Sport Tourism Canada’s COVID-19 Recovery Task Force Report Released

The 24-member Sport Tourism Canada COVID-19 Recovery Task Force has completed its Bouncing Back report. Working together since mid-May of 2020, the group has created an outline for the return of hosting sport events in the country.

Chaired by Grant MacDonald, STC’s Head of Consulting, the members were drawn from all areas of the sport tourism industry. They represented national/multi-sport organizations, professional sport, host cities, destination marketing organizations, host venues and industry suppliers. Their work was segmented into four major areas of responsibility: funding, policy, research and strategy.

Bouncing Back sees a sport tourism industry that can be reimagined to withstand the recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 and will ultimately adapt and thrive in bidding and hosting sport events well beyond the pandemic. It will require a nimbler industry, ready to pivot as knowledge evolves and risk mitigation measures are developed, available and applied.

With different travel and public health measures in effect across the country, an ‘adaptive recovery’ approach will be required. It will not be a ‘one size fits all’ program, due to the need for individual provinces and municipalities to assess their own current position throughout the recovery.

The report points to three-phases in this adaptive recovery:

Response: From the cancellation of sport events in March 2020 until sport tourism is positioned to start implementing a recovery plan.

Recovery: From the start of the return to hosting in modified forms, while mitigating potential risks until widespread immunity exists, or we achieve an acceptable level of risk mitigation for the hosting of sport events in all sports with spectators and community engagement.

Resilience: To be determined and dependent on the existence of widespread immunity or adaptive measures to enable sport event hosting involving inter-community, inter-provincial and international travel.

Two major issues that Sport Tourism Canada will continue to pursue post report are:

  • A concerted effort to secure consistent funding to sustain and support the industry and its return;
  • A more focused advocacy effort to highlight the importance of sport hosting in the economic, social and sustainable recovery of our communities.

Sport can be a significant driving force in the recovery of the country post-COVID-19 and Sport Tourism Canada will continue to work on behalf of all of its members to see the vibrant sector truly ‘Bouncing Back’.


The Executive Summary of the report is available here.

Additional COVID-19 resources and reading are also available.


Grant MacDonald, Chair of the COVID-19 Task Force, will present an overview of the report and the work of the group over the past five months.

Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Time: 1:00 p.m.


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