VANCOUVER — Vancouver is one of North America’s most sought-after destination cities for international meetings, according to two recently released reports, it was announced in mid-May. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Vancouver the top city in North America for international meetings, and Watkins Research Group’s Meeting and Convention Planners Survey rated the Vancouver Convention Centre the number one venue in North America for superior convention facilities.
Amsterdam-based ICCA releases an annual report ranking cities according to the number of international meetings hosted in the previous year. Thanks to factors like state-of-the-art convention facilities and strategic destination marketing, Vancouver hosted 78 international meetings in 2016 — more than any other city in North America, and placing the city 29th in the world. ICCA’s report is distributed to more than 6,000 meeting planners and suppliers worldwide, assisting them in identifying potential destinations for future events. Vancouver was previously awarded the ICCA ranking in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2015.
Watkins Research Group’s Meeting and Convention Planners Survey’s annual rankings are based on a global evaluation of meeting and convention organizers. Out of the 40 North American cities surveyed this year, Vancouver placed first in Canada and second on the continent. The city earned a number of honours, including number one for superior convention centre facilities (tied with Nashville, Tenn.); number one for superior convention centre services; number one for being a safe and secure destination; and number one for superior convention and visitors bureau/destination marketing organization.
“Vancouver experienced one of its biggest years for international meetings in 2015, and we are carrying that momentum into 2016,” said Dave Gazley, vice-president of meeting and convention sales, Tourism Vancouver. “Both the ICCA and Watkins rankings underscore Vancouver’s strong reputation as a global meetings destination, and neither would be possible without the tireless and longstanding efforts of our local hospitality community. In addition, our Be a Host program has been instrumental in identifying and supporting many of the local industry leaders who bring their international congresses to the city.”