While Canada has two official languages – French and English – English is the predominant language in the west. Multilingual staff are commonly found in major tourism and business facilities.

Canada has a currency system based on dollars and cents, with a dollar being comprised of 100 cents. Currency exchange services are available at points of entry and throughout the city at financial institutions; in addition, U.S. currency is accepted at most places in the Vancouver area.

Electricity in Canada is 110 volt AC (alternating current), as in the United States.

A Provincial sales tax of 7% is applicable to most purchases; however, goods purchased by a visitor and shipped directly to their home outside of the province are exempt. An additional 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) is also applied to most goods and services, but is rebated for many items to visitors and non-resident meeting planners. Accommodation in the Vancouver area is taxed at 17%, with 7% rebatable to non-residents. Download the GST pdf file for more details on the rebate process.

Customs Entry Requirements:
U.S. citizens and permanent residents require a birth or baptismal certificate together with picture identification, a resident alien card, a green card or passport to enter Canada. All other international travelers require valid passports and some will require visas.

Canada Customs has formed a special Conventions and Exhibitions Unit to facilitate trans-border movements associated with the meetings industry, Download the Canada Customs pdf file for more details.

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