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Canadian Cities make ICCA Top Lists

Strong Showing for Canada in International Convention Destination Competitive Index

Toronto was the top performing Canadian city in the Ranking for Competitive Strengths in the International Destination Competitive Index recently published by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). Toronto which ranked 8th overall, was benchmarked against a total of 54 international centres who hosted 150 or more global conferences in 2017. On the same list, Montréal ranked 21st, and Vancouver came in at 22nd.

The following criteria went ICCA’s report to establish a destination’s competitiveness:

Product. A destination must have the essential product to host conferences such international airports, convention facilities and hotels. It also requires service elements like professional congress organisers (PCOs), Destination Management Companies (DMCs), transportation companies and a wide range of other meetings services companies.

Promotion. Destinations need to be actively promoted to the associations which are conducting the meetings. Destinations must bid to host conventions. Without bids, there is no invitation. If they aren’t invited they don’t come. Bidding requires well-resourced convention bureaus working collaboratively with their local industry service providers and local hosts – the professionals that are engaged with the international association as a member because they work in the field that is represented by the association.

Political Will. Public policy affects the destination’s marketability. Ministerial support and engagement levels can often separate the strong from the weak.

Public Support. Destinations that have strong levels of community engagement have a significant advantage over those who don’t.

Toronto, Ontario

As the new home of Collision, North America’s fastest-growing tech conference, and MedTech 2020, Toronto easily attracts some of the world’s most prominent conferences in Tech, Natural Resources and Life Sciences. When it comes to conference “product,” the city checks all the boxes. Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest international airport was recently recognized by Airports Council International as the top airport in North America serving over 40 million passengers. The Metro Toronto Convention Centre, also Canada’s largest at over 600,000 sq. ft. of rental space, has achieved recognition on everything from building excellence to its sustainable operations and more. MTCC is only one of six convention centres (totalling over 2.5 million square feet of space), within the Greater Toronto Area. With some 38,000+ guest rooms, Toronto has all the name brands global travellers seeks with plenty of upscale boutique properties to choose from as well.

Montreal, Quebec

Montréal, with its blend of North American and European flair, is a leading destination for conferences focused on Aerospace and Artificial Intelligence, amongst a host of others. Recently recognized by the Union of International Associations (UIA) as the leading destination in the Americas for international conferences, the city boasts some 976,176 square feet of rentable meeting space, 551,520 square feet of it at the award-winning Palais des congrès de Montréal. A recent surge in hotel development caps the city’s accommodations at over 27,000 guest rooms, including Canada’s most “intelligent” hotel, the tech-driven Hotel Monville.

Vancouver, British Columbia

Picturesque Vancouver, with its laid-back west coast vibe, is anything but laid back when it comes to hosting international conferences. In what will be a record-breaking 2018 the city is poised to welcome some 100,000 delegates this year at conferences ranging from sustainability, to the study of ornithology, to video FX and more. The Vancouver Convention Centre, which is the world’s first double LEED platinum certified convention centre, boasts some 466,500 square feet of rentable space in two artfully designed buildings overlooking Vancouver’s inner harbour and the north shore mountains. With the addition of JW Marriott Parq Resort this year, the city offers now over 13,000 guest rooms, many with water and mountain views. Ranked as one of the top North American locations for conference by the 2018 Watkins Report, Vancouver dazzles on the global conference stage.