“It’s a strong number,” says Run Ottawa chair John Halvorsen.
“We promote Ottawa as a city, and this event brings people to Ottawa,” he adds, noting organizers are already visiting races taking place in other cities to attract even more out-of-town visitors.
Other key findings of the economic impact assessment produced by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance include:
- $12.8 million in direct local spending by visitors, event sponsors and race organizers;
- $8 million in wages and salaries, as well as 191 jobs throughout the province, were directly or indirectly generated by the event, included 144 positions in Ottawa;
- $5.8 million in federal, provincial and municipal taxes were directly and indirectly generated
- 34,400 participants and spectators came to Race Weekend from out of town
- 2,500 volunteers helped make the Race Weekend a success.
That figure includes $12.8 million directly spent by visitors, event sponsors and race organizers. The race weekend employed 191 workers in the province, including 144 in Ottawa.
About 44 per cent of the 42,573 participants came from out of town, with the average out-of-town visitor spending $426.
The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance came up with the numbers following a survey of a selection of the participants in the race weekend.
Anecdotally, some local hoteliers say race weekend is among their busiest times of year. Mr. Halvorsen says planning for the 2013 event is already underway. Given the races consistently sells out, he says organizers are looking at ways of increasing capacity, but notes there is only so much space on certain streets and registration areas.
Tamarack signed on as the race weekend’s title sponsor this year. Previous title sponsor ING Canada pulled out for undisclosed reasons in 2008.