British Columbia - a great place to meet

Tourism British Columbia

For the organisation wishing to combine business with pleasure, there's no better place to plan a major corporate meeting, trade show or association convention than in this mountainous west-coast Canadian province. And for companies that use travel as a reward for workplace performance, giving British Columbia to key employees for pure pleasure is a sure way to produce results.

British Columbia is well-known for its scenic grandeur and well-developed, high-quality visitor services. But there's much more here for the incentive traveller: a network of hideaways, often in very remote settings, offering adventure, sport or just superlative rest and relaxation. Don't let a backwoods or remote seashore venue throw you, many of these resorts are capable of hosting sizeable meetings in superlative comfort and the 'après meeting' outdoor fun will add a whole new dimension to the meetings themselves.

Even if you need the large facilities that only a metropolitan centre can offer, in British Columbia you are never very far from outdoor adventure. Vancouver, for example, has convention facilities to match the best on the continent and yet, just 20 minutes from the plate-glass sparkle of a modern, high-rise urban core, you can be kayaking through the whitewater of a swift mountain stream, walking a serene mountain path or skiing atop a mountain with the entire metropolitan area of Vancouver stretched out before you.

Only in Vancouver could a convention centre be an attraction all by itself: designed like a sleek sailing ship moored to the metropolis, it has become a trademark of the city's ocean-front skyline. It is here that Alaska cruise ships dock before setting sail for the legendary Alaska inside passage cruise. Vancouver boasts an array of meeting venues, including the 60,000 seat BC Place stadium and numerous luxury hotel ballrooms as well as unique venues such as the Vancouver aquarium where groups can breakfast with the whales. For those who require a university setting, the nearby campuses of Simon Fraser University and the University of BC are capable of hosting large gatherings.

Vancouver delights visitors with breathtaking scenery and cosmopolitan attractions including gardens, museums, nightlife, shopping, theatre and outdoor fun. But Vancouver is only the jumping-off point for the rest of the province; for groups who are looking for smaller communities to hold their next meeting, there are conference centres throughout British Columbia.

Whistler, set amid the Coast Mountains north of Vancouver, is not only the premier ski resort in North America and a first-class meetings and conference destination but truly a year-round resort. It boasts four championship golf courses as well as opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, river rafting or windsurfing on a mountain lake.

British Columbia's capital, Victoria - located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island - has a state-of-the-art conference centre and with its mild year-round climate, abounds with unique attractions and exciting outdoor adventure. A few Victoria experiences are a must for the long-distance visitor: Butchart Gardens, high tea, the Royal BC Museum, the Empress Hotel and the parliament buildings. Up island are lodges and resorts offering the most demanding meeting groups the kind of sophistication and comforts to make meetings enjoyable and productive.

The interior of British Columbia beckons with first-class conference facilities; from the dry, sunny Okanagan Valley where meeting participants can relax while sampling the award-winning locally-produced wines or play golf on the many championship courses, to the bustling hub city of Prince George in the centre of the province with its superb meeting facilities and limitless outdoor opportunities.

It is easy to travel to, and within, British Columbia - the extensive network of regional air routes, rail and highways make group and individual travel straightforward. And the gateway city of Vancouver is linked by non-stop air service, on numerous international carriers, to cities throughout the US, Europe and Asia/Pacific.

For more information, contact Tourism British Columbia, 865 Hornby Street, 8th Floor, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V62 2GS. Tel: (604) 660 2861 Fax: (604) 660 3383