The Apple Triathlon was one of several events considered as the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance ranked Kelowna first among mid-sized cities for sport hosting. (File)

Kelowna retains top spot as mid-size city for sport hosting

Two other communities were recognized, with Kamloops taking second place followed by Victoria in third

For the second year in a row, Kelowna has been recognized as one of the best mid-sized cities across the country in terms of hosting sporting events.

The Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance has again named Kelowna the number one city with a population between 50,000 and 100,000 in Canada for sport hosting.

The award recognizes the collaboration between the City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna on attracting national championships and international competitions hosted in 2019 and those awarded for 2020 and beyond.

“We remain committed to partnerships that continue building Kelowna’s national reputation as a host city for sports excellence, tournaments and major events like the Apple Triathlon and Okanagan Marathon,” said Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “Sports and event tourism are important draws for travel to Kelowna, and a key component of the tourism sector’s $1.25 billion in annual economic output.”

A total of 122 cities across Canada participated in the index and this is the third year the awards have been handed out. The award index was compiled prior to the cancellation of many of the scheduled 2020 sport events due to COVID-19.

“Now more than ever Tourism Kelowna’s major event strategy is needed to rebuild lost visitation and business, especially in months that could use it most,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “This announcement recognizes the expertise, infrastructure, and partnerships in our community that will allow us to attract future city-wide events – creating much-needed revenue for local businesses and bringing exciting sports competitions for residents to enjoy.”

In the mid-size city category, two other communities were recognized, with Kamloops taking second place followed by Victoria in third.

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