Destination St. John’s, Tourism Saskatoon and Tourism Victoria have launched a new collaborative initiative that provides meeting planners with a simple and effective way to book their meetings and conferences. “Cities in Sync” was announced at the CSAE Tête-à-Tête tradeshow, which was held last week in Ottawa.
“This initiative gives planners peace of mind because they can work through Cities in Sync to book three consecutive events, knowing each one will meet their standards and expectations,” said Miranda Ji, Tourism Victoria’s director of sales for the Victoria Conference Centre and Business Events Victoria. “This is a competitive business space and any edge we can create to bring meetings business to our cities is a win for our regions.”
The agreement allows meeting planners to book all three cities to support a natural rotation through Eastern, Central and Western Canada. Importantly, it allows each destination to know they have future business on the books.
Victoria, Saskatoon and St. John’s are popular destinations with vibrant conference tourism sectors. As meetings and conferences are often booked years in advance, having business under contract provides some predictability for the tourism sector.
“We are excited about the prospect that this innovative concept will make booking conferences easier for planners. We’ll be as creative and flexible as we can. It’s a win for the destinations and the planners, said Krista Cameron, director of sales for Destination St. John’s.
The Cities in Sync initiative also has a marketing component that will be funded by the three cities’ destination marketing organizations, and includes incentives designed to appeal to planners. There is also consideration given to associations with bylaws requiring an additional province in the mix, thus creating a four-year cycle.
“We value our Canadian association business and what they can achieve through their national meetings,” said Candace Schierling, director of National Conventions and Event Marketing for Tourism Saskatoon. “Our partnership provides a seamless cross-country experience with incredible landscapes for delegates to experience. Our work together as destinations allows us to provide planners with added tools for a successful meeting and, in turn, our cities will have confirmed economic benefits and increased tourism. We are very excited to be the first cities in Canada to bring this program forward.”