Cranbrook Tourism is consulting with the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance to investigate the potential for Cranbrook to host large scale sporting events in the future.
Although smaller hockey, soccer, and baseball tournaments are common, Cranbrook Tourism is specifically looking at other provincial, national or international events.
“Our goal is to better understand our positioning and potential,” said Kristy Jahn-Smith, Executive Director of Cranbrook Tourism. “We know that very successful events like the Wasa Triathlon and the Gran Fondo are strong drivers of visitors to our region year after year. With our great airport access, the beautiful Rocky Mountain setting and the number of facilities and outdoor venues in the region, we feel this is an important exercise to go through.”
According to Cranbrook Tourism, their assessment will be three parts, including an initial assessment of the community, an assessment of local facilities and venues, and stakeholder engagement sessions.
“Sport tourism is one of the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry in Canada with $6.8 billion dollars in spending by domestic and international visitors,” said Rick Traer, CEO of the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.
“It will be interesting to see how suitable Cranbrook is for events that are not even on our radar today,” added Jahn-Smith. “I only learned recently that Canada has a National Quidditch Championship.”
Cranbrook Tourism is open to exploring any and all options for national sporting events, even if they are potentially Harry Potter related. The City of Cranbrook most recently hosted the 55+ Games and the Grand Slam of Curling and will be hosting the BC Curling Championships in 2020 from January 28th to February 2nd.
“Cranbrook is well-positioned to expand its sport tourism capacity,” said Chris New, Director of Corporate Wide Initiatives with the City of Cranbrook. “The City is the largest centre in the East and West Kootenay and hosts a wide variety of excellent sports facilities, has numerous local sports clubs and enthusiastic volunteers.”
Cranbrook Tourism said hosting events for sports tourism leads to numerous benefits, with the face they can be recurring and return annually and be resilient sources of income and investment during periods of economic downturn.