Kelowna has been recognized as the No. 1 mid-sized Canadian city for hosting sporting events.
The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, in partnership with Sportcal, determined that Kelowna was tops among cities with populations between 50,000 and 150,000 people.
“We are committed to establishing Kelowna as a centre for multi-sport excellence, as a host to tournaments large and small, including major athletic events such as the Apple Triathlon and Okanagan Marathon,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said in a press release.
“With sport and event tourism as a key driver for travel to Kelowna, it contributes significantly to the local economy through tourism’s $1.25 billion in annual economic output.”
Tourism Kelowna and the city have been pursuing significant sports competitions as part of its major events strategy, knowing they can have a positive impact on the economy. The world mixed curling championship was held in Kelowna last fall, and there are two more major competitions coming in the next 13 months: Skate Canada International this fall and the Memorial Cup next spring.
“Kelowna has established itself as a leading destination for sport tourism and hosting,” Tourism Kelowna president and CEO Lisanne Ballantyne said. “In 2018 Kelowna was host to more than 100 sport events. The national title awarded to Kelowna recognized a cross-section of those events, specifically national championships and international events, while also considering major events secured for 2019 and 2020.
“We’re on the map and will continue to promote Kelowna’s established reputation as a sought-after destination for sport and event tourism.”
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