Meeting venues plan to boost Canada offer

Canada is attempting to shake off its image as an incentive-only destination and beef up awareness of its conference offer. The move follows the launch of a marketing body of 17 Canadian conference centres. Convention Centres of Canada (CCC) aims to highlight the country’s purpose-built meetings facilities and plans to develop benchmarking and performance criteria to create an approved quality standard. CCC project manager Rod Cameron said: “For a long time now, the destination has been recognised for its natural beauty and outdoor activities, and this has tended to overshadow our convention offer. “We hope to achieve a set of management criteria to reflect uniformly high quality in all areas, from technology to customer service and staff training, as well as a standardised approach in terms of handling contracting and event management. To planners, this will mean a consistent, high-quality product,” he said. CCC has received start-up funding from the Canadian Tourist Commission (CTC) and will be co-operating with the body to more effectively communicate its message. Director of the CTC in London, Ian Harrower, said the commission welcomed the initiative. “Canada has been growing steadily as an incentive destination out of the UK market for some years now, however, meetings business from here is less well developed.” Although Cameron said it was too early to say what precise marketing activities CCC will co-ordinate, it is likely these will include fam trips for UK organisers and roadshows targeting the UK market.

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