General Information

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Convention Planner - General Information

Maps of Area | Customs | National Park Permits | Visitor GST Refund | Accommodations | Guided Tours & Activities | Convention Planner | Wedding Planner | Commercial Services | Skiing | Weather

Overview

Banff/Lake Louise…unsurpassed beauty, outstanding facilities and world class activities accommodate every desire.

Where else in the world can you find sophisticated convention facilities and civilized accommodations surrounded by 6641 square kilometres (2564 square miles) of wilderness?

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A fresh atmosphere to heighten the experience

And only 90 highway-minutes away from the eighth-best airport in the world!

The town of Banff and the village of Lake Louise are located in Banff National Park, a region of such outstanding natural beauty it’s designated a World Heritage Site. With towering mountains, ancient glaciers, meadows of wild flowers, magnificent waterfalls, emerald lakes and expansive forests, the park is home to moose, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, cougars, wolves, grizzly bears and many other animals.

Canmore's wonderful secret, the Georgetown Inn provides outstanding mountain accommodation just minutes from Banff National Park.

Canmore's wonderful secret, the Georgetown Inn provides outstanding mountain accommodation just minutes from Banff National Park.

Perched 1384 metres (4539 feet) above sea level, the beautiful town of Banff runs along the banks of the Bow River and climbs up the lower reaches of the surrounding mountains. It feels remote, its architecture is delightfully alpine and the character of its residents – locals and visitor alike – is decidedly cosmopolitan.

A little further to the west – about 40 minutes beyond Banff – and sitting at 1520 metres (5000 feet) is the village of Lake Louise. This lovely, secluded community is at the gates to the world’s most famous picture-postcard setting: the turquoise waters of Lake Louise framed by its blue mountains and white glaciers.

Comprehensive meeting facilities for 6 to 1600 delegates

Banff and Lake Louise offer convention planners a choice of eleven hotel conference centres, ranging from exclusive retreats for senior corporate executives to comfortable facilities for more modest groups. Organizers can expect state-of-the-art technologies, experienced support staff and a wonderful selection of on and off-site activities for delegates, companions and children.

Local meeting and incentive travel coordinators, destination management companies and special event firms offer distant planners proven local market expertise, advice and services from consulting through to turnkey programming.

World-class air and ground transportation connections

In a recent survey of 43 airports around the world, the Calgary International Airport was ranked eighth-best in the world. Air lift to Calgary features non-stop and direct connections to major US, overseas and Canadian cities. Scheduled carriers include Air Canada, American, America West, Canadian Airlines International, Delta, KLM Royal Dutch, Northwest and United Airlines.

Ground connections to Banff and Lake Louise include motorcoaches, limousines and rental cars. Highway #1, an all-season, four-lane freeway from Calgary to Banff, provides a scenic 90-minute excursion through the foothills and majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

In season, the Rocky Mountaineer train treats passengers to a two-day spectacular tour of the mountains from Vancouver, B.C. to Banff and Calgary.

78 billion square feet of recreational facilities

golferccThe National Park surrounding Banff and Lake Louise makes it possible for the convention hotels to offer groups an exceptional variety of entertaining things to see and do.

Winter activities range from dog sledding, tobogganing and sleigh rides to cross-country, downhill and helicopter skiing. Ice fishing, snowmobiling and sightseeing tours can also be arranged

Summer activities include golfing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, fishing, boat cruising, river rafting, sightseeing, Icefield tours and exploring.

Year round attractions include mountain gondola rides, hot springs and spas, helicopter sightseeing, bowling, museums and cultural events.

Helpful information for Banff and Lake Louise visitors

  • Emergency Numbers (Area code 403)
  • Ambulance in Banff 762-2000
  • Ambulance in Lake Louise 522-2000
  • Fire in Banff 762-2000
  • Fire in Lake Louise 522-2000
  • Hospital/Banff 762-2222
  • Police/RCMP in Banff 762-2226
  • Police/RCMP in Lake Louise 522-3811
  • Warden’s office/Emergency 762-2222
  • Crisis Line 1-800-332-1287
  • Poison Centre 1-800-332-1414
  • Customs and Immigration, Customs/Border Services ,Calgary International Airport, P.O. Box 167, 200 Airport Road NE Calgary, AB T2E 6W5 TEL (403) 292-8788 FAX (403) 292-8767

Entry Regulations for Visitors.

Citizens or permanent residents of the United States may enter Canada without passports or visas. For proof of citizenship, a naturalization certificate, birth certificate or passport should be carried along with proof of permanent US residence, such as a voter’s registration card.

Visitors from countries other than the United States, must have a valid passport and may require other documentation, such as visas or alien cards. Check with the nearest Canadian Consulate well before you travel.

Customs and Duty Free

Visitors, 18 years of age or older, may import, duty free, up to 40 ounces (1.1 litres) of liquor or 24 12-oz cans of beer or ale into Canada.

Up to 50 cigars, 200 cigarettes and 400 grams of manufactured tobacco may also be brought in duty free.

Time Zone

Banff and Lake Louise are in the Mountain Time Zone. Daylight Savings Time is in effect from the first Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.

What to Wear

Casual dress is the norm in Banff and Lake Louise. In summer, bring a raincoat, warm sweater, hat, sturdy shoes, sunscreen and sunglasses. In spring, summer and fall, a light coat or warm jacket may be required – particularly at higher altitudes. In winter, a heavy coat, winter boots, hat, gloves or mitts and warm clothing are essential.

Remember, Canada is Metric

Everything in Canada is measured in metric units, though you will often find stores using pounds and ounces.

Metric can be a little confusing at first – particularly if you are driving, because speed limits and mileage are in kilometres. Know that 90 km/hr is the same as 55 mph.

In regard to temperatures, 20 degrees Celsius is about 68 degrees Fahrenheit; 30 C is 80 F, 10 C is 50 F and 0 C is 32 F.

Gas is sold by the litre and there are 3.8 litres in a US gallon.

Taxes

Alberta has no provincial sales tax; however, there is a 5 percent tax on accommodation.

Canada also has a 7 percent Goods and Services Tax – referred to as the GST. Visitors can apply for certain GST rebates. For details, pick up a copy of the “GST Rebate for Visitors” booklet in many stores, hotels and travel related facilities.

If your group is comprised of at least 75 percent non-resident delegates, significant GST rebates are available to non-resident convention, meeting, trade show and incentive planners. To receive your “GST Information for Non Resident Meeting Planners and Convention Organizers” booklet and application forms, please write to:

Summerside Tax Centre
Domestic Rebates Program

275 Pope Road
Summerside, Prince Edward Island,
C1N 6C6 Canada
In Canada, telephone: 1-800-565-9353
Outside Canada, telephone: 1-902-432-5604

National Park Regulations

Please help protect the natural beauty of Canada’s parks by respecting the following regulations.

It is against the law to collect natural objects including flowers, plants, rocks, antlers and artifacts. It is illegal to entice or feed wildlife (it can also be dangerous to do so). Fisherman must have a national parks fishing license. Hunting is prohibited.

Park Entry Fees (Click for more details)

A group day pass for up to ten people in a vehicle is $10 a day. Group annual passes are $70. Group commercial rates can be arranged in advance through Parks Canada. Details can be obtained by writing: The Superintendent, Banff National Park, P.O. Box 900, Banff, Alberta, Canada T0L 0C0 or by calling (403) 762-1500.

Currency Exchange

Visitors can exchange their currency at Canadian banks, trust companies, credit unions or foreign exchange brokers. Some hotels, merchants and restaurants accept US currency – but the exchange rate may be lower than that posted by financial institutions.

Internationally connected automated banking machines are available and most businesses accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express.



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