World Cup skier Steve Podborski comes out of retirement to race against 200 journalists

Largest contingent of media visit to Alberta since the '88 Winter Olympics

BANFF, AB, Feb. 2 /CNW/ - More than 200 media from around the world will descend on Alberta next week for a conference of international journalists that's returning to the province for the first time in nearly 50 years. 

The Ski Club of International Journalists (SCIJ) will host its annual meeting at The Fairmont Banff Springs from February 6 -12.  

SCIJ was created in the 1950s with the purpose of fostering friendship and understanding among media from around the world.  It boasts a membership of 3,000 journalists working in print, online and broadcast media in 35 countries. All of them share a common passion for skiing. Alberta last played host to the SCIJ meeting in 1963 and the last Canadian meeting was held in Quebec City in 1995. 

"The 2010 Winter Olympics shone the spotlight on Canada and created renewed interest in Alberta as a tourism destination," said Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady. "By hosting this international media delegation, we are able to leverage that momentum and extend our global media coverage and awareness of this special place." 

Travel Alberta, Banff Lake Louise Tourism, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Ski Banff Lake Louise Sunshine, have spent the past three years courting this prestigious group of media who will spend a week in Banff for meetings, workshops, and skiing.  In addition to the conference, several SCIJ members will participate in pre- and post tours in communities across the province.  

"Alberta offers world-class skiing and hospitality," said Fred Wallace, Canadian President of SCIJ. "I'm delighted the conference is returning to Banff, the birth place of tourism in Canada." 

Steve Podborski, one of Canada's beloved Crazy Canucks, will race against journalists at Mt. Norquay on Tuesday, February 8, as an honorary guest of the organization.  

"I'm thrilled to be able to race with these media and show them how we do it Canuck style," said Podborski. "It will be fun competing with an international group again." 

Travel Alberta is the tourism marketing agency of the Government of Alberta.

SOURCE Travel Alberta

For further information:

Noelle Aune                                                                  
Executive Director, Public Relations and Media            
Travel Alberta                                                               
Noelle.Aune@TravelAlberta.com              
403.669.2947                                                               
www.travelalberta.com                                                 
Frederick Wallace
President          
SCIJ Canada 
scijcanada@hotmail.com
438.275.2800
www.scij.org


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