Monday, June 20, 2011

Sport Tourism Leads The Way

The fastest growing segment in the tourism industry is definitely sport tourism, since hosting events is the perfect way to drive visitors to a town whether it is from across the province or around the world. From Little League tournaments to World Championships and beyond, cities are finding ways to host events like never before so that their hotel rooms are filled, facilities are utilized, restaurants are busy, and shops are active with visitors buying souvenirs.

Canada is passionate about sport and has been welcoming the world for many years with such events as the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cups, and many more. One of the key objectives of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) is to market Canada internationally as a preferred sport tourism destination.

Cities like Kamloops, British Columbia, who hosted the 1993 Canada Summer Games, have used that legacy to continue to host events (national and international) and even turned their marketing campaign up a notch, and use the motto: “Kamloops: Canada’s Tournament Capital” Their experience in hosting successful events and working with key stakeholders in the city, insures that their events are well run and organized.

There is no convincing necessary on why the Niagara region of Ontario is a prime destination, as Niagara Falls is the “seventh natural wonder of the world” and one of Canada’s top vacation destinations. The Niagara Sports Commission has one of the greatest back drops in their backyard, and they can no doubt leverage this when bidding on events as their mandate is to foster economic and community development through sport. Wisely they have also chosen to focus on promoting and enhancing the opportunities for accessible sport through their newly launched Niagara Accessible Sport program.

The pie is large as sport tourism is the swiftest emerging sector in the global travel industry generating up to $6 billion annually, with Canada working hard to get its share!

Contact SIRC for more information on sports tourism!

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