Given the historic anniversary significance of 2017 for Canada, any number of Canadian cities would have been appropriate venues for hosting the country’s principle tourism marketplace, reports western editor, Ted Davis in this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press.
But it was Calgary’s turn to go to the front of the line as the host city for Rendez-vous Canada in 2017 – the same year that Canada marks its 150th birthday.
This definitive frontier city, with the sprawling, fertile prairies in its backyard, and the spectacular Rockies in front, made the most of the opportunity, with celebrations of both its heritage and its future outlook.
For instance, Calgary’s colourful cowboy and ranching history was given its full due with an abbreviated, lunchtime demo of riding highlights that are a big part of the yearly Calgary Stampede – the “greatest outdoor show on earth.” RVC delegates from around the world were thrilled to see the showcase of professional bronco riding, bull riding and super skilled trick riding.
At the other end of the spectrum was an event at Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre. RVC delegates explored the elegant concrete towers that house the Centre, discovering the various studio spaces, high-tech control rooms and lounges with performance stages. Musicians from across a wide spectrum of styles presented high caliber entertainment throughout the evening event.
These were welcome breaks from the hard work of the Rendez-vous Canada marketplace at the BMO Centre, where a record number of delegates were in attendance.
The 1,840 delegates who came to the four-day RVC 2017 at the BMO Centre in Calgary was the most in the event’s 41-year history.
This number took in 565 buyers – the highest number ever – who registered from 28 countries. China led the pack with 101 buyers, followed by Canada with 90, the United States with 75 and the UK with 50. Other registered buyers came from Japan with 49, South Korea (34), Germany (31), India (24), Brazil (20), Mexico (19), Australia (16), Netherlands (14), plus Switzerland, Chile, Belgium and France.
As part of the marketplace, the buyers scheduled over 29,000 pre-scheduled face-to-face business meetings with Canadian suppliers of travel and tourism products.
These numbered over 1,050 delegates from 567 organizations selling Canadian products and services from coast to coast to coast.
They occupied some 453 booth locations, representing a sell-out of the trade floor space at the marketplace.
For the full story, check out this week’s digital edition of Canadian Travel Press by clicking here.