Sports Tourism Coordinator

chasing-1050x700By Ron Johnson

It went down as the great blue jean and beer shortage of March, 2012. The northern Ontario town of Sault Ste. Marie had landed the CARHA Hockey World Cup, a prestigious international amateur hockey tournament. Hundreds of athletes, young and old from around the world, packed the town. And the Russian visitors went straight for the blue jeans, emptying shelves in short order. Everyone was happy, residents got to watch international hockey free of charge, and cash registers all around town overflowed. // It was a win-win in the best possible way. That’s the impact sport tourism can have, and the reason more organizations and municipalities are getting into the game.

“It was the single largest sporting event ever held in the north, ” says Stephen Hollingshead, coordinator, special projects and sports tourism, Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, of the event that provided $9 million in economic activity. “I think it turned our world upside down for the good.”

Abbotsford, B.C., just nailed the winning bid for the 2015 World Baton Twirling Federation International Cup. Baton twirling might sound like child’s play to some, but, according to Yvonne Hayden, the city’s business development director, it comes with a decidedly adult economic impact.

chasing02-1050x700“There are 900 to 1, 000 athletes and families coming and we’ve had to book every hotel in our community, ” says Hayden. “The spinoff for restaurants, food stores, you name it. The trickle down is huge.”

During the past decade, a series of worst-case scenarios added up to a perfect storm of trouble for Canadian tourism. It was a downturn of epic proportion from which the industry is still recovering. First there was 9/11, followed in short order by SARS, a soaring Canadian dollar, increased U.S. border security, mad cow disease and H1N1. While international tourism, especially from south of the border, slowed to a trickle, one sector actually showed remarkable growth in the face of such adversity: sport tourism.

Sport tourism, as defined by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA), is any activity that attracts people to a particular location either as a sport event participant, an event spectator, or to attend sport attractions or business meetings.

“This industry segment has really remained strong and has become a stabilizing factor within the tourism industry, especially during those times of volatility, ” says Rick Traer, CEO of the CSTA. “It’s amazing how far the industry has come in 10 short years. Even 15 years ago, the phrase sport tourism didn’t really exist in the lexicon. Now, it’s really become a kind of buzz phrase.”

Leduc, Alberta, is another early adopter of sport tourism and parlayed its new sports facilities into an economic goldmine. Over the last few years, the small city has hosted a myriad of sporting events – from the Wild Rose Figure Skating Invitation in 2011, to the 2013 U21 Women’s National Fast Pitch & Western Canadian Women’s U21 Fast Pitch.

Case study in why you shouldn't rely on wiki

2008-04-18 06:31:37 by -

Nestling amid the peaks of the Pennines, the villagers of Denshaw believed they were part of a pretty quiet community largely untouched by the slings and arrows of fortune.
But the rest of the world has been getting a rather different impression - thanks to some mischievous editing of Wikipedia.
Readers of the site have been misinformed that Denshaw is the home to an obese population of sun-starved, sheep hurling yokels with a brothel for a pub and a lingering tapeworm infection

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