A diverse city on the edge of spectacular nature, Vancouver offers planners a wide range of facilities, services and experiences with stunning scenery that is proven to increase delegate attendance.

For the incentive travel market, Vancouver offers renowned sightseeing options and team-building experiences that elevate a program to new heights.

Vancouver is a four season destination with an array of year-round, constantly evolving activities and attractions that never fail to excite and impress visiting delegates. It doesn’t matter the time of year – there’s always an endless supply of things to see and do.

In-between meetings in winter, delegates can hit the slopes of the local North Shore mountains, stroll the city streets under canopies of brilliant pink cherry blossoms in the springtime, catch rays and play beach volleyball at English Bay in summer, and enjoy the fiery fall colours of Stanley Park. Each season brings a fresh, spectacular experience.

And it appears as if Australia’s meetings and incentive travel fraternity are liking what they see, with a reported growth in groups heading to Canada’s year-round playground.

President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver, Ty Speer, says it’s not by accident that Vancouver has earned a global reputation as a leading business events city and incentive destination.

“Events thrive here thanks to inspiring surroundings, strong industry support, and skilled teams who help to plan and execute international incentive trips and high-profile conventions. We are welcoming, safe and friendly, and our hospitality community works together seamlessly to provide visitors with a holistic experience that exceeds expectations.”

No wonder Vancouver plays host to the world-renowned TED Conference – who made the destination its permanent home in 2014, with curator Chris Anderson saying that Vancouver is such an inspiring environment.

“Nature inspires and this place really is truly amazing. We didn’t find any other place that has this kind of spectacular beauty right next to gorgeous hotels that are one little short street away,” he explains on moving the conference to Vancouver.

“It’s really special. It’s really really unusual. The other is Vancouver’s factor X. This city’s reputation speaks for itself. It is truly one of the world’s great cities. It’s walkable, forward thinking, bursting with innovation. People are really excited to come here [and] we’ve had record numbers [of attendees].”

Made for meetings

Vancouver’s range of conference and event facilities spans the spectrum, from the ultra-hightech through to unique cultural spaces. The award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre offers a downtown waterfront location with a dramatic mountain backdrop. The seamlessly-connected East and West buildings offer a combined total of 43,340 square metres of flexible meeting, exhibition, ballroom and plenary space. With a strong sustainability mandate, unparalleled technical service and culinary excellence, this facility can play host to everything from five-star galas and international conferences, through to tradeshows and intimate round-tables. Visit www.vancouverconventioncentre.com.

Vancouver offers more than 13,000 hotel guest rooms in the heart of downtown Vancouver, many within walking distance of the Vancouver Convention Centre, sightseeing, top restaurants, sports venues and nightlife. Just opened is an exciting new property – the Parq Vancouver Urban Resort – a multi-faceted urban resort adjacent to BC Place Stadium.

Located in Vancouver’s vibrant entertainment district, the resort features two hotels under one roof: Western Canada’s first JW Marriott Hotel and an Autograph Collection boutique hotel, The Douglas. The complex includes 459 guest rooms and 58 suites (329 rooms at the JW Marriott and 188 rooms at The Douglas).

In addition to the resort’s elegant accommodations, a lush 3000 square metre park on the sixth floor provides a serene outdoor oasis with full-grown native trees, water features and carefully cultivated indigenous plants. Parq Vancouver also boasts the city’s largest hotel ballroom, with a total meeting and event space of 6000 square metres, as well as a two-level casino featuring high-end private salons. Visit http://parqvancouver.com/

Inspiration and adventure

In-between meetings, and for the incentive travel rewards market, there is so much to see and do in Vancouver that you and your delegates will be wishing they were staying another week.

During summer or winter, head up to Grouse Mountain Resort for a corporate adventure experience with the experts who can tailor programs to fit with conference or incentive themes that can be as serious or as fun as you want.

How about a mock avalanche scenario where your team has to find and recover a missing person?

Other suggested options include:

  • Watching a lumberjack show
  • Visiting the resident grizzly bears at the
  • Refuge for Endangered Wildlife
  • Skating, ski, snowboarding and scenic sleigh rides
  • Paddling on the scenic waters of Indian
  • Arm with Takaya Tours where participants learn about the culture and traditions of the the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations
  • Biking around Stanley Park past soaring totem poles, the Prospect Point Lighthouse and Third Beach
  • A treetops adventure at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
  • Searching for arts and crafts on Granville Island
  • Enjoying a foodie’s tour to Vancouver’s public markets

Getting to Vancouver

There are direct daily services to Vancouver from Brisbane (14hrs 40min) and Sydney (15hrs 35min), and there will be direct services four times weekly from Melbourne from December 1.