With the Toronto 2015 Pan Am & Parapan American Games (Pan Am Games) less than a year away, Beyond the Finish Line identifies key actions that the Government of Ontario and its partners can take to ensure that the Games leave a positive, lasting legacy.
The Province has already made significant progress on a number of fronts by investing in infrastructure, organizing Pan Am trade shows, and engaging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Pan Am related business opportunities. But more work remains.
As a start, the Province, together with the federal government, should ensure that they apply their tourism marketing resources strategically in order to generate a sustained increase in tourism. As it stands, too few marketing dollars are devoted to attracting international visitors—on whom the success of the Games depends. Further, the Government of Ontario should think long-term by developing, in conjunction with Ontario businesses, a plan that leverages Pan Am sports infrastructure to create future economic development opportunities for GTHA communities.
In addition, the private sector must work closely with the Province and leverage the Games to build trade relationships with new partners from emerging Latin American markets. The Ontario government and Ontario businesses have largely failed to tap into a rapidly growing Latin American and Caribbean economy that produces $5.7 trillion USD a year in GDP (just over 2 percent of Ontario’s exports are destined for South America). As tourists, business leaders, and government officials pour into the province, Ontario businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to strike new relationships and get their goods and services to new markets.
Finally, the Government of Ontario should continue to work closely with Ontario businesses to maximize the economic benefits that the Games will bring to our province.