Looking at meetings and event destinations in the province of Quebec
From the European storybook charm of Quebec City to the international sophistication of Montreal’s metropolitan lifestyle, the province of Quebec will leave meeting planners and delegates alike with plenty of beautiful memories.
With its European charm, rich history and world-class venues, Québec City has everything business visitors could want. Nestled between the mighty St. Lawrence River and the imposing Laurentian Mountains, Québec City is a historical treasure chest with a very modern edge, a dynamic city that knows how to relax, a vibrant cultural scene, and inviting wide-open spaces – something for everyone.
First-rate hotels, world-class facilities and cutting-edge infrastructure are just a few of the reasons Québec City leads the world rankings of many prestigious business and travel magazines. Ranked the best destination in Canada by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler, Québec City has also been inducted into Travel + Leisure’s Hall of Fame, which honours destinations that have been ranked among the best every year for at least 10 consecutive years.
Easily accessible from major international centres by rail, car or plane, Québec City also boasts a reliable, city-wide public transit system. Visitors to Old Québec can even hop aboard a battery-powered écolobus. For those preferring to travel by foot, a stroll down the city’s history-laden streets is a great way to soak up its charm, especially with so many attractions just a short walk away. And to see the city in a whole new light, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, tear up the bike paths, take the ferry across to Lévis for a scenic ride, or jog your way around on a guided tour.
For rest and relaxation after a successful meeting, Québec City offers a full range of accommodation and culinary choices. From rustic country inns and riverside cabins to luxury hotels and suites by the slopes, you’ll find plenty of choice for an impeccable stay in comfortable, relaxing surroundings. And Québec City just wouldn’t be the same without its fine-dining culture. Local chefs and sommeliers are renowned for their ingenuity, matching fresh local products with daring exotic flavors to cook up innovative global fare.
Meeting planners will find no shortage of first-class venues and facilities, including the recently begun expansion of the Québec City Convention Centre (which will add another 79,000 sq. ft. of meeting space and result in an additional 24,000-32,000 room nights for local accommodations). And in another major venue development, the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac has a major, $66-million facelift underway, including renovating its 618 guest and meeting rooms, adding new meeting space, expanding the health club and completely refurbishing the hotel’s restaurants.
For four-season fun, delegates can plan a visit to one of the city’s many museums, explore the treasure trove of art galleries that dot the streets of Old Québec, or take part in one of the many festivals throughout the year, including the famous Québec Winter Carnival. When the mercury dips, visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or even ice canoeing. And when the snow gives way to summer, head to one of the many golf clubs, sail along the St. Lawrence River, go horseback riding off the beaten track, or enjoy the view from a hot-air balloon.
When business and pleasure need to come together, Québec City is the place to be. Once you’ve experienced its friendly welcome, stress-free traffic, storied history, picture-postcard scenery, and top-ranked facilities, you’ll be coming back for more. For more information visit www.quebecregion.com.
As a meetings destination, part of Montréal’s allure is the quality and frequency of its coveted international events. Happenings such as the Montréal Jazz Festival, Dîner en Blanc, Just for Laughs or the C2-MTL conference always draw a winning crowd and are part of the city’s DNA. Such events are testimony to the city’s know-how and expertise when it comes to meeting and event planning. They also explain why Montréal has become a top conference destination for planners seeking an exceptional experience for their delegates.
Professionals choosing Montréal as their next event location will benefit from a wide array of award-winning facilities and unique venues, as well as a variety of accommodations with over 26,000 rooms for any taste and budget. They can also count on Team Montréal, a coalition of the city’s convention industry leaders dedicated to making the Montréal experience simple, efficient and successful. Team Montréal can be thought of as an all-in-one planning facilitator, as it gathers Montréal’s key players such as Tourisme Montréal (the Greater Montréal Convention and Tourism Bureau), the Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montréal Convention Centre), tourism offices, air and ground transportation companies, hotels and suppliers who offer everything from incentive tours to audio-visual support.
Other components of Montréal’s DNA as a corporate meetings destination include its engaging cosmopolitan character and residents’ sophisticated yet friendly lifestyle. Montréal encompasses all the qualities a meeting and event planner looks for in a meeting destination. Delegates can’t resist the city’s unique blend of European charm and North American pizzazz while organizers enjoy a great return on investment.
Tourisme Montréal believes mobility will continue to play an increasingly important role for their business market. The organization recently launched its website’s mobile version as well as being very active in the social media sphere, engaging in conversations with meeting planners on Twitter and LinkedIn. Additionally, the Palais des congrès de Montréal recently embarked upon a major technology revamp that will position it among North America’s leading technology-friendly convention centres. This major hi-tech modernization includes: improved connectivity for Wi-Fi users; a new e-commerce-enabled web platform and an event-focused customizable mobile app.
These strategies, along with partnerships within the local community, are bearing fruit. The city was named the top destination in North America for hosting international association events, according to the official 2011 rankings set out by the Union of International Associations (UIA). As the principal host location in Québec for major international meetings, and as a 2011 finalist for the APEX award for World’s Best Convention Centre, the Palais des congrès hosts thousands of conference-goers every year and generates major intellectual and economic spinoffs for Montréal and Québec.
According to Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal, “Montréal’s high ranking is a fitting demonstration of the city’s excellence and its capacity to meet the needs of major international associations in terms of infrastructure, hosting and entertainment, to say nothing of the unique joie de vivre we are known for. I’d like to congratulate the Palais des congrès and Tourisme Montréal teams, who earned this success through their strong work.”
For more information on hosting your next meeting in Montréal, please visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.