Tourism in Kamloops:
An Industry Snapshot
Kamloops is a popular destination for tourists year round. The mild climate and beautiful natural setting make it ideal for outdoor recreation enthusiasts as opportunities abound for world-class hiking, mountain biking and skiing. The world-renowned Sun Peaks Resort. Harper Mountain and over 200 lakes are located within an hour of the downtown core. The city itself boasts 82 parks, modern fitness facilities, skating arenas, tennis courts, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and swimming pools. There is also a thriving arts community with live theatre, galleries, museums and a symphony orchestra.
The City of Kamloops has long recognized Sport Tourism as an economic generator for the city and to that end made becoming Canada’s Tournament Capital one of its top goals in City Council’s Strategic Plan. In March of 2002, the City officially registered its trademark as “The Tournament Capital of Canada”. With close to $50 million invested in new and renovated sports facilities, Kamloops is a proven location for hosting tournaments and events.
In 2013, Kamloops hosted 114 tournaments, held numerous cultural events, and welcomed thousands of participants and spectators to the city. The city has hosted several world-class sporting events such as the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier, 2014 North America Central America and Caribbean Under 23 Track & Field Championships, and 2014 Four Nations Cup – Women’s International Hockey.
A Growing Sector
Tourism in Kamloops is growing and has an increasingly important role in the local economy, with 9% of the population employed in the hospitality industry. Rocky Mountaineer Vacations injects over $15 million into the local economy during the summer season, and Kamloops is a stopover point for bus tour companies travelling between the Lower Mainland and Rocky Mountains. Kamloops also caters to the business travel market with state-of-the-art meeting and conference facilities. Several major hotel chains have moved to Kamloops in recent years, and the $20 million expansion of the Kamloops Airport is now complete.
Kamloops is a proven location for hosting tournaments and events with close to $50 million invested in new and renovated sports facilities.
Tournament Capital Centre
A 135,000 sq. ft multi-sport facility which includes:
- A 200 metre, six lane indoor track, specialty designed jumps and throws area
- 15,000 sq. ft of gymnastics space
- Three hardwood courts for basketball, volleyball, badminton and other court activities
- 8,000 sq. ft of public fitness rooms
- 3,000 sq. ft of public meeting rooms space for athletic conditioning and training
Built on the shores of the South Thompson River, easy access to Riverside Park, and only two blocks from the downtown core, the centre has a seating capacity of 6,400 and almost 20,000 square feet of exhibition space.
McArthur Island Park
MacArthur Island Park is a 51 hectare island with multiple sports facilities and parks, located on the north bank of the Thompson River. The facility includes:
- Kamloops Skatepark
- McArthur Island Sports and Events Centre
- McArthur Island Youth Centre
- Tennis Courts
- Canada Games Ball Field (12)
- Soccer (9 pitches) & fieldhouse
- Xeriscape and Butterfly Garden
- Bike and walking paths
- Boat launch
- Lawn Bowling
- Norbrock Stadium
- Canada Games Ball Field
- Soccer (9 pitches)
- 17 baseball diamonds
- McArthur Island Golf Course
- Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
Charles Anderson Stadium
Includes well maintained baseball fields, tennis courts, a soccer pitch and plenty of free parking. The facilities at the park include two lit diamonds with 375 seating each, announcers building/media centre, concession/storage/dressing room facilities, two additional full-size diamonds (300ft>), soccer field and three outdoor tennis courts.
Kamloops Tennis Centre
Eight outdoor courts, five of which are lit, and five indoor courts under the bubble in winter.
Kamloops has a vast landscape with plenty of room in which to play and engage in an array of recreational opportunities, all while enjoying over 2,000 hours of sunshine annually. Housing is affordable and the cost of doing business is competitive, plus the area boasts exceptional schooling options and healthcare services. Employee retention is high in Kamloops with employees citing an affordable, quality of life in the region as a major plus.
Incentives for the Tourism Industry
Tournament Capital Grants
The Tournament Capital Grant, provided by the City of Kamloops, is eligible to all amateur sports organizations. The maximum allocation of funds is $200 for a Regional Tournament, $500 for a Provincial Tournament, $1,000 for a Western Canadian Tournament, $1,500 for a National Tournament and $1,500 for an Invitational Tournament. More information
The PacificSport Travel Grant gives financial aid to athletes and coaches travelling for training and competitions. More information
Canada’s Tournament Capital Program Support
The City of Kamloops has support services from dedicated City staff that assist in bringing tournaments and sporting events to Kamloops. More Information
Tourism Kamloops Accommodation Directory
Access all accommodation information from motels and inns to hotels and B&B’s. More Information
The Destination Marketing Organization works to promote and market Kamloops as a tourism destination year round. They work in conjunction with the City of Kamloops, Kamloops Accommodation Association, Tourism BC and other tourism marketing organizations. More Information
Tourism Industry Association of B.C. (TIABC)
The Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC), formerly the Council of Tourism Associations of BC, was established in 1994 as the voice of British Columbia’s 18,000 private sector tourism businesses. They are a not-for-profit, trade association whose primary purpose is to advocate the interests of their members. More Information
Wilderness Tourism Association (WTA)
The BC Wilderness Tourism Association was born out of a need to have an organization that would be focused on land use issues faced by nature based tourism operators. It has its roots in a previous organization called the “Wilderness Tourism Council” a group who represented approximately 850 nature based businesses during the 1980’s. Today, the WTA works to improve communications between tourism operators, governments and other industry sectors with respect to wilderness conservation and access to wilderness tourism opportunities. More Information
“Kamloops rocks as the place to live! It’s a place that is engaged in healthy living and activity. With the amazing world-class facilities and coaching, Kamloops continues to produce many high performance athletes to the world stage in their respective sports. With the assistance of PacificSport, Canadian Sport Centre Pacific and the many other partners we believe Kamloops offers many benefits for our stakeholders.”
- Carolyn Boomer, General Manager, PacificSport Interior B.C.