Tourism Vancouver’s outgoing chair James Terry declared that “Vancouver will be a World City by 2020” and that includes some ambitious infrastructure development that also ties in with the City of Vancouver’s green objectives. At today’s AGM, the organization unveiled a number of bold ideas that cover everything from transportation, to arts and culture to elevate Vancouver into the same league as other world centres.
New chair, Howard Jang, executive director of the Arts Club Theatre Company, said becoming a world city by 2020 would mean significant changes to Vancouver that would leave positive legacies for future generations.
“I believe we’re entering Vancouver’s decade of culture that will propel us toward a world city in just a few short years,” said Jang. “We’re already working on a plan to have every month of every year be anchored by an internationally popular culture event. We’ll also be pushing for more attractions along with arts and cultural institutions and meeting space, all with the objective of creating a destination where visitors come, stay and return to, and where more people will want to live,” he added.
The world city vision was borne out of the Metro Vancouver tourism industry’s extensive Rethink process that focused on major goals for the coming decade, as well as destination marketing objectives. Hundreds of industry experts contributed to a strategy that calls for year-round activities that draw visitors, establishment of a broader Metro Vancouver tourism council, and the need for a Vancouver tourism master plan.
Some of the bold
ideas contemplated by Tourism Vancouver include a new Canada Indigenous Peoples’ Museum, a Canada Maritime Museum on the North Shore, east-side expansion to the convention centre, satellite centers for both the Vancouver Aquarium and Museum of Anthropology, as well as a bullet train between Vancouver and San Francisco.
Jang acknowledged that while some of the ideas seem unconventional, Vancouver’s potential to become a world city begins with imagining what is possible.
“The Olympic dream was several decades in the making. Few thought it possible before Tourism Vancouver and key partners launched the bid for the 2010 games some 15 years before they happened. We have to dream big, set some targets and move our industry and community toward achieving the world city vision,” said Jang. “We see tourism as one of the anchors to our economic and social future in Vancouver,” he added.
Tourism Vancouver’s focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. The organization’s brand essence is about “exceeding expectations.