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Kamloops sporting events sees a boost in hotel occupancy and tourism

Kamloops sporting events sees a boost in hotel occupancy and tourism

Tourism Kamloops judges the number of visits the city receives by “occupancy rates.” The occupancy rate is the percentage of rooms in hotels that are booked.

In 2019, it was a record-breaking year for occupancy rates as it was near 80 per cent.

“Coming out of the Kamloops 55+ games just last week which was a great for the city we are estimating over $3.5 million in economic impact and with that we see occupancy rates in our hotels in the high 90’s so it’s great to see those increases over that time,” says Monica Dickinson with Tourism Kamloops.

During the pandemic summers in 2020 and 2021, Kamloops’ occupancy rate in hotels was cut by half.

Now in 2022, that percentage is exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

“Typically in the summers – we’re about the high 80’s but this year we’re seeing more 92, 93, 94, 95 per cent so that’s a significant increase in rooms to really bring that up in terms of occupancy,” says Bryan Pilbeam with the BC Hotels Association.

The Downtown Business Improvement Association (BIA) says having sporting events like the NSA World Series in the city sees a boost for businesses.

“The consensus is from most business owners is that [business] has been very positive in regards to increased traffic – it really has been a great summer,” says Howie Reimer, Downtown Business Improvement Association.

Having the NSA World Series in town is set to bring millions of dollars into the city through tourism.

“The economic impact on Kamloops ranges from $2-4 million annually. We’ll be coming here as long as they want us and we’re grateful for that,” Rose says.

“Those are non-resident dollars that are being injected into our businesses and our hotels and restaurants and it’s great when we can bring new money into the city,” adds Dickinson.

Businesses will continue to reap the benefits from the tournament which wraps up on Monday (September 5).

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Returning events provide boost to Shropshire company, says business leader

Shropshire Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan
Shropshire Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan
Shropshire Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan

Shropshire Chamber chief executive Richard Sheehan said the events are important in not only providing revenue, but also attract thousands of visitors from outside the area.

The Covid pandemic wreaked havoc on the events industry for two years, but this year events in the county are back in full swing.

Shropshire usually hosts a range of major events each year, including the Shropshire County Show, Shrewsbury Flower Show, music concerts as well festivals.

Just weeks after 80s legends Tears for Fears performed a concert at the QEII Arena in Telford Town Park, pop royalty Madness will be performing an outdoor gig in the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury on Friday, July 15.

Mr Sheehan said: “The events industry feeds heavily into the tourism, leisure and hospitality industry which has been hard hit by Covid. These events help market the area. They are enjoyed by people living locally as well as bring people in from outside.

“In the short-term they raise revenue, but they also raise awareness of the beautiful destinations we have got in the county and make people want to come back and visit.

“The diverse events on offer in such a rural county is fantastic.

“We’re in a situation where we recognise our agricultural roots and that will bring people in from that sector. But with events such as the concerts and flower show, they bring a much diverse audience and attract people from further afield who will stay in hotels and spend money in bars and restaurants.

“All these events should continue to be welcomed and supported.”

Shropshire Festivals organises several major events in the county annually, including Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shropshire Oktoberfest, Shropshire Kids Festivals, Shropshire Tasty Trail and Shropshire Party at the Quarry Park, collectively attracting over 90,000 visitors annually.

It has also been enlisted to organise the Queen’s Baton Relay family festival in the Quarry on Monday afternoon and Oakengates Carnival in September.

Owner and creative director, Beth Heath, said: “Local events are incredibly important, not just for our economy, but for strengthening community cohesion. Since the moment Boris announced the first lockdown, we have realised how much we took live events for granted – being immersed in community spirit, supporting local businesses, and having fun with our loved ones with shared experiences.

“It has been brilliant to bring back all of our major events this year, plus we’ve had a new demand for event consultancy with corporate clients – everyone wants to enjoy in person parties again, which is fantastic.

“Away from the big boys like Glastonbury, smaller events and festivals like ours are facing a huge challenge. All of our costs are going up but our customers are battling a cost-of-living crisis. Event organisers can’t put on events which don’t break even, let alone make a profit, but we’re loathed to pass on cost increases to customers who are feeling the strain too. It’s going to make many events become unviable, which is heart-breaking.

“Our festivals are a huge boost to the local tourism sector, with people travelling from outside the county, and even the country to visit us. Local restaurants and hotels get booked out whilst our events are on.

“We give space at our festivals for other events to market themselves, helping to boost visitor return visits.

“We believe our events have a circular economy, they attract local people, who support the local businesses we showcase, who create jobs and opportunities in our local area, and those businesses make our events better. I can’t stress enough how important it is to support local events in the area.”

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MyCEB visit to boost Malaysia and Indonesia’s business events

MyCEB visit to boost Malaysia and Indonesia's business events

The Malaysia Convention & Exhibition Bureau (MyCEB) made its first official visit to Jakarta, Indonesia, with an aim to boost collaboration in developing the business events industry.

MyCEB’s team linked up with representatives from the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, the Indonesian Exhibition Companies Association (IECA – Asperapi), the Jakarta Convention Centre, and professional conference organisers from both the public and private sectors.

The visit follows the announcement of Malaysia’s ‘Reset, Restart, and Recovery’ initiative (3R), and the relaxation of many of the country’s entry restrictions; both developments aim to attract congresses, exhibition, corporate meetings, and incentive travel to Malaysia.

Dato’ Sri Abdul Khani Daud, MyCEB’s CEO, said: “With the opening of our borders on 1 April, business events visitors will benefit immensely with no more requirement for Covid-19 PCR testing or Covid-19 insurance. However, much more effort is required to restart this industry and collaboration with our neighbouring countries, such as Indonesia, is very important.”

Responding to MyCEB’s offer of collaboration, Hosea Andreas Runkat, chairman of IECA-Asperapi and director of Balai Sidang Jakarta Convention Center (JCC) said: “This will ultimately attract and reassure the confidence of international world leaders, decision-makers, and potential investors in Malaysia and Indonesia’s ability to conduct responsible meetings in this era of new norms.”

Further discussions on collaboration between the two countries is underway.

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National track meet expected to boost Township’s economy – Aldergrove Star

National track meet expected to boost Township’s economy - Aldergrove Star

Bringing one of the biggest track and field competitions in Canada to Langley will have impacts far beyond the medals handed out on the podiums, say organizers and local politicians.

It’s part of a decades-long process that has seen Langley Township position itself as a sports tourism destination, aimed at bringing in big events and economic spin offs.

Getting the Bell Canada Track and Field Championships here was a marathon, not a sprint.

Although the Township has been expanding its sports fields and its track facilities for years, the seed for the current event was planted in 2014 and 2015 when McLeod Athletic Park hosted the Canadian Youth Track and Field championships, said Brent Dolfo, chair of the Bell Canada host committee.

It’s also been regularly hosting the B.C. High School Track and Field Championships, the most recent of which just wrapped up last week.

“We began to dream of what would it take to hold the national championships here in Langley,” Dolfo recalled.

The Langley Mustangs, the track club Dolfo has been affiliated with for years, connected to the business community, and with the Township’s Parks department.

For an event of this size, you need to be in lockstep with the local municipality, Dolfo said.

“The council was very enthusiastic,” he said.

By early 2017, that dream was becoming a reality, as the Township was shortlisted along with five other communities. It would win the right to host the games for two years by the end of 2017, but its facilities would need some upgrades. Many were already scheduled or were repairs, such as to the grandstand’s aging roof, but others were needed to bring the facilities up to the standard of a national event.

READ ALSO: Langley short-listed for elite meet

What would become a $5 million project included a brand-new track surface, a four lane 60-metre warm-up track, an additional long jump pit, an expanded high jump fan, a new shot put area, an additional pole vault area, extra security fencing and gating, and a new designated spectator areas for the field events, along with more parking.

The organizational ability of the host club and the Township’s facilities won Langley Township the bid, beating out major cities like Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, and Edmonton.

And then COVID scuttled plans for two years.

READ MORE: McLeod Athletic Park still closed as $5 million upgrades near completion

“Even last year, there was no national championships,” Dolfo said.

So this year and next, the Township will finally host the event, which attracts top athletes seeking to qualify for the Olympics.

With big names like Andre De Grasse and Damian Warner, a significant number of spectators are expected. The stands and new temporary seating can accommodate up to 4,000 fans a day, said Dolfo.

This is by far the biggest track event Langley has ever hosted, and it may be the springboard to hosting even more high-level meets in the coming years.

Township Mayor Jack Froese said having the facilities allows for more than one big event.

“It attracts more events,” he said, noting that Vancouver is considering another Winter Olympics bid because it already has the facilities from 2010.

Then there are spin offs from sports tourism, which come in two ways.

First, there’s the direct spending as people buy gas and food and fill up local hotels during the events themselves. That can also spin out into future events, even in different sports, as the Township has the Langley Events Centre with its rink, basketball courts, and gymnastics facilities, along with plenty of softball and soccer fields.

Beyond sports, it’s a chance to show off Langley.

“It exposes people that normally wouldn’t come here,” said Froese.

That could draw people back for Langley’s agritourism, its vineyard and wineries, and its historical sites around Fort Langley.

The Township is hoping to capitalize on the event, and will be studying its impact.

“Economic Investment and Development will be completing an economic impact assessment at the completion of the track and field event,” said Valerie Gakfa, senior manager of Economic Investment, “and for numerous other sporting events in 2022, and once final data & information is available, we aim to communicate it to the public and media.

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LinkedIn Expands Streamlined ‘Boost’ Ad Option to LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn Expands Streamlined 'Boost' Ad Option to LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn’s expanding its streamlined ‘Boost’ ad option, with users now able to pay to amplify their LinkedIn event listings via the Boost process in the app.

LinkedIn Events boosting

LinkedIn initially launched its ‘Boost’ option last year, providing a simple, quick way to amplify organic posts in the app.

Much like Facebook’s Boost process, the feature aims to simplify ad spend, helping marketers capitalize on early traction to expand their messaging.

As per LinkedIn:

With the click of a button and a few payment details, you can easily give your most engaging or time-sensitive content a little boost to quickly expand your audience reach. Thousands of Pages used boosting in the past year to get their content in front of the professionals who matter the most to their businesses.”

Now, you can use the same for your LinkedIn Events.

“To get started, click on the Boost button on the Events page, select your target audience, set the campaign schedule and budget, and enter payment information. This will create an event ad that appears in the LinkedIn feed of professionals that you have selected as your target audience. The ad will feature key dates, location, and information on how to join the event.”

LinkedIn will provide advertisers with insights into how many members clicked on or saw your boosted event ad, and/or registered for your event. 

It’s a fairly straightforward ad option, designed to bring in more ad dollars for LinkedIn through simplified amplification in-stream.

Though how effective it is will be relative to each event, and how much you’re willing to pay to ‘boost’ your messaging.

Events have proven to be a winner on LinkedIn, with more than 24,000 events created in the app every week. The ongoing pandemic mitigation measures, and the increasing functionality of online video have ushered in a new age of the virtual meet-up, which has presented significant opportunity for LinkedIn to play a central in the next stage of industry conferences and functions, via its evolving tools.

Of course, many are still keen to get back to in-person functions, which are slowly making a comeback as well. But the work from home shift also means that many people have become accustomed to remote access, which sets the stage for LinkedIn to capitalize on that interest with its event tools.

Boosting provides another element in this respect, with the capacity to reach more professionals with your functions, and maximize interest.

Could be worth considering in your approach.  

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Birmingham seeing economic boost from busy weekend events

Birmingham seeing economic boost from busy weekend events

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – A busy weekend in Birmingham is ahead, with sold out concerts and sporting events across the city.

Birmingham is booming with events this weekend, like the USFL game at Legion Field and the sold-out Garth Brooks concert at Protective Stadium, which can hold more than 40,000 people.

While those events will bring in big tourist bucks, city leaders said Birmingham is already having an economic boost because of these types of events.

Just this past weekend, the city hosted the SWAC Baseball Tournament and HBCU Springcoming. Director for Office of Innovation and Economic Opportunity Cornell Wesley said they project those events brought in around four million dollars alone.

Wesley said so far, the USFL is also bringing the city big bucks, with viewership at more than one million, they think the end of the season will total more than 50 million dollars in revenue.

Wesley said they are also gearing for even more money maker events this summer.

“We have the jazz fest upcoming,” Wesley said. “Everyone knows about The World Games. It will be a huge economic anchor and has the potential to be what the Olympics were in Atlanta in ‘96, but for Birmingham. Birmingham has the infrastructure, has the talent, has the means, and has the intentionality to be a sports town and entertainment capitol.”

Birmingham hotel bookings are already up 10 percent this summer compared to last.


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Data: Overseas flights, big April events boost Vegas casinos

Data: Overseas flights, big April events boost Vegas casinos

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gambling in Nevada continued a 14-month hot streak in April and a return of international flights boosted travel nearly to levels seen before the coronavirus pandemic began more than two years ago, according to Las Vegas airport, tourism and state casino revenue reports.

The $1.13 billion that casinos statewide reported winning last month represented the best April ever for the state, Clark County and the Las Vegas Strip, the state Gaming Control Board said Thursday.

Nevada casinos have now reported winning at least $1 billion every month since March 2021.

“This month’s total win amount represents the highest April total gaming win recorded all-time for the state, Clark County and the Strip … aided by a very robust event calendar in addition to the continued return of international visitors,” said Michael Lawton, senior Gaming Control Board analyst.

Reid International Airport on Wednesday reported handling almost 4.26 million arriving and departing passengers last month. That was just below the 4.28 million travelers in April 2019.

The more than 200,000 international travelers counted at the airport last month compared with about 31,000 a year ago, with almost all flights from overseas suspended during the pandemic.

Lawton noted the airport ramped up nonstop service in April with flights to and from cities in Mexico, Canada, Panama, the Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

The nearly 3.4 million Southern Nevada tourists tallied by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority was up more than 31% last month compared with April 2021, but down 4.5% from the same month in 2019.

Convention attendance was up dramatically from last year, but still down almost 29% compared with April 2019.

Las Vegas also hosted several big special entertainment events, Lawton said, including four sold-out nights at Allegiant Stadium by South Korean boy band BTS; the big National Association of Broadcasters show at the Las Vegas Convention Center; and the National Football League draft at several venues.

The Palms Casino Resort also reopened under its new owner, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

The state collected almost $70 million in taxes based on April casino winnings, the Gaming Control Board said. The figure is important because casino taxes make up about 17% of state revenues, second only to sales taxes. Nevada has no personal income tax.

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WWE looks to boost its sponsorship revenue as live events return and a key media deal expires

WWE looks to boost its sponsorship revenue as live events return and a key media deal expires

Chief Brand Officer and TV Personality of WWE, Stephanie McMahon delivers her keynote address at the opening of Sports Matters in conjunction with All That Matters 2016 in Singapore on September 14, 2016.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

WWE and industry analysts agree: The pro wrestling and media company can squeeze more revenue out of sponsorship deals.

The company leans on the intellectual property built around performers such as superstar personalities like The Undertaker, John Cena, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Roman Reigns and Bianca Belair. Revenue from its live events, which are returning as Covid restrictions ease, and media offerings are fueled in part by sponsorship dollars. 

WWE this year aims to fill football stadiums and expand its programming, according to Frank Riddick, WWE’s chief financial officer. Riddick, who took over the job in November, said after last week’s earnings release that the company is making sponsorship a priority this year.

In 2021, WWE reported roughly $72 million combined for advertising and sponsorships in its media and live events businesses.

WWE made more than $10 million in sponsorship fees alone for last month’s marquee Wrestlemania 38, executive Stephanie McMahon said last week. That was a record for the two-day event held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas. WWE’s sponsorship partners include Toyota, DoorDash, Rocket Mortgage and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty cosmetics line, said McMahon, who is also the daughter of longtime CEO Vince McMahon.

Analysts suggest the WWE is undervalued when it comes to sponsorship revenue, estimating the company lures around $35 million per year just from sponsorships. That’s less than combat-sports company UFC, which attracts more than $100 million annually, according to a Guggenheim Partners note to clients last month.

While WWE lags behind UFC in overall popularity, its fans are the most likely to notice sponsors, according to sponsorship consulting firm IEG. Sixty-seven percent of WWE’s fans are more likely to consume brands associated with the company, according to IEG’s research, which used data from polling outfit YouGov. That’s ahead of the 55% average for the group of the 11 biggest sports leagues, including the NFL, which is by far the most popular sports organization in the United States.

“All that does is spell potential and opportunity,” said Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director. He said he thinks WWE can clear over $100 million in annual sponsorship revenue.

But he also noted WWE might not be the “right fit for the most affluent categories or top tier brands.”

The WWE did not return a CNBC request to discuss its sponsorships.

WWE’s place in the streaming world

WWE gets most of its revenue from its media business, accounting for $278.1 million of its $333.4 million overall revenue in the quarter ended March 31. Advertising and sponsorship revenue in the media segment grew 27% to $19.8 million from the year-ago period.

The company is preparing for a key media deals amid an “increasingly cluttered streaming marketplace,” WWE President Nick Khan said on last week’s earnings call. Hulu’s deal for day 2 rights around WWE’s weekly “Raw” program expires this year.

Day 2 rights allow subscribers to watch “Raw” and “Smackdown,” another weekly show, 24 hours after they first air. Raw airs live on USA Network, and Smackdown is shown on Fox. After 30 days, subscribers to NBCUniversal’s Peacock service can watch the shows. (In 2021, WWE entered a five-year deal with NBCUniversal for a reported $1 billion to license its library and show live main events on Peacock.)

Khan also suggested a new player could enter the sports streaming game.

“It’s just a matter of time before Netflix goes with live,” said Khan. He added the live events generate the highest consumer impressions for networks and streaming companies.

Netflix is indeed looking to bounce back as its results suffer while viewers shake off pandemic restrictions and head back out into the world. In April, Netflix reported a decline in subscribers and warned of millions of more losses in the months ahead. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos said at the time he doesn’t see a profitable way for the streamer to get into sports, although its “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” series has been a smash hit.

Netflix probably wouldn’t be interested in WWE, anyway, according to longtime media rights advisor Lee Berke, since the wrestling company is already tied up with Peacock. He said it would make more sense for the NBCUniversal service to add more WWE rights.

“That’s a major relationship for them, and there’s a lot they can do to build on that,” said Berke, CEO of LHB Sports, which advises the sports entertainment industry. “But if [Netflix] is going to make a move for WWE, I see them making an aggressive for all of their content or major live events.”

WWE is also looking at overseas expansion, particularly in India, home to a billion people and a growing middle class. WWE estimates its content is shown in more than 180 countries. The company said it drew 25 million viewers for an exclusive event showcasing U.S. WWE wrestlers competing against India-born performers. Wrestlemania drew more than 50 million viewers last month in India.

Khan, the WWE president, called India a “hugely important market.” But, he added, WWE is waiting for networks to finish bidding on rights to cricket – the most popular sport in the country – before the company determines its future media marketplace there.

Disclosure: Peacock owner NBCUniversal is also the parent company of CNBC.