Consistently ranked as one of the top five cities in the world for livability, Vancouver is one of the most sought-after destinations for incentive programs. A coastal city in western Canada, Vancouver is the most populated city in the Province of British Columbia and the third largest city in Canada. The city’s popularity has been outpacing many other metropolitan areas in North America, making it one with the highest population density in Canada—and the fifth in North America—and one with one of the most culturally-diverse inhabitants in the world.
Rising from humble beginnings, Vancouver has fast become one of the most popular destinations for meetings and events of any sort and size. The city is now blessed with a very vibrant waterfront dotted with luxury hotels and a state-of-the-art cruise terminal. The city’s spectacular landscape has become a draw for the film industry, gaining it the designation “Hollywood North.”
There is so much to do in Vancouver, making it one of the most “activity-rich” incentive destinations. Take, for example, Stanley Park—which has been compared to New York’s Central Park. This nearly 1,000-acre park on the tip of Vancouver's "thumb" (just north of the City’s West End) is home to some of the city's favorite, most-visited attractions. In fact, those so inclined, could easily spend more than a day here and still not see everything this urban oasis has to offer. For a group activity, we suggest a bicycle tour of the park around the nearly 20-mile-long Seawall that hugs Vancouver's waterfront.
Or for a more vibrant activity, how about a dine-around on Granville Island? This former industrial site is now one of Vancouver's most beloved neighborhoods. Practically a mini-city, Granville Island's former factories have now been transformed into trendy restaurants, galleries and theaters. But the main draw here is the Granville Island Public Market, often described as one of the best open-air markets in North America. While on Granville Island, we always include a visit to Canada's first microbrewery—Granville Island Brewing, where our guests get to enjoy daily tours and tastings in the taproom.
No trip to Vancouver is complete without a tour of Gastown, the original settlement that became the core of the creation of Vancouver. Today, it's a national historic site, at the northeast end of Downtown Vancouver.
For a group that is into sun and sand, a trip to the Spanish Banks Beach is a must. The beaches at the Spanish Banks are the perfect place to unwind after a day packed with meetings. Aside from the usual volleyball courts on the beach, we encourage our groups to try their hand at skimboarding—a cross between surfing and skateboarding.
Intrigued? Whether it is a meeting, convention or an incentive trip that you are planning for, let GMS organize what could be a most memorable excursion to this fascinating city on the west coast of Canada.