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Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) – With most of the country covered by a snowy winter blanket, thoughts of green golf courses are welcome in January! Although CSTA’s Sport Tourism FORE-um and [un] GOLF presented by Marriott International has wrapped for the season, it provided lots of great memories to carry the sport tourism crowd through to spring. See for yourself in the video record of the event!

More than 150 people gathered in Ottawa at the Infinity Convention Centre to take in this 2nd annual CSTA event. The afternoon kicked off with lively debate at 13 different round tables. Participants and table hosts came from across the industry and included sport organizations, event rights holders, destinations and industry suppliers. Course Marshall Greg Amiel, from OSEG, kept people on time and moving through the six different rotations – so attendees could gain insight on several sport tourism trending topics of their choice.

The subjects up for dialogue ranged from government support for events, managing event risk and/or a communications crisis, picking up the pieces after losing a bid to measuring economic impact. Take a look through our photo gallery to see how engaged people were on the trending topics. If you weren’t able to get to your favourite topic, or you weren’t able to attend, each table’s discussion highlights are recapped on the CSTA website.  

Phase II of the event was the [un] GOLF portion – everything you love about a golf tournament – the networking, great food and fun – without ever having to look for a lost ball in the rough! The ‘holes’ were a combination of golf-themed skill-testing activities, trivia contests, food stations and of course, the famous CSTA donut wall and photo booth! Teams collected points as they travelled through the various activations as a foursome.

Competition was fierce, especially in the best dressed category.  Sleigh What representing Marriott International took the prize with their Christmas-themed coordinated outfits – complete with reindeer antlers. The Town of Quispamsis & Broadcast Services International (BSI) were serious in their pursuit of the overall competition prize, and their team, The Nutty Putters took home the trophy and [un] GOLF bragging rights  for the next year.

The support and involvement of the many sponsors was integral to the success of the event. Volunteers were also a key element, assisting with the set-up, taking notes at the round tables, and ensuring the ‘golfers’ followed all the ‘rules’ of the various activations.

Here’s what one of our sponsors and participants had to say:

We learned so much attending [un] GOLF and the Sport Tourism FORE-um and met some amazing people in the industry. Thank you for hosting such a great event!

—  Kemp Edwards & Michelle Wilson, National Team Collective

The energy and enthusiasm of the participants set the stage for the sport tourism industry to gather again this coming March 19-21 at Sport Events Congress at The Westin Ottawa. And #golfvibes is sure to be a trending hashtag when the 3rd annual event takes place in November 2019.