The newly-developed Future Convention Cities Initiative (FCCI) is a collection of seven cities that collaborates to shape and accelerate the strategic development of their business events industries by sharing innovative research. Among them, Toronto is Canada’s largest city with a population of 5.5 million people. The population is also one of the most multicultural in the Western world.
Toronto is making a name for itself as one of the leading futurist cities in the world. For example, its headquarters for the Creative Class Group, founded by professor Richard Florida who wrote the seminal bestseller: The Rise of the Creative Class. The book promotes the idea that professionals employed in knowledge-based industries are attracted to creative, high-tech, tolerant and multicultural cities.
We spoke with Tara Gordon, Tourism Toronto’s vp of meeting/convention sales, to learn more about the FCCI.
Prevue: How is Toronto developing as a global leader in the knowledge economy that makes it well suited to be part of the FCCI?
Tara Gordon: The knowledge-based economy is driven by creativity, innovation, skills, and entrepreneurship and cities that have the critical mass and diversity of people, ideas, specialized skills, infrastructure and markets are precisely the elements necessary for success in this new and highly competitive economy. Toronto has a superior quality of life and a rich legacy of investment in education, research, technology and culture, and this makes Toronto an attractive destination for global events and an active contributor to the mission of the FCCI.
Think of it as ‘coopetition.’ The FCCI is a great example of an innovative activity, resulting from competing businesses pooling their resources and collaborating to address sector challenges to address a new economy requiring a new approach to remain globally competitive in the 21st century.
What niche does FCCI fulfill to the global meetings industry?
The FCCI’s niche, and strength is our commitment to undertake research and studies which will show how the vitality of our industry contributes to private sector business development and a healthy economic future for destinations around the world.
Will Tourism Toronto will be conducting a similar study in conjunction with the FCCI for its business tourism initiatives?
In 2012, Toronto, along with FCCI members Abu Dhabi, San Francisco, London, Seoul and Durban, have committed to expanding on the impressive work being led by Sydney, in order to provide a valuable international perspective to these initial results and provide our industry and stakeholders with critical research highlighting just how far reaching the benefits of business tourism extend beyond tourism receipts generated.