The Meetings Mean Business Canada (MMBC) Board continued its mission to advocate the importance of business events to the Canadian economy, by travelling to Parliament Hill in Ottawa for Lobby Day 2019 held February 4th and 5th.
This prestigious and important event was led by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC). MMBC Chair Heidi Welker, Vice Chair Clark Grue, and coalition supporter and TIAC board member Nina Kessler, all attended Lobby Day 2019 with the prime purpose to promote and advocate the importance of meetings and business events. Welker, Grue and Kessler participated in a number of one-to-one meetings with various MPs including Alaina Lockhart, Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism and the Member of Parliament for Fundy Royal (New Brunswick), Rob Nicholson, MP for Niagara Centre, Gord John’s, NDP Tourism Critic, and representatives of multiple government departments from Global Affairs Canada and Innovation, Science and Economic Development - to talk about the economic and social value of business events in Canada. Further to the one-to-one meetings, MMBC Chair, Heidi Welker and Vice Chair, Clark Grue presented the importance of Meetings Mean Business Canada at The Parliamentary Tourism Caucus all party luncheon meeting, which took place on Monday 4 February. Speaking about the success of the presentation at the Parliamentary Tourism Caucus, MMBC Chair, Heidi Welker commented, “we had a full house of MPs from across Canada at our luncheon and were so delighted that the Honourable Minister Joly (Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie) also took the time to attend our presentation. Much of our focus was highlighting that meetings and business events provide the platform for developing a strong workforce, educating our labour force vested in this profession; and advancing innovations that matter to Canadians”. Welker, Grue and Kessler also attended a Hill Day reception that was hosted by TIAC. Many one-to-one discussions took place. Vice Chair, Clark Grue believes the opportunity for one-to-one meetings with MPs was a significant step forward in cementing a connection between the coalition and government officials. “Considering that business travellers contribute four times the-spend than that of a leisure traveller, everyone we spoke with understood that meetings and business events continue to add an enormous opportunity for the Canadian economy and communities”. A recent Global Economic Impact Study sited that in 2017, business events accounted for $33billion direct spending, $19.4 direct GDP generated and accounted for 229,000 direct jobs.