Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is surrounded by dense pine forests, snow-capped mountains and fjords. The ocean and the mountains surround the city while the expanses of the trees cover it. It is a city with vast beaches and lush parks combined with magnificent architecture. Vancouver is the place to enjoy and explore British Columbia. Vancouver is waiting to welcome you and your family.
July in Vancouver has the fewest rainy days, most hours of sunlight, moderate humidity and is warm, but comfortable. June to August has daytime average temperatures of 22°C (72°F) and and average low of 13°C (56°F) . Although the weather is expected to be warm and sunny, visitors may wish to pack a jacket or light sweater for outdoor evening events or unpredictable hotel environments. A travel umbrella may be considered as well.
For up-to-date weather information, please visit www.weather.com.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) accommodates 17.5 million passengers annually and is the second busiest airport in Canada. YVR offers the shortest flying time between much of North America and Asia, as well as being a gateway for Europe. Information on public transportation, taxis, limos, shuttles, car rentals and driving directions can be found on the website listed below. The recently established $2-billion Canada Line train, a legacy of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, can transport you from the airport to downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes, with limited stops. Tickets are $9.00 CAD from YVR to downtown Vancouver (the Vancouver City Center stop), where you can either walk to the hotel (approximately 12 minutes) or take the #250 Horseshoe Bay bus as Georgia Street (no fee for the additional bus ticket, as the transfer is included in the train fare). Taxis are also a quick and easy way to get to and from YVR. The approximate fare according to the website below to downtown Vancouver is between $35-$37 CAD (taxes included, gratuity extra).
The Westin Bayshore, Vancouver is 14.8 km (9.2 miles) from YVR and is located near Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and Bayshore West Marina.
Visit www.yvr.ca/en/getting-to-from-yvr.aspx for more detailed information about transportation options from YVR.
During the conference, Vancouver will be on Pacific Daylight (PDT), which is UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) minus 7 hours. For reference, this means that the time in New York is 3 hours ahead and the time in London is 8 hours ahead of Vancouver. Hong Kong is 15 hours ahead of Vancouver.
Banks / Currency Exchange / Credit Cards:
The monetary system in Canada is based on dollars and cents. Banks are generally open from 10:00 to 16:00, Monday through Friday, with extended hours including weekends at some locations. Visitors to Canada are encouraged to exchange funds for Canadian dollars at Vancouver International Airport, at a bank or at a foreign currency exchange outlet, where they will receive the prevailing rate. Most banks have automatic teller machines (ATMs), which can be accessed 24 hours a day. International credit cards are accepted throughout the country, and the most widely accepted credit cards are Visa and Mastercard. It is wise to phone your bank and credit card company to let them know that you'll be travelling in a foreign country. Traveller's Cheques can be changed at banks, hotels, resorts and the airport, but are less popular. If Canadian businesses do accept US currency, expect to receive Canadian currency as change for your purchase.
For up-to-date information, please refer to the Universal Currency Converter at www.xe.com/ucc/.
Canada operates on 120 Volts, 60 cycle electric power, which is the same as in the United States. Non-North American visitors should bring a plug adapter, if they wish to use their own small appliances from home (razors, hair dryers, etc). If you are visiting from countries, such as Australia, that use a higher voltage, you may encounter problems charging your re-chargeable batteries. Canadian electrical goods come with either a two-pronged plug, which is the same as the US, or a three-pronged plug. Most sockets accommodate both.
During the conference, federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) of five percent (5%) and a Provincial Sales Tax (PST) of seven percent (7%) are applicable to most purchased goods and services, or there may be a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST), which combines the two.
It is customary to tip between 15 - 20 percent (15-20%) at bars and restaurants in British Columbia. Tips are also given to tour guides, and for taxi services, spa treatments and haircuts. Porters at airports, railway stations and hotels generally expect $1-2 (CDN) per item of luggage.
British Columbia's legal drinking age is 19. Photo identification is required to purchase alcoholic beverages or enter institutions serving alcohol.