Sports tourism in Canada is valued at $3.6 billion annually, and is widely recognized as one of the tourism industry’s fastest growing segments. According to the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance, sports tourism is “any activity in which people are attracted to a particular location as a sport event participant, an event spectator, or to attend sports attractions or related business meetings.”
Vancouver Island has long been a magnet for regional, provincial and its share of national sporting events. There’s the promise and potential for increased growth in this field as Island municipalities continue to either upgrade existing facilities or establish state-of-the-art new ones – aquatic centres, arenas, multiplexes, track-and-field facilities, recreation centres, playing fields, tennis and rugby complexes, lacrosse boxes and gymnasiums included.
Vancouver Island is a well known sports-tourism destination, with Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Victoria as a few of the many municipalities which woo and win the interest of sports bodies seeking a home for their next seasonal or annual competition.
Starting points in exploring the possibilities of growing sports tourism in your community include:
- Destination British Columbia’s Tourism Business Essentials Guide to Sports Tourism.
- Sports BC membership list of 65 provincial associations involved in just as many sports.
- The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance listing of more than 300 sport events that are open and available for bidding (accessible to members only).