit for dumplings

  3. Sushi Tatsumi; one of the best spots for Sushi

  4. Pie Society; for a taste of home

  5. The Camel Sports Bar; for an added AFL fix, the first 50 to make a package booking with Cathay Pacific get complimentary tickets to the pre-match Before the Bounce event held here (tickets RRP at $100)

  6. Nanjing Road; the destination for small shops and markets

  7. Tian Zi Fang; a must-visit shopping maze

  8. The Bund; Shanghai’s famed water promenade

  9. Oriental Pearl Tower; iconic landmark with city views

  10. Yu Garden; beautiful classical garden in the Old City

Travis Boak, captain of Port Adelaide FC, says: “Shanghai is one of my favourite cities, and it really delivers the ultimate footy fan experience. We can’t wait to arrive and compete with the support of our Shanghai-based fans and those who have flown from down under.”

Rakesh Raicar, General Manager of Southwest Pacific, comments; “We’re thrilled to be a Premier Partner and Port Adelaide’s official international airline for a second year, growing sporting links between Australia and China, encouraging more Aussies to take a sport-cation.”

Cathay Pacific is offering fans two special events packages – including flights, tickets and the option of accommodation. Packages are available from $1,152pp*. Fans can also purchase game day tickets directly via Port Adelaide Football Club.”

For more information on flight packages please visit,