London economy hurt by lack of sporting events
LONDON, ONT. -- The global pandemic has taken a toll on local sporting events and with that, tourism revenue.
Zanth Jarvis, Tourism London’s director of sports tourism, estimates the local economic impact on cancellations and postponements at $10-million.
He says a big hit was the postponement this summer of the CanAmMex Regatta, involving athletes from throughout North America.
The good news is, it will be back next year with World Rowing (FISA) stating that London will remain the host.
“Everyone is accommodating, letting you out of your contracts,” says Jarvis, noting hotels have been especially understanding.
He’s pleased World Rowing has decided to keep Canada as the host nation for 2021. “That event usually moves to another country (each year). We’re thankful that it has not.”
As well, another international rowing regatta is coming to the Forest City in 2022. U SPORTS, the National University Sport Federation of Canada, will hold its World University Rowing Championship in London in two years.
Events cancelled - not postponed - in the city so far include a provincial high school baseball championship and an Ontario Basketball Association championship.
Many other events have been delayed and minor sports are not running at this time.
Jarvis says Tourism London is staying up to date changes to the tourism industry and how it has been impacted by COVID-19. “We’re turning more attention to supporting local businesses. We’ve made some dedicated resources available to support them.”
More information can be found here.
Jarvis says the sport tourism arm of the agency has been encouraging youth to be active.
“We’ve done so much work on getting youth out of the house and now they’re cooped up.”
He says staying active is important, even inside your home. Video and Zoom workouts can help youth and adults get some exercise, he adds.