Durham Economic Prosperity Committee

Chamber Report Identifies Steps to Ensure 2015 Pan Am Games Leaves a Lasting Economic Legacy

August 15, 2014—A new report from the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce identifies the crucial steps that governments and the private sector must take in order to ensure that the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan American Games leave a positive, lasting economic legacy in Durham Region, the GTA and the province.

“The 2015 Games will enhance the abilities for the Region of Durham to promote SPORT DURHAM and going forward the ability to attract future sporting events to Durham Region,” says Bob Malcolmson CEO & General Manager of the Greater Oshawa chamber of Commerce.

In less than a year, the Games will come to a close. If projections are accurate, they will bring 250,000 visitors to Ontario, generate $3.7 billion in new economic activity, and result in an expected 26,000 new jobs. While the Games are likely to provide a short-term boon to our economy, the lasting impact is much less clear.

According to the report, Beyond the Finish Line, Ontario needs to follow the lead of other major sporting event hosts and market itself more prominently to potential visitors from abroad.

“The Games have the potential to attract as many as hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the Americas,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they won’t arrive unsolicited—we need to step up our marketing game abroad.”

The report also highlights the need to make sure that government’s traffic reduction targets for the Games do not slow the movement of goods in the province by ensnaring transport trucks in gridlock. Congestion already costs the GTHA $6 billion in lost productivity annually. Observers anticipate that congestion in the region will worsen during the Games, partially as a result of the government’s ambitious 20 percent traffic reduction target.

The business group also urges Ontario businesses to leverage the unique opportunity presented by the Games to establish deeper relationships with their Latin American counterparts. Ontario's exports to the region account for only 2.1 percent of Ontario's exports. The group applauds the Government of Ontario for spearheading the Toronto Pan American Economic Summit, a three day conference that will bring together 1,500 business leaders from across the Americas.

“Government cannot bear sole responsibility for the success of the Games. Businesses and all Ontarians need to get excited about their potential and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities they provide,” adds O’Dette.

“Oshawa and Durham Region businesses needs to put its best foot forward and ensure we showcase Durham Region as a great place to do business and a return destination for our visitors from the Americas,” adds Malcolmson.

Learn more by reading Beyond the Finish Line: Ensuring a Successful Legacy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games.

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