Cities Look to Sporting Events for Tourism Boost


The World Masters Games is set to provide a huge boost for the local economies in Québec City, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand over the next three years, according to newly-reported figures.

The next summer and winter editions of the International World Games Association's flagship multi-sport event will take place in Québec City in 2015 and Auckland in 2017, respectively.

Next year's event in Québec City is projected to generate between $6-10 million CDN whereas the next Summer Games in 2017 in Auckland is expected to contribute $53.5 million NZ towards the country's gross domestic product and $36 million NZ into Auckland's local economy, according to independent estimates.

"Auckland prides itself on being a vibrant international events city - and our plans to host the World Masters Games 2017 is a fantastic example of this in action, bringing significant economic and social benefits," Rachael Carroll, Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development's (ATEED) General Manager Destination and Marketing, said.

"The event will showcase the region to thousands of international visitors. On top of that, Aucklanders and New Zealanders will have the opportunity to participate in the world's largest multi-sport event as athletes, volunteers or spectators.

"As Auckland continues to build on the momentum of Rugby World Cup 2011, hosting major events like this provides a great boost to our growing international reputation."

Auckland will join an increasing number of cities that consider sporting events as a major driver of tourist activity.

The London Olympic and Paralympic Games were credited with boosting tourism spending in the UK capital by seven per cent year-on-year to more than £10 billion, but single- or multi-sports events of all sizes can also generate significant returns for host cities, according to newly-reported figures.

During the 2013 International Skating Union World Figure Skating Championships in London, Ontario, Canada, excluding any of the capital upgrades, the city invested under $1 million CDN with the combined spending of out of town visitors, participants, media, plus the operational spending in London reaching $14.7 million CDN. Three-quarters of all spectators came from outside the host city.

Meanwhile according to the Sport Event Denmark national events agency, the 2011 International Cycling Union Road World Championships in Copenhagen generated total tourism turnover of EUR31.2 million, with 40% of the 262,000 spectators being tourists.