Montreal Is A Hot Destination For Business Events
January 18, 2024 Bruce Parkinson
The year 2023 was strong one for business tourism events in Montréal, maintaining the momentum generated in 2022. More than 870,000 visitors and delegates from Canada and around the world flocked to the city, generating economic spinoffs estimated at $425 million for Montréal and Québec.
Out of a total of 475 business events in the city, the Palais des congrès de Montréal hosted 288 events, as it celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2023. 224 association conferences were supported by Tourisme Montréal.
Among the most notable gatherings were thirty major conferences, including the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis Annual Congress (5,300 delegates), the International Council of Nurses Global Congress (4,900 delegates) and the InCyber Forum (2,500 delegates).
This year, Montréal was once again ranked as the top host destination for international association events in North America by the Union of International Associations (UIA) and the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA).
Tourisme Montréal and the Palais des congrès made sustainability a major focus in 2023. The two participated in a study on the social impact of business events in Canada, while Tourisme Montréal delivered trainings on sustainable event planning, and local products were prioritized in line with its Sustainable Purchasing Policy.
The Palais also expanded its green roof to an impressive 35,000 sq. ft (3,250 m2), helping to make Montréal a greener city and turning it into the world capital for urban agriculture in 2023.
2023 also saw the unveiling of several new installations at the Palais, including the first Tourism Innovation Showcase, developed by MT Lab, which offers a multisensory exploration of the city’s neighbourhoods, providing visitors with an immersive experience.
“2023 proved that our industry is still flourishing, delivering new projects and events that helped promote the Palais des congrès, Montréal and Québec,” said Emmanuelle Legault, President and CEO of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
“The dedication of our invaluable partners, as well as the devotion, expertise and enthusiasm of our team, have allowed us to reinvent the event experience, while taking our visitors on a journey through the riches of Québec, with a series of sustainable, cultural experiences that the Palais plans to develop further in 2024.”
In collaboration with the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec, the Palais also unveiled two new spaces, emulating a ski resort experience and the Saint Lawrence River. Bridging the gap between business and leisure tourism, these informal meeting spaces allow conference-goers to explore the signature Québec experiences. Two new spaces are in development and will be unveiled in 2024.
A promising outlook
For 2024, Tourisme Montréal has already confirmed 210,000 overnight stays, which will generate $172 million in economic spinoffs for the year’s events. The Palais des congrès has 170 events on its calendar for 2024 to date. These include several prestigious summits, including the International Symposium on Mathematical Programming (ISMP), July 21-26, the 119th American Sociological Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, August 9-13, and One Young World, September 18-21.
“I am pleased to see that interest in business events continues to thrive in Montréal. This is a clear indication of the trust that the global industry places in our dynamic, creative and innovative destination,” said Yves Lalumière, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal.
About the Author
Bruce Parkinson has been writing about the Canadian and international travel industries for more than 25 years.