Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance Officially Launched

Ottawa, January 8, 2001 - Bob Graham, president of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA), announced the official launch of the organization today in Ottawa.

The CSTA is an industry-led, market-driven and research-based organization that currently counts over 30 municipalities across Canada among its membership base. The Canadian Tourism Commission is a major funding partner through its Product Club program. The CSTA’s mission is to increase Canadian capacity and competitiveness in hosting national and international sport events. Its goals are to: facilitate communication between the sport and tourism sectors; share “best practices” approaches to bid models and processes; gather industry intelligence internationally; ensure the high quality delivery of event management services; build investment from the public and private sectors; and set targets for the future expansion of the industry.

Sport tourism is a major industry and a primary travel motivator. The Canadian Tourism Commission’s Research Division estimates that sport tourism is valued at $1.3 billion annually. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 sport events occur annually in Canada, providing significant economic benefits to host communities.

Mr. Graham also took the opportunity to announce the appointment of Rick Traer as CEO.

Mr. Traer joins the CSTA from the National Capital Commission (NCC) in Ottawa where he served as manager of corporate accounts. Prior to his involvement with the NCC, Mr. Traer spent approximately 15 years in the national and provincial sport systems, including eight years as executive director of Basketball Canada.

“Rick brings tremendous knowledge and leadership qualities to the organization”, said Mr. Graham. “He has the perfect combination of experience in the sport and tourism sectors which will benefit the future growth of the sport tourism industry in Canada”.

A graduate of the University of Ottawa with a Masters degree in Sport Administration, Mr. Traer has an extensive background in international sport. He is president of the Confederation of Pan American Basketball Associations for 2000-2006. He is also a member of the Association of Panamerican Sport Confederations and was a member of the Canadian Olympic Association from 1993-97. He co-chaired the bid committee and served as vice president of the 1994 World Men’s Basketball Championships that were held in Toronto and Hamilton.

“A strategic, coordinated and planned approach to the growth and development of the sport tourism industry domestically will provide Canada with a competitive advantage internationally”, stated Traer. “I look forward to working with our sport, tourism and other industry partners to provide Canadian athletes with the competitive advantage which accompanies competing at home, and also with municipalities across Canada who will reap the significant economic benefits associated with hosting national and international sport events”.