Published On: Friday, 02 November 2018
Tourism Victoria - Partnership Proving a Great Success
On January 1, 2017, a new agreement between Tourism Victoria and the City of Victoria came into effect that saw Tourism Victoria (recently renamed Destination Greater Victoria) assume leadership of the sales and marketing function of the Victoria Conference Centre from the City of Victoria. It was a natural fit, as Destination Greater Victoria already had a business unit tasked with growing the meetings, events and conference sector in Greater Victoria – Business Events Victoria. We are a year and a half into the agreement with the City of Victoria and I am proud to say we are seeing tremendous success.
Meetings, events and conferences act as an anchor for the tourism sector in many destinations, including Greater Victoria. Having this business on the books provides for stable and predictable revenue for our accommodation sector and small- and medium-sized businesses that rely on the economic benefit of hosting meetings and conferences in our region. This is especially true in the traditional shoulder and off-seasons when there is less leisure travel on which our businesses can rely. The shoulder and off-season have been a strategic focus of Destination Greater Victoria. We want our hotel rooms, restaurants and attractions full in the non-traditional tourism months.
In November Greater Victoria will host the Professional Conference Management Association (PCMA), Canadian Innovation Conference (CIC). This yearly event brings together event professionals to develop their skill set and enhance their network within the industry. The conference will host over 400 Canadian and international meeting and event professionals and created 1200 contracted room nights for our hotel partners.
From September 29 – October 2, 2019, Greater Victoria hosted Meetings Today Live West 2019. Business Events Victoria and its partner hotels, destination management companies, event venues and attractions collaborated to win the event – the first time it was held outside of the United States. The event paired qualified buyers and sellers in one-on-one hosted appointments to discuss meeting RFP’s currently open for tender. It created 220 contracted room nights for our hotel partners.
These are just two examples of the great work of Business Events Victoria. We have seen a steady increase in Victoria Conference Centre “delegate days.” As of June 2018 there were over 68,000 delegate days this year. This a 50 per cent increase over the same period in 2017. Moreover, the hotel room nights generated from meetings events and conferences has already eclipsed the number of hotel room nights generated in all of 2017. Despite this increase there is still room to grow. Destination Greater Victoria, Business Events Victoria and Victoria Conference Centre will continue to work hard on behalf of our hotel partners and community stakeholders to attract and deliver meetings, events and conferences, as well as execute our business plan.
Paul Nursey is the President and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria