Tourism Ottawa is rolling out the welcome mat for a committee choosing the site of a conference that could pump several million dollars into the local economy and enhance the city’s reputation around the world, the organization said Monday.
Ottawa Tourism president and CEO Noel Buckley. (Etienne Ranger)
While not well known in North America, the One Young World Summit is a major international event, said Tourism Ottawa spokeswoman Justine van Kregten.
The only event more representative of the world’s population is the Summer Olympics, she said, noting the summit attracts young people between the ages of 18 and 30 from 190 countries around the world.
Ottawa, Hong Kong, Bangkok, and Kobe, Japan, are the finalists for the 2016 edition.
“These are young people who are active in their home communities,” said Ms. van Kregten. “They are entrepreneurs, they own their own businesses or they are working for non-governmental organizations or in their government, really trying to make a difference on some of the biggest issues of our day.”
The summit’s three-member selection committee touches down in Ottawa Monday. The committee’s itinerary kicks off Tuesday morning with a flag-raising at City Hall.
Other events on the agenda include a rooftop reception on the seventh-floor terrace at newly opened Performance Court at 150 Elgin St. and the Mayor’s Breakfast Thursday morning at City Hall.
The selection committee will be giving the city the once-over, taking a closer look at hotels and other facilities such as the convention centre.
Committee members will also meet with emerging businesses and organizations in the city that are making a name for themselves, like Shopify. The high-tech sector will also be in the spotlight.
But Ms. van Kregten said the group will also get a look at the city’s quirkier side, taking in the yoga on Parliament Hill Wednesday.
The young movers and shakers who attend the conference also have counsellors to guide them – people who have accomplished a thing or two in their own right. This group includes the likes of former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, retired South African archbishop Desmond Tutu and musician Bob Geldof.
The winner of the 2016 bid will be announced in October at this year’s event, which will be held in Dublin. Ottawa will be sending a delegation and Ms. van Kregten is optimistic about the city’s chances of landing the event, adding the conference would give the capital a chance to shine one year before the country’s 150th birthday celebrations.