Ottawa snags another major event

Tom Pechloff
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It’s another win for Tourism Ottawa’s Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy as the One Young World Summit will come here in 2016, its selection committee announced Monday.

Ottawa Tourism president and CEO Noel Buckley. (Etienne Ranger)

The summit is expected to pump anywhere between $2 million and $5 million dollars into the local economy but Tourism Ottawa president and CEO, Noel Buckley, said the summit will mean more than that to the city.

“It’s an opportunity to not only have a significant economic impact but to show our city and our country off to major influencers from around the world,” he said.

The summit will draw delegates – all entrepreneurs and community leaders between 18 and 30 years of age – from 190 countries around the world, giving them an opportunity to network and be mentored on key issues for their respective communities.

Mentors in the past have included the likes of Richard Branson, musician Bob Geldof, and retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Ottawa was up against other finalists from Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Kobe, Japan. Bangkok was awarded the 2015 event.

The Bid More, Win More, Host More strategy has seen a parade of good results lately and Mr. Buckley is quick to credit city council.

“I think the most important thing is that there are significant resources put behind it,” he said.

Mayor Jim Watson says the city’s bid fund, operated through Ottawa Tourism, is now somewhere around $950,000.

“Nowadays its very competitive to get these events because other cities are realizing very quickly how lucrative it is to host these events and how prestigious it is,” said Mr. Watson.

Money aside, it was enthusiasm that played a big role in capturing the event, said Mr. Buckley.

“They were very impressed with the enthusiasm of the entire destination and the significant team effort and felt that was an important factor in them deciding Ottawa was going to be a great host city,” he said, adding Tourism Ottawa was cautiously optimistic after the selection committee visited the city late last month.

Now the preparations begin for the summit which is about 26 months away. Mr. Buckley said there will be events at a number of locations around the city, possibly including the National Arts Centre, one of our national museums, and at offices of some of the corporate partners.

Another part of the planning will be a trip to Dublin this fall for the summit’s 2014 edition, where Mr. Buckley said the Tourism Ottawa delegation will get an opportunity to see first hand what works well for that city.

“It’ll also be an opportunity for us to begin talking to … the organizers, as well as some of the delegates about what they like about a city, what they like about the conference,” he said, adding they will also talk to the Bangkok delegation about its plans for 2015.

Geographic location: Ottawa

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