For the third straight year, Charlottetown maintained its ranking as the top city in Canada with populations under 50,000 for hosting sports events. Charlottetown has also once again ranked sixth overall in the country, topped only by major metropolitan centres Montreal, Quebec City, Edmonton, Toronto, and Ottawa.
The Canadian Sport Hosting Index is a data-driven assessment based on national championships and international competitions hosted in 2019, as well as those national championships/international events currently awarded for 2020 and beyond. Members of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA), including Destination Marketing Organizations and National Sport Organizations, completed an online worksheet to submit the data for independent review and validation.
“We have something very special going on here in Charlottetown when it comes to sport tourism and our municipality’s efforts continue to pay off through attracting and hosting sport events,” said Mayor Philip Brown. “The Birthplace of Confederation has always punched above its weight in the sport tourism market and in fact performed so well in the most recent rankings that we could rival population categories ten-times our size.”
Charlottetown’s sport tourism initiative, SCORE, is a well-respected brand nationally having been acknowledged in the past as the top sport tourism organization in the country by the CSTA. In fact, SCORE and its local champions have won several CSTA PRESTIGE Awards over the years including the President’s Award and Industry Builder of the Year.
“Sport tourism drives substantial economic and tourism impacts to Charlottetown annually,” said Councillor Kevin Ramsay, Chair of the Economic Development, Tourism and Event Management Committee. “The SCORE team, under the leadership of Wayne Long, Events Development Officer; Laurel Lea, Tourism Officer; and Charlotte Nicholson, Tourism & Events Coordinator, work strategically to ensure Charlottetown continues to prosper in this lucrative market.”
Sport tourism benefits in the Charlottetown area account for $45+ million of the province’s $68 million annual economic impact and serves as a strong pillar in the city’s over-arching festivals and events strategy. During these unprecedented times, sport events are certain to serve as a strong economic recovery platform in the months and years to come.
“Sport tourism is a vibrant segment of the tourism industry in Canada with over $6.8 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors,” said Rick Traer, CEO of the CSTA -in a National CSTA news release. “The cancellation of so many events in 2020 will have a major negative economic impact on the country, but we also look forward to sport hosting as a key element in recovery plans post COVID-19.”
The Canadian Sport Hosting Index was developed by the CSTA in 2018. There were 122 participating cities, with 561 national championships and 429 international events included in the most recent edition of the Index.
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.
City of Charlottetown