Rendez-vous Canada 2020 has been cancelled.
In a message to the industry, posted on the Rendez-vous Canada website, Destination Canada’s chair, Ben Cowan-Dewar and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s president and CEO, Charlotte Bell, write:
“We know these are difficult times within the tourism sector. We know there is a lot of uncertainty around what our world will look like next month, next week, and even tomorrow. On behalf of Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada we are writing to assure you that we are in this together as we face unprecedented times.”
The message from Cowan-Dewar and Bell continues:
“With increased Canadian (local, provincial and federal) and foreign government restrictions, and an increasing number of large-scale events around the world cancelling in efforts to fight and contain the spread of COVID-19, the situation has evolved consistently and rapidly. Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, have been in regular and frequent contact about Rendez-vous Canada 2020, scheduled to take place in Quebec City from May 5-8, 2020.”
And they write:
“It is with heavy hearts that we have made the decision to cancel Rendez-vous Canada 2020. We cannot stress enough how much thought has been put into making this decision. Rendez-vous Canada is very much a lifeline for the Canadian tourism sector – generating leads and sales with key markets around the world, but the health, welfare and safety of our delegates is paramount.”
Cowan-Dewar and Bell note that:
“Our decision on this was made clearer last Friday (March 13, 2020) when the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau and several of his Ministers announced tightened restrictions and enhanced guidelines on international travel, border control measures, mass gatherings, among other tourism-related areas.”
The two industry leaders made it clear that:
“Although we have made the decision to cancel Rendez-vous Canada 2020, we will now look to the future. Here are a few areas under consideration:
- We will work through the process of refunds for those registered and we will follow up with next steps and details next week.
- As sellers and buyers are in the process of making meeting requests on MyRVC, we will look as to how we can help facilitate communication between buyers and sellers, and offer virtual appointments.
- GoMedia Canada 2020, our annual international consumer media trade show, is scheduled to take place in Victoria, British Columbia from September 9 to 13, 2020. Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada will work to see if GoMedia Canada can be enhanced to include a modest travel trade component.”
Cowan-Dewar and Bell observed that:
“We understand there are broader implications to this decision – and again, we are committed to working through this together. Furthermore, as a sector, we are supported by The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, who shared the following statement:
“I commend Destination Canada and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada for taking difficult, but necessary measures to protect the health and safety of travellers and Canadians. While Canada’s tourism sector remains strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19, we are there to support you. In the past Canada has overcome difficult challenges and I am confident that this time again we will come together and prove our resiliency.”
As for what’s next, Cowan-Dewar and Bell remind the industry that they should mark their calendars as Rendez-vous Canada will return, and is set for Edmonton from May 16 to May 19, 2021.
And they concluded with a simple message:
“Now more than ever, the power of Team Canada will support us through these times ahead.”
Go to https://www.rendezvouscanada.ca/event-info/event-updates/ for more.