Last week, Canada’s largest gathering of organizations connected to the country's sport tourism industry, Sport Event Congress (SEC), was held in Edmonton. Sara Correa attended SEC on behalf of Tourism Kelowna, connecting with representatives of sporting organizations from across the country during the three-day event.
SEC attracts delegates from the main sectors of the sport tourism industry—National Sports Organizations (NSOs), Event Right Holders (ERHs), suppliers to the sport tourism industry, and educators—and this year's program was specifically designed to help facilitate the recovery of sport hosting. The congress was interactive and educational, offering plenty of opportunities for business-to-business networking.
Tourism Kelowna, together with the City of Kelowna, was able to participate in the Sport Event Exchange and had face-to-face meetings with 12 NSOs and event organizers to talk about specific hosting opportunities, including Ringette Canada, Athletics Canada, Football Canada, and Speed Skating Canada, among others.
Attending SEC is vital to continue growing Kelowna as a premier sport-hosting destination. Face-to-face meetings with attending NSOs and ERHs, many of which are headquartered in Eastern Canada, strengthen their relationships with Tourism Kelowna and put Kelowna in a position of strength when bidding on major events.
Securing and supporting major events was formally strategized by Tourism Kelowna in 2016 when its Major Event Strategy was developed as an attraction framework to tap into the growing sport and event tourism industry, further the destination's national exposure, and be a significant driver of overnight visitation and economic activity. In partnership with the City of Kelowna, early successes of the strategy included the 2018 World Mixed Curling Championship and 2019 Skate Canada International. Kelowna was set to host the World Mixed Doubles & Senior Curling Championships, The Memorial Cup presented by KIA, and the Tim Horton’s Brier, predicted to drive $10 million in economic activity; however, all three events were cancelled due to the pandemic.
For more information on sport tourism, please contact Sara Correa at (250) 861-1515 ext. 218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Sport Event Congress
The Sport Event Congress is organized by Sport Tourism Canada (formerly the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance), the country's leading organization in sport tourism, which aims to increase Canada's capacity to attract and host sport tourism major events. Sport tourism is a $7.4 billion industry and the fastest-growing segment of the tourism sector.