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Game On: The Importance of Sports Tourism

Sporting events are a substantial part of the HTA’s Signature Events program. Every year, the HTA supports nearly 20 events that result in more than $150 million in economic impact, and generate more than 350 hours in national and international media exposure for the destination. 
“Sporting events not only benefit Hawaii’s economy, but also enhance our destination image, profile and quality of life,” said Mike Story, HTA tourism brand and sports manager. “We continue to work on building a sustainable sports tourism market to diversify visitor and resident experiences while highlighting Hawaii’s unique attributes.” 
Throughout the year, the HTA supports numerous sporting events, many of which take place during the fall and winter seasons. Sponsoring events during this period offers an opportunity to attract visitor arrivals and spending, by highlighting Hawaii’s temperate climate and tropical destination, during slower travel periods when the majority of the HTA’s major market areas experience chilly winter weather. 
The recent premier golf tournaments in Hawaii – Hyundai Tournament of Champions on Maui, Sony Open in Hawaii, the Pacific Links Hawaii Championship on Oahu, and The Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on Hawaii Island – contributed $55 million towards the state’s economy and produced more than 40 hours of live domestic broadcasts, not including international exposure for the Hawaiian Islands. 
This year’s 2014 NFL Pro Bowl attracted 47,270 attendees, slightly more than last year, and drew an average of 11.4 million viewers, making it the most watched all-star game in the U.S. 
As the HTA continues to enhance its sports marketing program, it will be focusing its efforts on returning the Pro Bowl to Hawaii as well as attracting other popular global sports like rugby, soccer, beach volleyball and LPGA tournaments. 
A full list of the HTA-supported sports events in 2014 include ("*" indicates the events supported through the HTA County Product Enrichment Program): 
Month Event Island
Jan. 3-6 Hyundai Tournament of Champions Maui
Jan. 7-13 Sony Open in Hawaii Oahu
Jan. 15-19 Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai Hawaii Island
Jan. 26 2014 NFL Pro Bowl Oahu
Apr. 13 Duke Kahanamoku Challenge* Oahu
Apr. 16-19 LPGA Lotte Championship Oahu
Jul. 27 Molokai 2 Oahu Paddleboard World Championships* Maui
Aug. 17-25 Duke’s Ocean Fest* Oahu
Aug. 30 - Sept. 1 Queen Liliuokalani Long Distance Races* Hawaii Island 
Aug. 31 Kauai Marathon Kauai
Sep. 13 Pailolo Challenge Maui to Molokai Canoe Race* Maui
Sep. 21  44th Maui Marathon* Maui
Oct. 11 Ironman World Championship Hawaii Island
Oct.  26 XTERRA World Championship Maui
Nov. 9-17 Hawaii Yoga Festival* Hawaii Island
Nov. 15-17 Hilton Honors Beach Volleyball Challenge Oahu
Nov. 24-26 EA Sport Maui Invitational Maui
Nov. 12 - Dec. 20 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing  Oahu
Dec. 7 XTERRA Trail Running World Championship Oahu
Dec. 23-25 Diamond Head Classic   Oahu
Dec. 24 Sheraton Hawaii Bowl  Oahu



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