Sport Tourism surges past $6.5 billion annually

 

March 2, 2017 (Ottawa, Ont.) The sport tourism industry in Canada surpassed $6.5 billion in spending in 2015, according to custom data tabulations from the Travel Survey of Residents of Canada (TSRC) and the International Travel Survey (ITS).  This represents a 13% increase in visitor expenditures associated with sport tourism over the 2014 total of $5.8 billion.

The largest source of sport tourists continues to be the domestic market, accounting for 72% of all spending, followed by overseas markets (18%) and U.S. visitors (9% of sport tourism revenues). The significant contributor to the growth in 2015 sport tourism revenues was driven by the U.S market, which saw a year-over-year spending increase of 20%. Sport tourism spending attributable to the domestic market increased by 12%.

The total volume of U.S and overseas sport tourism visitors in 2015 rose by 12% as compared to 2014. The increase in person visits was led by a significant increase in the volume of U.S. overnight visitors, up by 15%. International same-day travellers were not included in this assessment.

The total volume of U.S and overseas sport tourism visitors in 2015 rose by 12% as compared to 2014. The increase in person visits was led by a significant increase in the volume of U.S. overnight visitors, up by 15%. International same-day travellers were not included in this assessment.

 

 

For the first time, the CSTA has produced the numbers by province using additional custom data tabulations from Statistics Canada. The results indicate that Ontario led all provinces, accounting for 36.7% of all sport tourism visitor expenditures; followed by Québec at 21.2% and British Columbia with 18.9%. British Columbia was particularly successful in attracting international sport tourists, with the province earning 26.9% of all U.S. sport tourism revenues and 32.3% of all international sport tourism revenues, driven in part by the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015.  Provincial and regional breakdowns are outlined at the following link on the CSTA website.

Value of Sport Tourism in Canada (PDF)

“Certainly 2015, designated as the Year of Sport, was a banner year for sport events in Canada, as we hosted the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015 in six different cities, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, and a multitude of other international sport events. However, this data also provides a comprehensive illustration of the significant impact of sport tourism on our economy,” said Rick Traer, CEO, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA).  “Canada hosted 43 international events last year, the most of any country in the world. Combined with the numerous national and regional events held in communities throughout Canada, sport tourism has provided significant economic benefit to the host cities, supporting job creation, promoting volunteerism and providing legacies in the form of new and renovated sport facilities.”

Traer also pointed out that “Canada is consistently ranked as one of the top three sport hosting nations in the world. While there are many contributing factors, we have a variety of federal and provincial hosting programs that have contributed to our ability to host.  We also have the capacity to host both summer and winter sport events, and we remain a safe, secure and welcoming destination for international visitors. Our host communities are renowned for their friendly, capable volunteers, excellent organizational capacity and the attractiveness of both our cities and our natural surroundings. We take great pride in hosting events, and in the stellar reputation that we have developed as a host nation internationally. It bodes well for Canadian communities to continue to reap the economic and social benefits of sport tourism in the years ahead.”

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About the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. The CSTA services over 500 members across Canada, including 140 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6.5 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors.

Contact:

Rick Traer, CEO

Tel: 613-688-5843

rtraer@canadiansporttourism.com