The members of the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force have continued to work diligently on your behalf over the summer months. They’ve been reviewing materials, collecting best practices and developing plans as they work on the response, recovery and resiliency pathway for the future of hosting sport events in Canada.

The four task groups have highlighted their top findings/activities to date.

Policy Task Team – Develop policy positions and recommendations to inform all levels of government

  • The current pause in International sport hosting provides a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to participate in a comprehensive review and revision of Canada’s Federal Sport Hosting Policy, ensuring Canada’s sport hosting remains globally competitive.
  • Social impacts from the hosting of sport events have significant influences on the social/cultural sustainability, mental health, social securities and the well being of communities and residents.
  • Strengthening partnerships between sport event organizers and public health officials will be crucial in the development of policies and implementation strategies as they are heavily influenced by public health guidelines and protocols, especially the size of mass gatherings and safety of all involved and our communities.
  • Maintaining event supply chains will be important to maximizing the economic impact of major sport events hosted in communities throughout Canada and ensuring postponed or future events can be delivered successfully.
  • The operation and delivery of major sport events will face increased costs related to hosting and will require increased collaboration between sport tourism partners, to ensure that events can remain financially feasible and continue to deliver good value.

Research Task Team – Locate the best data available on sport tourism, sport hosting and return to events

  • Development of a database of research being conducted across the globe in areas of interest for the Sport Tourism Industry including but not limited to: return to play documents, return to events, travel (accommodations/airlines), venues, governance, funding, economic, insurance and liability, medical and indigenous & social inclusion.
  • Development of a Table of Contents for research collected to enable informed decision-making from the continual evolution of response requirements based on the stage of the pandemic in communities throughout Canada.
  • Preliminary work on surveys to assess the current health of sport tourism, to continue collecting data on the affects of COVID-19 on sport tourism in Canada as the crisis evolves.

Funding Task Team – Access funding channels for sport tourism and develop/adapt best practices

  • Most of existing public funding programs for sporting events remain in place while sponsorship, ticketing and accommodation tax revenues will be affected in the short term and may limit hosting during the response phase and beyond.
  • Municipalities/Destination Marketing Organizations, along with rights holders are looking closely into risk mitigation strategies, new/adapted funding criteria and shared risk between sporting event stakeholders. Task force will provide recommendations around financial risk mitigation strategies.
  • Sport organizations are identifying new revenue channels and a new economic model for bidding and hosting to ensure viability of event budgets.
  • Sport tourism sector sees a need for a louder voice and a stronger value proposition for corporate and public support.

Strategy Task Team  Develop a sport tourism recovery strategy and action plan

  • Strategic pillars have been identified including:
  • Economic feasibility and future sustainability
  • Operational readiness for hosting
  • Risk management
  • Event experience
  • Advocacy to the public and corporate sectors
  • The strategy will outline actions within the response, recovery and resiliency phases and be identified for each stakeholder group with the sport hosting system in Canada.
  • A series of tools and resources will be identified for development to support all groups involved in bidding and hosting of sport events through all phases, leading to a more collaborative and inclusive sport tourism structure in Canada.

The Task Force has targeted early September as the date to complete its work and issue its final report to Sport Tourism Canada members.

Additional information and previous reports from the Task Force can be found here.