Soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, destination management organization… what do all of these have in common?
Each one is competing to win the tournament, to win the meet, to win the event. Destination management organizations are investing hundreds of thousands (sometimes millions) of dollars to renovate and/or build the best sporting venues to attract large multi-day tournaments for multiple year contracts.
As destinations look to sports tourism as an option to increase overnight visitation, resulting in additional tax revenues for the destination, the question is often asked “should we invest in our current infrastructure or build new sports facilities?” If the answer is yes, then the question of “how do we pay for those infrastructure improvements” usually follows.
Destination management organizations have turned to a tourism improvement district to generate funding for sports facility development and renovations of existing facilities to attract and retain multi-day sports tournaments that benefit the lodging communities.
Tourism improvement districts are special assessment districts which typically provide services that include marketing, sales, promotions, website and internet presence, and group sales. They can also include capital improvements or other projects designed to make the destination more appealing to potential visitors.
Tourism improvement districts can be customized to attract overnight groups to local sports attractions – golf courses, regional aquatic centers, youth soccer facilities, indoor sports facilities for volleyball and basketball, and the like. Hotels in cities that are not traditional tourist destinations can greatly benefit from the targeted sports marketing and destination development which utilizes existing sports facilities to drive room night sales.