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Sport Tourism Spending Soars to $3.6 Billion Annually in Canada

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Ottawa, Canada– Spending associated with the Canadian sport tourism industry reached $3.6 billion in 2010, an increase of 8.8% from 2008, based on Statistics Canada (2010) data commissioned by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA).

This compares to a 0.7% decrease in tourism demand for the Canadian tourism industry as a whole over the same period, thus continuing sport tourism’s trend of being one of the fastest growing industry segments within Canada’s tourism industry. The increase in sport tourism spending was driven by domestic sport travelers, while U.S. sport tourism demand remained relatively steady and overseas expenditures declined. The change in both domestic and U.S. sport tourism expenditures exceeded the growth rates of domestic and U.S. tourism in general, while overseas sport tourism spending reflects similar declines in the overseas Canadian tourism industry.

Data from the 2010 Statistics Canada’s Travel Survey of Residents of Canada (TSRC) and International Travel Surveys (ITS), suggests that domestic sport tourism spending reached $2.6 billion (an increase of 16.6%); U.S. residents spent $283 million (down 1.0%), while international residents spent $660 million (down 10.9%). By way of comparison, overall domestic tourism grew by 0.6% over the same period, while U.S. expenditures fell by 3.0% and international* revenues fell by 8.2%. (note that U.S. and international figures for sport tourism refers to overnight visitation only).

“This data once again confirms sport tourism as a critical economic driver in communities across Canada,” said Rick Traer, CEO, Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance. “As the domestic tourism industry continues on its path to recovery, sport travel continues to lead the way, acting as a stabilizing force during times of volatility within the tourism industry.”

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