Victoria among world’s top 10 rising stars for meetings and conferences

Victoria Inner Harbour
Photo by Rattan Mall

ONE of the most influential publications for meeting planners and conference organizers has listed Victoria among the top 10 rising stars in the highly competitive international meetings industry.

Smart Meetings magazine praised Victoria for the region’s natural splendour and outstanding hotels.

The magazine notes that a record 12,212 international association meetings were held in

2016, according to statistics compiled by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA). The increasingly competitive business is seeing growing competition from cities hungry for the economic benefits that come with hosting conferences and meetings.

Joining Victoria on the list are other hip up-and-coming destinations such as Brasilia, Brazil; Ghent, Belgium; and Kobe, Japan.

The B.C. Legislature buildings seen from Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Photo by Rattan Mall

“I am proud of the collaboration over the past number of years between the Victoria Conference Centre, Tourism Victoria and Conference Hotels in Victoria,” says Paul Nursey, President and CEO of Tourism Victoria. “Just over three years ago we created the Victoria Conference Optimization Network to help improve our competitiveness as a meetings destination. The ultimately led to the Victoria Conference Centre and Tourism Victoria’s meetings sales teams coming together in January of this year. All of the hard work over the last number of years is really starting to pay off.”

Tourism Victoria took on the sales and marketing of the VCC earlier this year, after reaching an historic agreement with the City of Victoria and the province. The city continues to operate the conference centre.

“Since hosting the 2008 ICCA Congress, City of Victoria and tourism partners have continued to take every opportunity to showcase Victoria’s unique conference experience to international meetings and conference organizers,” says Jocelyn Jenkyns, Deputy City Manager for the City of Victoria. “I am very thrilled that our collective efforts have now been recognized in this way.”

The article’s author, Dan Johnson, states it was a challenge to choose from all of the rapidly rising meeting destinations in the world.

“Nevertheless, we have picked 10 of them (not in order of ranking), because of the increase in the number of international meetings they are hosting as well as their overall appeal and the dedicated efforts they are making to attract groups,” Johnson writes.

Smart Meetings has 44,000 print subscribers. Its readers are executives and decision makers who play a key role in choosing, booking and planning business meetings and conferences.

“With our combined Business Events Victoria team, we have focused more efforts on promoting and creating awareness of why people should host their meetings here,” says Miranda Ji, Director of Sales for Business Events Victoria. “Our local partners are collaborating and working together with the collective goal of bringing more meetings to Victoria. This provides a more focused and cohesive sales and marketing effort.”

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