2010 Winter Olympic Games decision a boon for sport tourism

Ottawa, July 4, 2003 - The announcement that Vancouver has won the right to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games has further reinforced Canada’s reputation as a world class sport tourism destination, notes Andrée Steel, President of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

“As Canadians, we have an outstanding international reputation as hosts of a variety of international sport events, including two previous Olympic Games (Montreal 1976 & Calgary 1988), two Pan American Games (Winnipeg 1967 & 1999), two Commonwealth Games (Edmonton 1978 & Victoria 1994), the World University Games (Edmonton 1983) and the Francophonie Games (Ottawa-Hull 2001)”, said Steel. “ We have also hosted single-sport championships in a multitude of sports including athletics, basketball, figure skating, hockey and soccer.”

“2010 not only provides a terrific opportunity for Vancouver and Whistler, but for the province of British Columbia and communities across Canada who have embraced sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative,” said Rick Traer, CEO. “In addition to sport development, 2010 will help achieve a variety of other objectives including economic, social and cultural development. The facility and infrastructure legacies will ensure that future generations will benefit as well.”

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) is a national organization with over 60 municipal members designed to market Canada internationally as a preferred destination for sport events. The organization has developed a number of leading edge industry tools, including the Events Database and Search Engine, which currently contains over 250 events that are open and available for bid. The CSTA also recently launched Sport Tourism Economic Assessment Model (STEAM), the world’s first Web?based tool to evaluate the economic impact of a sport event on a community.

The sport tourism industry is a $2 billion enterprise and growing, making it the fastest growing tourism industry segment in Canada. “The growth of the industry over the past three years has been phenomenal,” added Steel. “Sport tourism remains a stabilizing force within the tourism industry, particularly during periods of high industry volatility.”