Study by Sport Tourism Canada conducted in March of 2022
August 4, 2022: (OTTAWA, ON)—Sport Tourism Canada (STC) studied the economic activity generated by the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, held in Lethbridge, Alberta from March 4 to 13, 2022. The annual Canadian Men’s curling championship took place at Lethbridge’s ENMAX Centre.
The study was commissioned by Tourism Lethbridge in partnership with the Lethbridge Sport Council and University of Lethbridge. STC’s economic impact team staff developed the survey specifically for this event and managed the survey process / data collection onsite during four days of the Brier.
The combined spending of out-of-town participants, staff, spectators, media, and other people who visited Lethbridge for the Tim Hortons Brier, in combination with the expenditures made by the event organizers, totalled just under $13.2 million, supporting just under $19.7 million in overall economic activity in Alberta, including almost $16.8 million of economic activity in the Lethbridge area.
These expenditures supported $6.2 million in wages and salaries in the province through the support of 137 jobs, of which 128 jobs and $5.4 million in wages and salaries were supported locally. The total net economic activity (GDP) generated by the Tim Hortons Brier was:
• $12.6 million for Canada as a whole;
• $10.3 million for the province of Alberta;
• $8.4 million for the city of Lethbridge.
Over 760 valid survey responses were collected during the event. Data gathered included age, place of residence, and days attended, while out-of-town respondents answered questions about their length of stay, money spent in various categories and the importance of this event in deciding to travel to Lethbridge.
The majority of visitors to the event (nearly 75%) came from Alberta, with Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Ontario visitors next on the list. More than 18,000 out-of-town visitors attended, with the average stay being 5.4 nights in Lethbridge during the event.
Local residents were very supportive of Lethbridge hosting events. When asked if they “support Lethbridge in continuing to attract national and international events to the city,” there was an overwhelming 89.6% agreement.
Once the data was collected, the STC team analyzed the visitor information gathered by the survey responses. The combined spending from out-of-town visitors, participants, media, and VIPs was then added to the capital and event operational expenditures to produce an overall determination of the expenditures associated with the event. When all of this data and information was combined, STC used the STEAMPRO economic impact assessment model to produce the detailed report with the economic impact assessment in terms of total output, GDP, wages and salaries, employment and taxes.
“It is tremendous to see that in 2022, the interest and enthusiasm for attending this annual national event, the Tim Hortons Brier, remained so strong,” said Grant MacDonald, COO, Sport Tourism Canada. “Congratulations to Tourism Lethbridge and Curling Canada for holding an extremely successful event. We were pleased that our study provided relevant, accurate data that demonstrated how significant this event was to support the local, provincial and Canadian economies. It’s one more sign that sport tourism is returning, is healthy, and will continue to have a huge economic impact as events are held.”
“Lethbridge has always enjoyed hosting major curling and sporting events and we look forward to continuing to welcome curling fans in the future.” Said Erin Crane, CEO, Tourism Lethbridge. “It is always wonderful to see visitors to our city enjoying everything Lethbridge has to offer and the economic impact is welcomed by all our attractions, hotels, restaurants and retailers.”
Summary of Key Findings:
- $13.2 million of initial expenditures
- $19.7 million overall economic activity in the province
- 18,500 out-of-town visitors
- $10.8 million of visitor spending
- $5.4 million wages and salaries supported locally
- 128 local jobs in Lethbridge supported by the event
- $10.3 million boost to provincial GDP
- $3.9 million taxes supported across Canada
This event was the significant factor in people choosing to visit Lethbridge, rating it a 9.3 out of 10 as a rationale. The largest number of attendees (33%) purchased the Championship Weekend ticket, with a similar amount (32.4%) purchasing the Full Event Package. The top cultural experiences that people participated in were culinary and food, followed by family fun, visits to UNESCO World Heritage sites, outdoor adventure, arts and culture and indigenous site visits.
The full report is available here.
This economic impact model was developed by STC in partnership with the Canadian Tourism Research Institute (CTRI) at The Conference Board of Canada. The CTRI serves the travel and tourism industry in providing sound economic forecasts and models with timely and insightful interpretation of data specifically relevant to travel. The model makes use of the most current and detailed input-output tables and multipliers available from Statistics Canada and leverages the credibility and robustness of sector specific tax data available from Statistics Canada’s Government Revenues Attributable to Tourism (GRAT) report.
The STEAMPRO model been used since 2002 on over 300 EI assessments from small-town events to major multi-sport and international games and contains 100% Canadian data to directly reflect what took place at the specific event in the specific Canadian host community. It is considered the ‘gold standard’ in the field of economic impact assessment, providing credible and Canadian economic impact results.
About Sport Tourism Canada (STC)
Sport Tourism Canada is a non-governmental, member-based, capacity-building organization that promotes sport tourism as a grassroots economic development initiative at the community level. STC services over 500 members across Canada, including 130 municipalities, 300 national and provincial sport, multi-sport and major games organizations and a variety of other sport and tourism industry partners. Sport tourism is the fastest growing tourism industry sector in Canada with over $7.4 billion in annual spending by domestic and international visitors and is central to local and regional economic recovery from COVID-19.