Destination Canada Launches International Convention Attraction Fund

Destination Canada has announced the launch of 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 the country. The announcement was made recently by Soraya Martinez Ferrada, minister of tourism and minister responsible for the economic development agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, and Destination Canada President and CEO Marsha Walden. Federal ministers responsible for Canada’s regional development agencies as well as the minister responsible for small business were present.

The ICAF 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 Martinez Ferrada. “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 travelers. We anticipate that this program will bring in at least $174 million into the Canadian economy.”

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 CAD $1 million, is determined by a pre-established scoring system based on select criteria, demonstrating the value of each bidding opportunity. Using a conservative estimate, the ICAF is expected to produce around $3.5 for every dollar invested, generating at least $174 million for the Canadian economy.

The ICAF represents Canada’s commitment to driving sectoral growth, advancing national priorities, and ensuring the country remains an attractive destination for major international business events.

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