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More than 300 ski journalists from 33 countries to meet in Banff

After two years of pitching, Travel Alberta [1], in partnership with Banff Lake Louise Tourism and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts [2], has won a bid to host the 57th annual Ski Club of International Journalistes (SCIJ) [3] meeting in Banff to be held February 6-12, 2011.

SCIJ was created in the 1950s during the Cold War to transcend political issues of the Eastern and Western European journalism community through a common interest in skiing.

The Club, which boasts an international membership of close to 3,000 members working in print, web and broadcast media in 35 member countries, will be returning to Banff for the first time in 48 years.

“Tourism is important to every region of Alberta,” said Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Cindy Ady in a video-taped message to the delegates attending the 2009 SCIJ meeting in Abetone, Italy. [4]

“Alberta is the ideal stage on which to bring to life the experiences that cannot be found anywhere else in the world,” said Noelle Aune, Travel Alberta’s Executive Director, Media, Public Relations, and e-Marketing.

The province is as diverse as the stories yet to be discovered and hosting this meeting allows us the opportunity to align our global media and pr strategy with outreach into new, untapped markets.”

Banff last played host to the SCIJ meeting in 1963. The 2011 meeting will take place over seven days featuring conference sessions, downhill races, cross-country races, and pre and post tours catered to media assignments.

“We are just pleased at the opportunity to provide these journalists with different story angles that will enable us to extend our media coverage internationally,” said Lori Bayne, Director of Communications for Banff Lake Louise Tourism. “We have a great story to tell and the fact that we are in the World’s finest National Park, is quite attractive to this audience,” she said.

Frederick Wallace [5], President of SCIJ Canada commented, ”We are very happy to be partnering with Travel Alberta, Banff Lake Louise Tourism, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts to organize this meeting. There was a lot of competition from other international destinations and have been hoping to bring SCIJ back to Canada for quite some time now,” he added.