Vancouver tops in North America for drawing international conventions
The International Congress and Convention Association has ranked Vancouver as North America's top destination for international meetings.
In their annual statistics report, the Amsterdam-based ICCA ranks cities based on the number of international meetings hosted in the previous year. Vancouver hosted 54 meetings in 2008, ranking 31st in the worldwide standing but first in North America.
The top cities in the world for international associations were Paris and Vienna, which both hosted 139 meetings in 2008.
The United States was the top-ranked country, hosting 507 meetings. Canada ranked ninth, hosting 231.
It’s at least the third time Vancouver has been the No. 1 destination in North America for international associations, according to Tourism Vancouver. Most international associations have their headquarters in Europe but typically would have a North American chapter. The associations tend to have large memberships and hold large meetings as they have members worldwide.
In 2007, Vancouver also came first, being ranked 26th. The city hosted 49 meetings that year.
B.C. Tourism Minister Bill Bennett said in a news release that the recent opening of the new Vancouver Convention Centre is expected to bring even more international conferences to the city.
Tourism Vancouver targets international conventions not only because they are large but also because they tend to generate additional revenues for the city. Participants often add a few extra days to their stay because they travel a long distance to get here.
The next international convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre is July 21 when 1,000 members of the International Association of Insolvency Practitioners meet in the centre’s West building.
Meetings and conventions added $585 million in direct visitor spending to the Vancouver economy in 2007, according to Tourism Vancouver.