Sport Tourism is the fastest growing section of the tourism industry and is proven to be a significant economic driver, a press release stated. The City of Greater Sudbury has real potential to develop this industry due to its strong history of successfully hosting local, provincial and national sporting events and tournaments on both a large and small scale.
“Enhancing the Sport Tourism industry in Greater Sudbury provides us the opportunity to showcase our community and build awareness of our competitive sport infrastructure, trained expertise and unique northern setting,” Mayor Marianne Matichuk said. “It also provides the occasion to highlight local talent among athletes, coaches, volunteers and citizens committed to fostering a healthy community.”
The Sport Tourism Advisory Panel will focus on the business of sport tourism, maximizing the economic impacts of hosting events; it will include representation from various community stakeholders. The development of the sport tourism sector will offer real benefits to the economy and community as a whole.
In July of this year, the Naughton Trails played host to an Ontario Cup mountain bike race for the first time, bringing more than 600 participants, spectators and supporters to the area. The success of this event enabled the City of Greater Sudbury to secure the hosting of Canada Cup mountain bike races in 2013 and 2014.
Creating an organized and streamlined process in attracting these events creates more opportunities and encourages new business development and job creation. For instance, in 2010, the City of Greater Sudbury hosted the Ontario Summer games, which resulted in a contribution of $6.1 million to Greater Sudbury’s economy.
There are distinct benefits to supporting both locally developed events held annually, such as the Big Nickel hockey tournament, and events pursued through bids at the provincial and national levels. These benefits include economic growth and enhancement of venues and infrastructure, along with the ongoing development of officials and volunteers, all of which are required for the successful delivery of events within the community over the long term.
The partnership between the City of Greater Sudbury, tourism industry partners and local sport stakeholders enables more efficient co-ordination of resources for the growth of the sector and will result in maximizing the benefits of future events and tournaments.