Multi-Million Dollar Fund to Attract Events

 

Destination Canada has launched a new, three-year, International Convention Attraction Fund (ICAF) in a strategic move to bolster Canada’s global competitiveness in attracting major international conventions, conferences, and events to Canada.

The fund is a major part of an overall $50 million investment from the 2023 Federal Budget and is a key priority of the Federal Tourism Growth Strategy (FTGS).

“Hosting more international events is a central part of our work to help Canadian tourism reach its full potential,” said The Honourable Soraya Martinez Ferrada, Minister of Tourism. “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 travellers. We anticipate that this program will bring in at least $174 million into the Canadian economy. From the Women Deliver Conference to the World AIDS Conference, Canadians are world-class hosts. With fierce competition for these events, this investment will ensure that Canada can contend with the best—and then welcome them.”

The ICAF will provide financial commitments for bids on major international conventions. The financial support and backing from Destination Canada will greatly improve each applicant’s chances of winning their respective bids. The awarded financial commitment, eligible up to $1 million CAD, is determined by a pre-established scoring system based on select criteria, demonstrating the value of each bidding opportunity. Using a conservative estimate, ICAF is expected to produce around $3.5 for every dollar invested, generating at least $174M for the Canadian economy.

“We see 2024 as Canada’s year of competitiveness for business events,” said Destination Canada CEO, Marsha Walden. “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.”

 

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