Québec City has scored high on a Canada-wide list of sporting destinations. This March, the Canadian Sports Tourism Alliance (CSTA) launched its inaugural Global Sports Impact (GSI) Canada Index, listing the capital city as the third-most active and popular destination for national and international sporting activities.
“This recognition is amazing for Québec City,” says Pierre-Michel Bouchard, CEO of Québec City Business Destination. “It confirms our expertise and know-how to organize and hold sports events.”
Québec City is certainly no stranger to hosting athletes and sports fans from across the globe for events and competitions throughout the year. Popular summer draws include the Velirium – International Mountain Bike Festival, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (a popular leg of the UCI World Tour); the Coupe Banque Nationale tennis championships, and numerous marathons and outdoor expos which, in combination with other events, attract thousands of spectators and competitors every year.
Winter sports are also a draw. They include the always-popular Jamboree snowboarding and skiing festival, national hockey championships, the FIS Snowboard and Freestyle Ski World Cups, and the infamous Grand défi Chez Victor (Ice Canoe Race) across the St. Lawrence River, to name just a few.
“This recognition is amazing for Québec City. It confirms our expertise and know-how to organize and hold sports events. Québec City’s beauty, rich heritage, tourist attractions, state-of-the-art installations and breathtaking outdoor urban sites that serve as a natural décor for international championships during winter and summer, have charmed event organizers and athletes around the world,” notes Bouchard.
Québec City’s sports community is supported by several state-of-the-art athletic venues. They include Université Laval’s Pavillon de l’éducation physique et des sports (PEPS), the largest university sports complex in Eastern Canada; Mont Sainte-Anne, a world-renowned skiing resort; the 18,259 seat Centre Vidéotron; and the Centre des congrès de Québec which, in addition to serving as a top convention destination, includes a sport impact surface fit for world-class gatherings like the 2017 Karate Canada National Championships.
That being said, there’s plenty more for tourists to do than cheer from the sidelines. Many of city’s sporting facilities and outdoor venues are open to visitors, allowing them ample opportunity to enjoy the scenic surroundings, take to the slopes, and get active in year-round sporting festivals and special events.
Driving Tourism Through Sports
The CSTA designed the GSI Canada Index in collaboration with sports analyst firm Sportcal to rank Canadian cities by how many national and international sporting events, and their over-arching sports strategy. The goal, according to Sportcal CEO Mike Laflin, is to promote the power of sporting events to increase tourism and, by extension, drive economic growth: “Sport delivers significant social and sustainable benefits in addition to economic, tourism and media impacts. The GSI Canada Index will help Canadian sports and cities understand more about the impacts generated by their sports events and help them deliver better outcomes and better results for their cities, governments and ultimately their citizens.”
No doubt, while Québec City has always been a popular destination for business travelers, tourists, foodies, historians, and urban explorers alike, this latest recognition from CSTA re-enforces the capital as one of Canada’s most popular sporting hubs.