Project Name: Urban Destination Development – Regional Sport Tourism Office (RSTO)


The establishment of the Regional Sport Tourism Office happened as a direct result of a study commissioned by the RTO4 to determine the viability of developing the Meetings, Conventions and Incentive travel market.  The study by HLT Advisory Inc. highlighted sport tourism as a key business opportunity given the combined resources of sports facilities, volunteers and accommodations that exist over the footprint of Waterloo Region and Guelph.

In 2016/2017, the main focus of the RSTO was to facilitate the bidding process for the 2021 Canada Summer Games. Work during this time led to the expansion of the partnership network within the Waterloo Region and outlying communities offering complimentary facilities and services. Dialogue surrounding this bid continues to form the basis for ongoing consultation. Work involved the completion of the following:

  • Comprehensive bid for the 2021 Canada Summer Games
  • The completion of a facility inventory to match with national hosting standards
  • Creation of an inventory of potential capital projects involving municipal, post-secondary and non-profit venue owners that can now be prioritized and advanced in a strategic manner.
  • Creation of social media, volunteer database and video assets that can be used for further engagement with event organizers to help promote and deliver events 

2017/2018 Objectives

OBJECTIVE #1 – Strengthen the commitment of collaborating partners to bring events of a regional scope to this area.

OBJECTIVE #2 – Create a dynamic organizational structure and governance that leads to sustainable organization

Key Activities

  • Use of a master bid book to create a unified regional look and feel of bids
  • Establish a stronger governance model and committee involvement, as well as a communication plan to break down barriers to information sharing with senior management and municipal councils
  • Measure the baseline set of metrics established in 2017/2018 to define the current level of sport tourism within RSTO’s jurisdiction
  • Review and develop better service offerings to local community sport groups to help increase capacity and engagement with the RSTO and identify areas and key sports for growth in sport tourism
  • Assess potential bid development for future regional event bids (e.g.,Ontario Games, Memorial Cup, Scotties)
  • Finalize RSTO partner matrix and business plan

For more details on this project, please visit the 2017 RTO4 Business Plan, pages 36-38 (PDF 1.4MB).