Canada means business.

Canadian Tourism Commission's meetings, conventions and incentive travel sector reveals its fresh focus and new name to the world at IMEX.

FRANKFURT, Germany, May 22, 2013 /CNW/ - it's no longer business as usual for Canada. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) today unveiled its refreshed agenda for the meetings, conventions and incentive travel (MC&IT) sector in Europe at IMEX, the annual giant international trade show in Germany.

There's a new name—Business Events Canada (BEC)—and a new focus on seven priority sectors where Canada holds a competitive advantage. CTC's BEC team will be leading its sales approach on aerospace, agriculture and food, clean technology, infrastructure/engineering, information/communication technology, life sciences and natural resources. These priorities are in line with the areas in which Canada is internationally recognized as a centre of excellence.

"Business Events Canada will contribute to efforts under the Federal Tourism Strategy to foster the long-term competitiveness of the tourism sector while creating jobs in Canada," says The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism).  "This new focus will help the Canada tourism brand gain strength and inspire more travellers to visit Canada."

The new BEC brand reflects the growing significance of the meetings industry to Canada's economy. Meetings, conventions and incentive travel attracts close to two million visitors each year to Canada with total spending of $1.7 billion—almost a quarter of all money spent by inbound overnight travellers. Canada is the No. 1 location for outbound meetings business from the US, which brings in about $1.4 billion annually.

The new BEC unit already has its first success under its belt: working as part of a local tourism consortium, BEC helped bring the annual TED Conference to Vancouver, BC, starting in 2014. That business coup garnered worldwide attention for the city and Canada as a whole, highlighting it as a centre for innovation.

"Although we have refined our strategic focus on specific industries, we remain firmly committed to working with our partners and clients to bring events of all kinds to Canada," says Greg Klassen, CTC senior vice-president Marketing Strategy and Communications. "Conventions and meetings held in Canada can be the first spark that ignites interest in doing business that leads to investment in our country as well as exploration of the unique experiences that Canada offers international travellers."

The next major event for the BEC team will be AIBTM June 11-13 in Chicago, IL.

Photo Captions:

  • The Vancouver Convention Centre will host the prestigious TED Conference in Vancouver, BC, in 2014. Meetings, conventions and incentive travel attracts close to two million visitors annually to Canada with total spending of $1.7 billion—almost a quarter of all money spent by inbound overnight travellers.
  • Conventions and meetings held in Canada can be the first spark that ignites interest in doing business that leads to investment in our country, as well as exploration of the unique experiences that Canada offers international travellers.
  • Located in Banff National Park in the splendour of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff Conference Centre offers a spectacular setting for meetings, conferences and events. Canada is the No. 1 location for outbound meetings business from the US, which brings in about $1.4 billion annually.

Additional web links:

About Business Events Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission

Business Events Canada is the division of the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) responsible for bring meetings, conventions and incentive programs to Canada. The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. A federal Crown corporation wholly owned by the Government of Canada, we lead the Canadian tourism and meetings industry in marketing Canada as a premier four-season destination. Our vision is to inspire the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism and meetings industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we promote Canada's extraordinary experiences in 11 countries around the world, conduct original market research, offer stunning visuals through the Brand Canada Library and provide resources and toolkits to help industry leverage Canada's successful tourism brand—"Canada. Keep Exploring." For regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, search our corporate website or BEC website, become a fan on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, share images on Instagram or subscribe to our YouTube channel.


Image with caption: "The Vancouver Convention Centre will host the prestigious TED Conference in Vancouver, BC in 2014. Meetings, conventions and incentive travel attracts close to two million visitors annually to Canada with total spending of $1.7 billion-almost a quarter of all money spent by inbound overnight travellers. (CNW Group/Canadian Tourism Commission)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130522_C8844_PHOTO_EN_26955.jpg

Image with caption: "Conventions and meetings held in Canada can be the first spark that ignites interest in doing business that leads to investment in our country, as well as exploration of the unique experiences that Canada offers international travellers. (CNW Group/Canadian Tourism Commission)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130522_C8844_PHOTO_EN_26957.jpg

Image with caption: "Located in Banff National Park in the splendour of the Canadian Rockies, the Banff Conference Centre offers a spectacular setting for meetings, conferences and events. Canada is the No. 1 location for outbound meetings business from the US, which brings in about $1.4 billion annually. (CNW Group/Canadian Tourism Commission)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20130522_C8844_PHOTO_EN_26959.jpg

SOURCE: Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information:

Margaret Nevin
Senior Communications Advisor
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel: 604-638-8406

Luisa Uruena
PR Manager
Axis Travel Marketing Ltd
Raworth House
36 Sydenham Road
Croydon CR0 2EF
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 208-686-2300

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