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 November 09, 2004
Vancouver's Convention Centre Expansion Breaks Ground

 In an official ceremony on Monday November 8th, British Columbia's Premier Gordon Campbell broke ground on the new convention centre expansion, an addition that will triple the capacity of the existing facility. The expansion will add 359,000 square feet of functional waterfront meeting space, to give a total of 492,000 square feet of space in the combined facilities. On behalf of the local tourism industry, Tourism Vancouver is contributing $90 million towards the expansion project. The centre, to be completed by 2008, will be the media headquarters during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games to be held in Vancouver.

"The convention centre expansion will ensure that Vancouver remains a top draw for meetings and conventions from around the world," said Tourism Vancouver chair Paul Tilbury. "The current convention centre has established Vancouver as a world class event destination and created very strong demand. With this expansion we will be able to meet that demand and continue to exceed expectations."

The BC provincial government has put a renewed focus on tourism and BC's Minister of Small Business and Economic Development, John Les believes that the expansion is important in continuing to building the meeting and convention industry. "This expansion will allow us to attract groups of all sizes to experience our unique and spectacular destination," said Les. "The convention business brought $422 million into our economy last year. It's vital to our tourism industry and we're proud to be supporting its growth."

While ground is being broken on the new expansion, Tilbury will be leading Tourism Vancouver's annual sales mission to Washington DC, to build meeting and convention business to fill the expanded facility. The Vancouver Convention Commitment Chair's Campaign group will include eight hotel general managers and representatives of the VCEC.

Tourism Vancouver's focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. Through positive positioning of both the organization and the destination, our leadership benefits the society, culture, environment and economy of Greater Vancouver.