I recently received this summary of some of the work Guelph Tourism is doing to promote sports tourism in Guelph….
Guelph Tourism Services has a long history of involvement in the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance (CSTA) and the annual Sports Congress, an event hosted by (CSTA). Guelph Tourism was one of the founding members of this important national organization and has been involved from the start because of the returns delivered back to the City of Guelph and its meeting and event partners, including all of our local hotels and the University of Guelph Conference Services.
The Sports Congress holds a Sports Event Marketplace each year which is an opportunity for destinations such as Guelph to meet with national, provincial and private sport event rights holders at scheduled appointments. The appointments allow Guelph Tourism to develop relationships with event rights holders, receive new information about event hosting opportunities and share new destination facility information.
Over the past few years the time spent at the Sports Congress has resulted in Guelph hosting several new summer ringette training camps at the University of Guelph, solidified the City’s position with Athletics Canada as the host four years running of the Canadian National Cross Country Championships, and given the City valuable leads on curling, lacrosse, water polo, baseball and gymnastics events. This resulted in over 2000 hotel room nights to the City.
Guelph Tourism’s involvement in CTSA has also allowed for successful events to be recognized at the national level for innovation, media coverage and economic success. In 2008, Guelph’s National Cross Country Championship was one of three events nominated for “Event of the Year – budget less than $250,000”.
In addition to the economic benefits delivered back to the city as a sports tourism destination, the Sports Congress provides the City of Guelph access to the best practices in the industry, including economic impact models, sport event business plan templates, sponsorship programs and research. One employee from our department attends this event along with representatives from the University and/or Guelph hotels. In the past we have had representation from some of our local sports groups attend as well. This allows Guelph Tourism to connect the local sports organizations that bring events to Guelph higher level sport contacts, hosting opportunities and best practices and tools through a very modest Sports Tourism program ($5000)and partnership with local accommodations which includes the Sports Congress.