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Visitor Information
Meals and Snacks

There are a wide range of restaurants and food fairs located throughout the downtown core including Royal Centre Mall and Food Fair which is attached to the host hotel. You will find a range of choices from inexpensive snacks to fine dining in close proximity to the hotel. The Congress Registration Desk and the hotel concierge will both be pleased to assist you.

Banking/Foreign Exchange

Several major financial institutions and currency exchanges are available within blocks of the hotel and are easily found. Automatic Teller Machines are available at nearby banks for those delegates wishing to use bank cards.

The Canadian monetary system is decimal-based. One hundred cents equals one dollar. Visitors are advised to exchange their currency at a bank or foreign exchange outlet, to ensure they receive the prevailing rate of exchange. Most shops and services will cash travelers cheques, exchange US$ currency, and accept all major credit cards, but it is advisable to have Canadian cash on hand for taxis and other incidentals. Due to continuously fluctuating rates of exchange we encourage you to check with the Foreign Exchange service or a bank for the current rate.


Lost and Found

Please contact the Registration Desk where staff will assist you in connecting with lost items.

Message Centre

Messages may be left for delegates on the Message Board in the Registration area or by calling (604) 683-1234 and asking for the Congress Registration Desk during the registration hours.

Tourism Vancouver

For extensive information on the Vancouver area, please visit the Tourism Vancouver Visitor Centre located 4 blocks from the hotel at 200 Burrard Street.

Transport to/from the Airport

Airport Express

Buses depart from various major downtown hotels for the Vancouver International Airport on a regular basis. The ride takes 20 - 40 minutes depending on traffic and your starting point. Current cost is $10 one way or $17 return (return tickets are valid for six moths from time of purchase). Please check with your hotel concierge or call 946.8866 for more information.


Vancouver has developed a reputation for being a casual city, making most forms of clothing acceptable for almost any occasion. Suitable Conference attire could be characterized as business or smart-casual. For the Closing Banquet, business or cocktail attire is suggested.

Time Zone

In June, Vancouverís clocks are on Pacific Daylight Time, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) plus 8 hours.

Toronto +3
London +8
Tokyo +17
Sydney +17
Cairo +10.

Electric Current

Electricity is supplied at 110V - 60Hz AC. Remember to use adapters if required.

Smoking Policy

Vancouver by-laws specify that smoking is not permitted in public places including restaurants. Smoking is not permitted in the Conference venues. However, many outdoor terraces and concourses are available close to Conference events.

GST Rebates

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is a seven percent tax on most goods and services sold or provided in Canada. Under the Visitor Rebate Program, non-resident visitors may qualify for a foreign tourist rebate of the tax for short-term accommodation and goods that you take home (up to CDN$500.00). Refund Applications for visitors will be available at Canada Customs offices, most tourism information centres as well as some hotels and retail stores.

Airport Improvement Fee

Passengers departing Vancouver International Airport are required to purchase an Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) ticket. AIF tickets can be purchased from the automatic teller sales machines or AIF Passenger Booths located throughout the airport. Payment can be made in cash (Canadian or American) or by VISA, MasterCard or by some bank debit cards. Travelers are charged $5 for travel within British Columbia, $10 for travel to other N. American destinations and $15 for travel outside N. America.


Most stores, boutiques and department stores are open from 9:00 or 9:30AM to 6:00PM on weekdays. On Thursdays and Fridays, most stay open until 9:00PM and on Saturdays until 5:00PM. Most stores are open on Sundays from 12:00 to 5:00PM.

Vancouver, with its unique cultural and ethnic diversity, offers a wide variety of exciting shopping opportunities. Native Westcoast Indian arts and crafts, including gold and silver jewellery, carved in traditional native motifs, are among the more unique artistic products. Also renowned are jade sculptures and jewellery, whalebone scrimshaw carvings and Cowichan Indian sweaters. Specially prepared and packaged seafood, particularly smoked salmon, are popular gift items. Our Chinatown, the second largest in North America, is a bustling community with hundreds of shops and curios where merchants sell authentic Chinese crafts and products. Vancouver also offers high fashion clothing and jewellery boutiques, representing some of the most famous designers in the world. Many of these are centred on Robson Street adjacent to major downtown hotels, the Sinclair Centre adjacent to the cruise ship dock and convention centre, and other downtown areas. For an alternative shopping experience, Vancouver has a number of public markets. Granville Island Market, Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver and New Westminster Quay all offer local produce, fresh seafood and products fashioned by local artisans. Inquire at the Congress Desk for more details.

IPA 8th World Congress of Photodynamic Medicine  
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Updated: May 27, 2001