Sport tourism continues to be a driving force in Charlottetown. This year a dozen major sport championships will be hosted in the capital city, with the first national event scheduled to begin this week; the top female university hockey players in the country will return to Bell Aliant Centre – MacLauchlan Arena on Thursday to compete for the 2020 U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship title.
“Charlottetown – the Birthplace of Confederation – has become a template for success when it comes to sport tourism in Canada,” said Mayor Philip Brown. “Over the years, Charlottetown has been able to attract many high profile sport events, capitalizing on this lucrative market. Our efforts have been recognized through many Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance national PRESTIGE Awards, as well as on the recently established Canadian Sport Hosting Index.”
In addition to Charlottetown’s extensive calendar of annual sport events, the SCORE team has seen much return on their bidding efforts, with the following championships being secured to date:
– Atlantic Open Amateur Wrestling Championships
– U SPORTS Women’s Hockey Championship
– Canadian Firefighters Curling Championship
– Peewee AAA Atlantic Championships
– Atlantic Table Tennis Championship
– 15U & 17U Canada Basketball National Championships
– U16 & U18 National Flag Football Championships
– U16 Girl’s Canadian Fast-Pitch Championship
– Canadian Archery Championships
– STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Canadian Championship
– Atlantic Junior Tennis Championships
– World Under-17 Hockey Challenge
Charlottetown currently holds the No. 1 ranking in Canada for hosting sport events in the Canadian Sport Hosting Index: Population under 50,000 (formerly the Global Sports Impact Canada Index), and is ranked an impressive 6th overall in the country, positioned amongst major metropolitan areas like Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Toronto, and Vancouver.
The SCORE team will travel to Edmonton later this month to take part in the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance – Sport Events Congress. The Congress is the largest annual gathering of sport tourism professionals in the country and is the main conduit for conducting attraction business in the sport industry in Canada. Councillor Kevin Ramsay, Chair of the City’s Economic Development, Tourism and Event Management Committee along with lead staff, Wayne Long, Events Development Officer, and Laurel Lea, Tourism Officer, will attend the Congress to further position Charlottetown as a strong sport hosting destination.
“Our SCORE team has done a tremendous job in ensuring Charlottetown continues to be viewed as a vibrant sport hosting destination,” said Councillor Ramsay. “In addition to being recognized for our efforts, we are also called upon by many other Canadian municipalities and destinations that are looking to replicate the success we have achieved. Charlottetown is capitalizing on the many economic, tourism, social, and cultural benefits that come with sport hosting and has seen much success in expanding our tourism season, while also exposing our city on the national and international stages through media reporting and television rights.”
Sport tourism remains the fastest growing segment of the Canadian tourism industry, worth $6.8 billion dollars annually (Statistics Canada, 2016). Sport tourism benefits in the Charlottetown area average $45+ million of the province’s $68 million annual economic impact.
The City of Charlottetown has placed a priority on sport event attraction, aggressively pursuing the marketplace and seeing steady returns. The City launched its SCORE (Sport Charlottetown – Opportunities, Resources, and Expertise) initiative in 2005 to expand the lucrative sport tourism industry within the destination with much success, having been recognized nationally through Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance PRESTIGE Awards on six occasions for its outstanding efforts.
Senior Communications Officer
City of Charlottetown