Pasco launches sports tourism survey

Pasco County residents waiting for that chance to have a voice in tourism can do it now through a new survey offered by The Sports Facilities Advisory.

The survey is designed to help the advisory group develop a set of recommendations to the development of a sports tourism industry in the county. The goal will be to bring youth, amateur sports tournaments and events to the county by expanding the Office of Tourism’s structure and ability to attract and host events, according to a release. The study will assess the opportunities, challenges and steps necessary to enter into the rapidly expanding and competitive industry.

Pasco has been inspired by the success of sports tourism programming in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, and believe there is enough that Pasco could share in it as well. Last year, Pinellas generated more than 110,000 room nights from such tourism, while Hillsborough has a long history of hosting successful sports tourism events — ranging from Florida Youth Soccer Association tournaments to the 2012 United Youth Football League National Championships.

“Pasco County is on the verge of tremendous growth, and we want to position ourselves to bring competitive sports to our region,” said Ed Caum, Pasco’s tourism manager, in a release. “Having dedicated sports facilities for tournaments in Pasco County, and working toward more collaborative efforts with our potential partners in Hillsborough and Pinellas will assist with our goal to make our region a recognized sports destination for sports tourism.”

The online survey will gauge perceived needs and support. The survey requests information related to sports participation, current use of existing sports facilities, and the potential use of future sports facilities. The survey also provides those taking it the option to request Pasco not develop a sports tourism program.

The survey will be available through Oct. 9, and can be accessed by clicking here.

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