Whistler to host 2013 Canada's West Marketplace conference 

B.C. and Alberta tourism tradeshow to bring in 130 international tour operators

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Whistler will be able to show off its charms as a destination to tour operators after being named the host of the 2013 Canada's West Marketplace conference.

More than 300 Albertan and British Columbian tourism providers are expected at the event, which promotes the best vacation locations in Canada's two westernmost provinces. They will compete for the attentions of over 130 international tour operators and wholesalers from Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas who will be there to see what is on offer.

Karen Goodwin, Tourism Whistler's vice president of market development, said Whistler has hosted the event on several occasions, most recently in 2007.

"It's a great opportunity," Goodwin said. "It's a travel trade industry conference and typically when you host those and showcase, it's absolutely a return on investment and upsurge in business. You get this wonderful opportunity to show your product to people."

The conference takes place at the Whistler Conference Centre from Nov. 25 to 28, 2013.

"It's an excellent opportunity for us to showcase the resort to tour operators," Goodwin said. "Some already know a bit about Whistler and some are brand new to Whistler and it's great exposure to show them a new product, they might turn around and, our hope is, sell Whistler packages."

Winning the bid to show off the resort is a special opportunity that shows the competitive edge of hosting, Goodwin added.

"We'd be promoting ourselves regardless of where the conference is but it's nice that they get to meet with our salespeople and then see the product at the same time," she said.

"Typically, it will be after opening day so the mountains will be open and we will have some tour operators stay before or after to get up on the mountain and see a lot more of the product."

"When it comes to marketing Western Canada as a tourist destination, our partnership with Alberta helps us stay ahead in an increasingly competitive global tourism environment," said Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, in a release.

"We are so proud to once again support Canada's premier tourism trade show, where British Columbian tourism companies have a unique chance to build relationships, sell their products and grow their businesses."

Established in 1989, the Canada's West Marketplace trade show is a partnership between Travel Alberta and the tourism division of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. Each year, the trade show alternates locations between Alberta and B.C.

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