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Destination Canada Launches International Convention Attraction Fund

The fund is intended to bolster the country’s competitiveness in attracting major international conventions, conferences, and events

By Amanda Christensen

Officially announced on March 18 by the Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada—minister of tourism and minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec—and Marsha Walden, president and CEO of Destination Canada, the three-year International Convention Attraction Fund is a strategic move for the organization to help attract major international conventions and events to Canada.

Attendees of the convention attraction fund announcement. March 27, 2024
Attendees of the announcement convention attraction fund announcement, from left to right: Annie Koutrakis, The Honourable Gudie Hutchings, The Honourable Rechie Valdez, Marsha Walden, The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, The Honourable Dan Vandal, The Honourable Filomena Tassi, and The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan || Courtesy of Destination Canada

“Hosting more international events is a central part of our work to help Canadian tourism reach its full potential,” says Ferrada, in a prepared statement. “That’s why, as part of the new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy, Destination Canada is making historic investments to attract more conferences and conventions. These events showcase the best of Canada, extend our tourism season, and attract business people—who typically spend twice as much as leisure travelers.” The fund is expected to generate more than $174 million for the Canadian economy and will provide financial commitment for bids on major international conventions. The investments made by Destination Canada will assist each applicant’s chances of winning their respective bids.

“We see 2024 as Canada’s year of competitiveness for business events,” says Walden, in a prepared statement. “This is what it takes to compete for the world’s major business events—and win. Business events have immediate benefits for the Canadian economy and the tourism sector today, as well as long-term ‘beyond-tourism’ benefits in attracting foreign direct investment, innovative businesses, and new talent in high-growth sectors that are critical to Canada’s future economy.”

Canada has played host to a number of high-profile international conferences and events including the Women Deliver 2019 Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia; and the 2022 International AIDS Conference in Montreal, Quebec. This year, the country will host events including The International Entrepreneurs Summit in Toronto, Ontario; the 2024 International Conference on Artificial Intelligence (ICAI) Canada in Saskatchewan; the 2024 International Conference on Climate Change and Health in Quebec; and more.