In recent years the sports tourism industry, in particular youth sports, has quickly ascended to the top of the tour and travel food chain. This was certainly apparent and quantifiable during and after the pandemic, as many destination marketers leaned greatly on the economic impact of travel sports to keep themselves and their hospitality partners relevant.
It was once said that the travel sports industry is recession-proof, now one could possibly argue that it is pandemic-proof as well. Regardless of your stance with the previous statement, we can all agree that travel sports has an important seat at the tourism marketplace table.
To this point we have some exciting news to share…
After a lengthy three year hiatus, the Missouri Sports Travel Exchange will return to the sports tourism marketplace on February 27 – March 1, 2023, to the recently renovated Embassy Suites in Saint Charles, Missouri.
The event, which brings qualified sports event organizers and rights holders from across the Midwest together with suppliers from the State of Missouri, is supported by integral industry partners including the Missouri Division of Tourism. The event, itself, is being offered as a business opportunity through the Missouri Travel Alliance.
The Missouri Travel Alliance is a membership-based organization that represents the entirety of the Missouri hospitality, tourism, and travel industry. The Missouri Sports Travel Exchange, which has been previously hosted in Branson and Saint Charles, hopes to build upon the foundational groundwork set-in motion from the 2019 and 2020 shows.
Laura Brahan, President of the Missouri Travel Alliance, echoes this sentiment “a lot of focused time and efforts have gone into the planning and executing stages with this particular event over the years. We believe in the value of this show and the power of youth, collegiate, and adult sports. It was important that we brought it back, continue the momentum, and embrace this opportunity.”
This year’s event, which is branding itself as “something for everyone,” will have a strong focus on the one-on-one business appointments between planners and suppliers with some networking and education mixed-in.
“We are excited about the list of planners that have already committed to the 2023 show, and their interest in wanting to host their future events in Missouri. No matter if you are a large, mid-size, or small market, we believe there is business to be booked for all represented destinations,” said Cori Day, Executive Director of the Missouri Travel Alliance.
The importance of finding qualified planners looking to do business in the State of Missouri cannot be overstated enough. The Missouri Sports Travel Exchange seeks out planners that Missouri suppliers may not necessarily see at some of the industry’s larger and more established tradeshows. Even though some of these planners are not at these other shows, they still have a valuable product to sell.
Of course, there will be some familiar faces at the 2023 exchange, AND there will be a planner that attended his first sports travel-related tradeshow at the 2019 Missouri Sports Travel Exchange, but currently participates in the larger events as well.
Alex Nagy, who operates Twisted Cat Outdoors, which is an organization that runs premier catfish tournaments throughout the Midwest, is excited about returning to his tradeshow roots. He pointed out, “the sports travel industry is one built on trust and relationships. Attending the Missouri Sports Travel Exchange in 2019 allowed us to position ourselves to foster and grow these relationships. So as we continued to expand Twisted Cat Outdoors, we already had the necessary contacts in the State of Missouri to expedite the tournament-booking process. It was a great opportunity, and we are glad to have been part of the event’s first show, and we are thrilled to be part of the event in 2023!”
Whether it is youth sports, travel sports, sports tourism, or whatever name utilized to define this segment, one thing is abundantly clear – amateur sporting events are here to stay! With that said, so is the Missouri Sports Travel Exchange. In addition to hosting the 2023 event, the planning committee is committed to continuing to develop relationships with enthusiastic planners, key industry exhibitors, and eager Missouri suppliers and destinations, while creating relevant content well into the future.
“We are just getting started,” stated Cori Day.
For more information in regards to the Missouri Sports Travel Exchange, please visit:
Cori Day, Executive Director
Missouri Travel Alliance
500 SW South Avenue #1112
Blue Springs, MO 64013