Stable Resourcing for Sports Tourism Catalyzes Return of Sports Awards

Paul Nursee


VICTORIA – Earlier this month, a sell-out crowd gathered at Government House to celebrate the achievements of local athletes, teams, coaches and volunteers Greater Victoria Sports Awards. The evening honored junior, senior, indigenous and senior athletes who made a name for themselves nationally and internationally in 2022 while using proceeds to invest in future local athletes Kid Sport Greater Victoria.

Among the many inspirational stories was the revival of the awards themselves. Their return after a 17-year hiatus is one of many achievements for the Greater Victoria Sport Tourism Commission (GVSTC) since taking over SportHost Victoria’s sports tourism stewardship in 2018.

Led by the Executive Director Keith Wellsthe GVSTC is the branch of Destination Greater Victoria (DGV), dedicated to increasing the quantity, quality and profile of sports-related events and activities in Greater Victoria. DGV’s investment in sports tourism includes supporting the GVSTC at approximately $500,000 per year, as well as marketing, communications, financial, research and administrative services. The DGV also supports the work of the GVSTC through its Sports Tourism Committee, which provides recommendations and oversight on sports tourism issues, strategies, initiatives, opportunities and performance.

Throughout the year, the GVSTC competes at major national and international sporting events as well as smaller multi-sport events. Recent wins include the 55+ BC Games, HSBC Women’s World Rugby Sevens, FIBA ​​Olympic Qualifying Basketball, Pan Am Cross Country Cup, IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships and USPORTS Field Hockey, Soccer & Swimming Championships.

The GVSTC also supports smaller local and provincial events and funds sporting events which contribute to local economic development, promote tourism and the region and generate significant overnight visits to Greater Victoria, particularly during the off-season (November to April). On average, the DGV-GVSTC partnership supports approximately 100 major regional, provincial, national and international sporting events in Greater Victoria each year and contributes approximately $117 million to the region’s economy.

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Together, the DGV and GVSTC have raised Greater Victoria’s profile as a sports tourism destination, creating widespread recognition for our region’s passion for sport, a large sporting community and a wide range of world-class sporting venues.

With DGV’s ongoing investment in GVSTC, our region’s thriving sports tourism economy is in strong and stable hands with a community-led tourism board. This will ensure that the legacies of sports tourism continue to flow to the community as well as an extensive network of local providers, businesses and partners including venues, hotels, communities, transportation services, attractions, retailers and more.

Paul Nursey is President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria

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