Vancouver, BC (May 11, 2015) – Vancouver is North America’s top destination for international meetings, according to a report published today by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).

The Amsterdam-based organization releases an annual report ranking cities according to the number of international meetings hosted in the previous year. In 2014, Vancouver hosted 60 international meetings – more than any other city in North America. The city placed 38th overall, ahead of other renowned meetings destinations like Montreal, Washington and Chicago. ICCA’s report is distributed to more than 6,000 meeting planners and suppliers worldwide, assisting them in identifying potential destinations for future events.

"We are delighted that Vancouver has been named North America’s top destination for international meetings and conventions," said the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible Labour. "It’s an encouraging sign that B.C.’s distinctive and diverse tourism brand is reaching visitors across the globe."

"This prestigious ranking truly underscores Vancouver’s strong reputation as a global meetings destination and the appeal of the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre," said the Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "The meetings and conventions business is a vital economic driver for BC’s economy. Congratulations to the Convention Centre, Tourism Vancouver and the entire hospitality community for their continued efforts to attract major international conventions that further propel Vancouver and our province on the world stage."

"We are very proud of the distinction of being North America’s top destination for international meetings," said Ken Cretney, President and CEO, BC Pavilion Corporation. "We’ve had the honour of welcoming a vast array of international meetings across industry sectors at the Vancouver Convention Centre over the past year that not only contribute to the growth of the local economy, but also bring new expertise and ideas to our city. Along with our partners, we look forward to welcoming an exciting lineup of international conventions again this year."

"ICCA’s ranking is particularly timely as Vancouver prepares to host some of the world’s most influential medical meetings in 2015," said Dave Gazley, vice president of Meeting & Convention Sales, Tourism Vancouver. "This recognition is largely due to the diligence and longstanding efforts of our local hospitality community, who have built strong relationships with conference organizers around the world. In addition, Tourism Vancouver’s Be a Host program has identified and supported many of the individual professionals who have brought their international organization’s meetings to Vancouver. We are confident that Vancouver will maintain its top ranking for many years to come."

About Vancouver:
Tourism Vancouver’s focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. The organization’s brand essence is about "exceeding expectations".

About Vancouver Convention Centre:
Located on Vancouver’s downtown waterfront with a dramatic mountain backdrop, the world’s first LEED
® Platinum certified convention centre offers one of the most beautiful settings in the world. The award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre features two connected buildings with a combined total of 466,500 ft2 (43,340 m2) of flexible meeting, exhibition, ballroom and plenary space. The facility is committed to environmental sustainability as well as unparalleled service, technology offerings and culinary excellence.