International curling event brings new spending to Kelowna

  • Kelowna curling club © WCF / Jeffrey Au

A new economic impact survey reported that the World Mixed Curling Championships, held over a week in Kelowna last October, brought in $1.21 million in new spending to BC.

Kelowna welcomed 350 out of town visitors taking part in the event, 25 percent of which were international guests. Collective visitor spending attributed to the event was $630,000, with the majority of spending attributed to accommodations (82 percent), followed by restaurant dining (13 percent). The survey, completed by the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance (CSTA), and conducted by a third-party source, highlights that significant contributions were made to Kelowna’s local economy, and the province, as a result of the fall event.

“The 2018 World Mixed Curling Championships were the result of strong local partnerships. Held for the first time in Canada, we were honoured to host and have the opportunity to showcase our community to the world,” says Jock Tyre, General Manager, Kelowna Curling Club. “The teams, coaches and support staff got to see the best that Kelowna has to offer. Ticket, food and beverage, equipment, and souvenir sales were all above expectations. Curling and the event, were completely embraced by the surrounding community and it showed in the dollars brought in.”

The report also found that 67 percent of attendees were spectators. Approximately 44 percent of those attending stayed in a hotel, 67 percent travelled by airplane, and 45 percent stayed between 10 – 12 days in the area. These statistics showcase the success which can be seen when Kelowna and the greater community executes a targeted effort to drive year-round visitation through the attraction of major sports and events.

“It is gratifying to see the CSTA economic impact report highlighting the importance of major events for Kelowna,” notes Lisanne Ballantyne, CEO and President of Tourism Kelowna. “Kelowna has a fast-growing reputation as a highly desirable host city for national and international events. The World Mixed Curling Championship is the first measurable example of the success we achieve when we offer event organizers a beautiful destination with excellent amenities, combined with community readiness and world class hospitality.”

In 2017, Tourism Kelowna established a Major Events Strategy aimed at targeting and attaining events which would promote significant new spending and increased overnight stays in Kelowna’s shoulder seasons. Strong community partnerships and alignment with the City of Kelowna were established as key metrics to enable successful bidding and hosting.

View the full report at http://www.tourismkelowna.com/industry/tourism-research/world-mixed-curling-economic-impact/.

About Tourism Kelowna
As the lead destination marketing organization for the Central Okanagan, Tourism Kelowna works on behalf of 400 local businesses and an entire tourism community to generate overnight visitor demand that economically benefits Kelowna and its surrounding areas.

A four-season outdoor playground, Kelowna attracts 2 million visitors annually who in turn generate $337 million in local spending. A vital economic driver for the region, Kelowna’s tourism industry provides 12,000 jobs, $142 million in tax revenue and generates $1.25 billion in total economic output annually.