International delegations spike in Sudbury: Mining innovation drawing business travellers to city.

Author:McKinley, Karen

The City of Greater Sudbury's long history in mining is starting to have an effect on travel numbers, according to the city's development corporation.

Over the past year more delegates have been coming to the city to not just meet and speak with companies and executives, but to look at how the region has tackled mining as a whole, from prospecting and technology to remediation and knowledge gathering.

"The numbers are increasing because Sudbury has a global reputation for being a mining innovation centre," said Scott Rennie, project manager for Northern Ontario Exports.

It's not unusual for groups and delegates to arrange meetings with companies, but the number that are interested in seeing the city as a whole is increasing.

Because of that, the city, colleges, universities, other institutions and private companies are collaborating to offer a broader perspective to delegations.

In 2018, the development corporation hosted delegates from France, Chile, Russia and the Czech Republic.

There are many ways these groups make their way to the region. Some are due to the development corporation reaching out, while some are through partnerships with entities like Global Affairs Canada, Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, Export Development Canada and other trade organizations. Others may be initiated by another institution like Laurentian University or the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) and they may play a role in those delegations.

Rennie confirmed these sorts of delegations are increasing. He attributed it to the upswing in mining on a global scale and the city's mining reputation preceding it.

Sometimes the reason for the visit isn't obvious, or just about mining. Environmental processes are also gaining worldwide attention.

"We had a Peruvian delegation about four years ago that wanted to learn about our reclamation process," Rennie said.

Another group brought in by Laurentian University wanted to learn about electronic tagging systems for managing prospecting claims.

All that combined shows that the city isn't just a mining town; it's a hub for innovation and experimentation, as well as a thriving community.

These international delegations are a very organized subset of a larger effort to bring more travellers to the city. Rennie explained it speaks more to the global reach Sudbury is fortunate to have.

How the city, universities and companies are collaborating to bring delegates and attract more business travel is...

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