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Victoria home to 2nd biosphere-certified conference centre in North America

Victoria Conference Centre is in alignment with the COP21 Paris Agreement
The Victoria Conference Centre becomes the second-only biosphere-certified conference centre in North America. (Courtesy of Tourism Victoria)

The Victoria Conference Centre became the second-only conference centre in North America to receive biosphere certification on Jan. 4.

The Responsible Tourism Institute’s Biosphere certification is the most highly sought tourism sustainability certification due to its credibility, and its recognition worldwide according to Destination Greater Victoria (DGV). It also aligns with the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals and the COP21 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

Destination Greater Victoria executive vice-president of sales and business development Miranda Ji said the new 360-degree virtual tour “really shows how this beautiful facility is capable of hosting just about any conference or meeting in an unforgettable setting.”

Although Quebec City beat Victoria to receive the certification first across North America, the Victoria Conference Centre (VCC) is launching a new 360-degree virtual tour that showcases the sought-after venue’s numerous meetings, sustainability, and Indigenous features to meeting planners worldwide.

The value of the certification is also notable as meeting planners increasingly consider factors including local quality of life, environmental impacts, and how a destination’s tourism sector affects and serves local communities when making decisions about where to locate a conference.

In 2023, the VCC hosted 141 events, including 54 large-scale conferences. Five of the meetings hosted were American-based, 49 were Canadian-based, and 87 were local meetings, tradeshows and events. Business Events Victoria, the division of DGV that is responsible for the sales and marketing of the VCC, reports that the venue helped generate 83,500 delegate days, 22,000 room nights, and more than $35 million in business sales while supporting almost 15,000 jobs.

“Coming out of the pandemic, one key DGV strategy was reestablishing and expanding foundational year-round business, particularly in the meetings and events sector,” said Paul Nursey, CEO of DGV. Nursey added the business events team is projecting a five per cent increase in business this year, compared to last.

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About the Author: Ella Matte

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