Tourism Kelowna’s Lisanne Ballantyne (left), Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran (middle) and chairman of Toursim Kelowna Board Thom Killingsworth accept the award for number one mid-size city for sport hosting. Photo: Tourism Kelowna

Kelowna named No. 1 mid-size Canadian city for sport hosting

Kelowna was recognized by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance

Kelowna’s national accolades continue to pile up.

The city was named the number one mid-size city (population 50,000 to 150,000) for sport hosting in Canada early Friday.

The award recognizes the strong partnership between the city and Tourism Kelowna, as well as national and international organizations that collaborate with local sports groups to attract, organize, and execute sporting events in Kelowna every year.

“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,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “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.”

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According to the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, Tourism Kelowna’s major events strategy resulted in economic gain contributions of the estimated $7 billion industry of sport tourism in the Canadian economy.

Recent examples of such successes include the World Mixed Curling Championships which contributed $630,000 in new visitor spending in Kelowna this past fall.

“Kelowna has established itself as a leading destination for sport tourism and hosting,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, president and CEO of Tourism Kelowna.

“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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Going forward, Kelowna is set to host more national and international sports events including Skate Canada International later this year, and the 2020 Memorial Cup.

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