CL 116/8-Sup.2


Hundred and Sixteenth Session

Rome, 14-19 June 1999



Table of Contents






1. This document complements the information provided in document CL 116/8-Sup.1 concerning the candidatures of Guatemala and Canada to host the World Forestry Congress in 2003. The Director of the Conference, Council and Protocol Affairs Division (GIC) gathered the information provided below during a fact-finding mission to both candidate countries. The purpose of this mission, which took place from 18 to 28 May 1999, was to examine the logistic arrangements with the authorities concerned and assess the availability of suitable conference infrastructure (meeting facilities, hotels, transport, etc...) to hold the Congress.

2. In carrying out this exercise, the mission was guided by:

3. The criteria and parameters used are specified in Appendix 1. Appendix 2 provides a summary table of requirements and conditions in each location.

GUATEMALA (Guatemala City)

Organizational Structure

4. The Government foresees the establishment of an Organizing Committee chaired by the Ministry of Agriculture and with the participation of other concerned ministries (Foreign Affairs, Interior), government agencies (INGUAT, Tourism), the private sector and NGOs. Six sub-committees covering the main organizational aspects (logistics, infrastructure, programme, financing, promotion and communications) would be created. The Secretariat would liaise with FAO and report to the Organizing Committee.

5. The Government wishes to give the Congress a regional dimension by involving other Central-American countries and institutions (such as Centro Agron�mico Tropical de Investigaci�n y Ense�anza, CATIE) in its organization and implementation.

6. The Convention Bureau composed of and supported by the Chamber of Tourism, the National Institute of Tourism and the Foundation for Development provides free liaison services with the tourist industry (hotels, airlines, tourist operators and the media).

Conference and Exhibition Facilities

7. The main convention centres are: The Hyatt Regency, the Marriott Convention Center and the Camino Real Convention Center. All three are attached to five-star hotels.

8. The Hyatt Regency has 12 meeting rooms of various sizes. The largest of these (Sal�n de la Paz) can accommodate up to 6 000 participants in a theatre-style setting (3 600 sq.m.). However, this room is more suitable for exhibitions or large social events than for meetings.

9. The Sal�n Tikal (3 100 seats, 2 140 sq.m.) can be converted into five smaller rooms: the central structure (Tikal, 1 200 seats), two committee rooms (600 seats each) and two smaller rooms (250 seats each). These rooms can be partitioned into smaller modules. In addition, five rooms of 40 to 92 sq.m., can be used as caucus rooms and office space for the Bureau or Secretariat. Other large areas such as lounges and halls can also be used for these purposes. The total office area required (1 200 sq.m.) is available.

10. The Marriott Convention Center, which has been recently constructed, has a 2 010 sq. m. conference hall with 2 100 seats (theatre-style), also convertible into smaller areas. Included are nine additional meeting rooms, of which the largest (Los Reyes) has a seating capacity of 1 000 and is also convertible. The other eight committee rooms range from 70 to 325 seats. There are 10 executive offices, for up to 35 persons each, and 11 reception rooms, suitable for executive or secretariat office space. Halls and lounges can be used for supporting services (photocopiers, communications, documents, etc...). The area required for these purposes, including Press facilities, is also available.

11. The Camino Real Convention Center includes the Gran Sal�n Real (1 896 sq.m., 2 100 seats) which can be divided into three modules of approximately 700 seats each, three meeting rooms (between 270 and 330 seats) and four additional rooms on the upper floor measuring 355 sq.m. in total, for use as caucus rooms or office space. Office area availability is less suitable than in the other two centres.

Under Construction

12. Hotel Inter-Continental: 14 meeting rooms (approximately 2 000 sq.m.), the largest for 860 theatre-style seats. The Hotel will be inaugurated in October 1999.

13. Sal�n Guatemala, Parque de la Industria (Comit� Permanente de Exposiciones de Guatemala,COPEREX). A multipurpose domed structure (no pillars) with capacity for 6 000 theatre-style seats, when used for meetings. It will be inaugurated for a first exhibition in July 1999 and completed in October 1999.


14. Both the Hyatt Regency and COPEREX offer sufficient space and annexed facilities (easy access for heavy transport, loading and unloading docks...). The Parque de la Industria is an exhibition area located near the town centre and fully operational, except for the Sal�n Guatemala.


15. The three convention centres have appropriate equipment for communications (fax, telex and telephone), document reproduction, computer and Internet connections. According to the Communications Supervisory Authority there would be no problem in expanding present capacity (for example, additional telephone lines) before the Congress, according to needs. All meeting rooms are air-conditioned.

16. Interpretation equipment would need to be hired for the event as the meeting rooms do not have fitted booths. There is a sufficient number of firms available in Guatemala to allow for competitive bidding.

Meeting logistics

17. Of the three convention centres, two (Marriot and Camino Real) are situated close to each other in the town centre (zona viva) where most other quality hotels are also located. The Hyatt Regency is about eight kms from the other two (twenty minutes with traffic).

18. Depending on the number of participants, plenary meetings at the opening and closure of the Congress could be held in the Hyatt or in the new room under construction in the Parque de la Industria, which is also close to the centre of town. Committee sessions could be held both in the Marriott and/or the Camino Real, according to needs. If the maximum number of simultaneous sessions is limited to three, they could be held in either of these centres due to the convertibility of their largest rooms. The Secretariat could be established at the Marriott, where office space is more appropriate.

19. In order to avoid using mobile microphones, committee rooms would need to be arranged in classroom rather than theatre format, with cabled microphones and mobile headphones for simultaneous interpretation. The reported seating capacities would be about 25 percent lower but still sufficient to accommodate the Congress.

20. Interpretation /translation services are available particularly in the English/Spanish combination. For other languages, FAO assistance may be required.

Hotel Accommodation

21. Total room and bed availability in Guatemala City and Antigua (35 Kms from Guatemala City) is as follows. The five-star "Hotel Inter-Continental", under construction, will add 237 rooms.

  Rooms Beds
Antigua 1 067 2 727
Total 5 832 15 375

22. Hotel standards are in accordance with international norms. Those in the lower categories (2-3 star) offer good conditions of comfort and hygiene at modest prices. The number of rooms in each hotel category and price range (in May 1999) is as follows:

  * ** *** **** *****
  178 604 442 1 010 1 468
Antigua Guatemala 118 104 70 90 295
Total 296 708 512 1 110 1 763
Price per night (US$) 10 - 30 35 - 45 50 - 75 75 - 200 100 - 250

(The difference between the number of hotel rooms in Guatemala City (4 765) and the total number above (3 702) is due to the additional availability of rooms at youth hostels, universities, boarding houses, etc.)


23. Hotels generally provide their own catering with a wide variety of international and national foods at reasonable prices. In addition the city offers a choice of restaurants (about 80) with a broad price range.

International Transport

24. Guatemala City has an international airport with direct flights to many US and European cities. There are frequent direct flights to Central and Latin American countries.


25. Security conditions have improved considerably since the signing of the Peace Agreements in 1996 and the creation of the Policia Nacional Civil. The situation in the city appears normal, although the UN maintains Phase 1 status. The Ministry of the Interior would make special security arrangements for the Congress.

Budget and Finance

26. On the basis of an estimated budget of US$6 million, the Government has made the following provisional arrangements:

27. Special provisions would be made to support attendance of developing country delegations.

Medical Facilities

28. First-class hotels have their own emergency medical services. The Red Hospitalaria includes hospitals and clinics (public and private) throughout the country. First-aid and emergency services are available at the Convention Centres and are also provided by the Red Cross.

Field Visits

29. The forestry authorities have identified six ecological areas covering different types of forest (conifers, rainforest, semi-arid, etc...) and within easy reach of Guatemala City by air or road.

Congress Date

30. The authorities have not yet decided when the Congress would be held should Guatemala be selected. Weather conditions are good most of the year, but the months of April or May, before the rainy season, were mentioned as temperatures are in the 18-24oC range.

CANADA (Quebec City)

Organizational Structure

31. The host institution would be the Ministry of Natural Resources of Quebec, which would organize the Congress jointly with the Canadian Forest Service of Natural Resources. The host institution would rely on the cooperation of all institutions concerned with Canada's forest sector, as confirmed by the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers. Other partners would be from the private sector, NGOs, universities and research institutes.

32. The Organizing Committee would be co-chaired by the Deputy Minister of Forests of Quebec and the Director-General of the Policy, Planning and International Affairs Branch of Natural Resources, Canada. Several sub-committees would be established to cover the various organizational aspects, reporting directly to the Secretary-General, under the supervision of the Organizing Committee.

33. The Secretariat would comprise specialists in the areas covered by the sub-committees under the leadership of the Secretary-General, who would be a recognized authority in the field of forestry.

34. The host institution would make extensive use of Internet and electronic means to promote and organize the Congress, including issuance of invitations and registration. The Central Housing Bureau offers central services for room reservations.

Conference and Exhibition Facilities

35. The Quebec City Convention Centre, built in 1996, is a large, modern centre that could house the whole Congress in a single structure. It covers an area of 34 000 sq.m. and can accommodate up to 10 000 participants at any one time. The Exhibit Area (level four) has theatre-style seating capacity for 7 500 participants, if used for meetings.

36. The Convention Hall with a capacity of 3 500 seats can be divided into three sections, covering respectively 50, 25 and 25 percent of the area. These sections can be combined in various ways. The Centre also has a multipurpose hall with 2 300 seats (theatre-style), which can be divided into four approximately equal segments and can also be combined. Other rooms on the same floor have a capacity of between 50 and 440 seats. Multiple combinations are possible using sound-proof partitions. The four rooms on level 3 are smaller (max 350, min 200) and can also be partitioned and combined.

37. All meeting rooms have adjoining lobbies and service areas for document distribution or refreshment facilities.

38. Depending on the detailed plans for the Congress, the Centre would arrange to provide sufficient secretariat space close to the meeting rooms. Additional meeting rooms are also available in two adjacent hotels connected to the Centre through underground passage ways. However, these facilities would not be needed in view of the capacity of the Convention Centre.

39. For historical reasons, the Government of Canada would hold the Ministerial Session in the Chateau de Frontenac, a privately-owned first-class hotel where FAO was created in 1945 and its 50th anniversary was commemorated.


40. The Centre features state-of-the-art technology. All meeting rooms are equipped with its own video monitors to external monitors. Access to the rooms can be controlled electronically. Audio and video networks link all meeting rooms. The Centre also provides a multimedia area, with video-conferencing and media rooms. It has its own catering facilities for 5 000 people approximately. The registration area in the entrance has eight positions.

41. The main Convention Hall has eight fitted interpretation booths which become four plus four when the room is partitioned. It also has access facilities for the disabled to meeting rooms, catering areas and washrooms.

Meeting Logistics

42. As stated above, the full Congress could be held in the Convention Centre (and the Chateau de Frontenac). The Centre is within walking distance of many hotels and the commercial and restaurant areas.

43. Interpretation and translation services are available particularly in the English/French combination. For other languages, FAO assistance may be required.


44. The Centre has an Exhibit Hall on level 4 which can hold up to 500 medium-size stands. It has large storerooms and loading/unloading docks and ramps with easy access from the street. If an exhibition were held, the Centre could arrange for on-site customs clearance of the goods for exhibit.

Hotel Accommodation

45. Total room availability in Quebec City is 6 438, distributed as follows:

No. of Hotels No. of Rooms
No. of Rooms
No. of Rooms
No. of Rooms
No. of Rooms
22   422      
21     2 017    
16       3 177  
1         605

46. In addition, the University of Laval could make available over 2 000 student rooms, depending on the dates of the Congress, and there are a number of boarding houses (bed and breakfast) and hotels close to the town centre.

47. Continental breakfast is generally included in the hotel price and taxes are refundable on return to home country.


48. Quebec is a touristic city with a wide variety of reasonably priced restaurants, mainly serving French and North American food. Most hotels offer catering services.

Medical Facilities

49. There are six hospital centres in Quebec. There is a central service for medical emergencies and large hotels also have emergency units.

Budget and Finance

50. The host institution accepts the indicative budget figure of US6 million and foresees the following provisional distribution of funding sources:

51. A special fund would be set up to ensure participation of developing countries, invited speakers and special guests.


52. Quebec is considered a very safe city. The authorities do not envisage any special security arrangements for the Congress.

International Air Connections

53. Most flight connections to and from Quebec are via Montreal or Toronto. There are direct flights to New York and other US and European destinations.

Field Visits

54. The programme of visits will be defined during Congress preparations. Two areas have been pre-identified: the experimental stations run by Laval University close to Quebec City and one or more of the Model Forestry Zones under the responsibility of the Canadian Forest Service, which are also the subject of a programme of international cooperation.

Timing of Congress

55. The host institution plans to hold the event at the end of September-beginning of October 2003. Autumn weather conditions would require participants to wear warm clothing.


56. From the point of view of logistics and infrastructure, both potential sites have sufficient capacity to hold the Congress. Quebec has the advantage of a large Convention Centre where the entire Congress could be held, thus streamlining meeting logistics.

57. On the other hand, prices are generally lower in Guatemala and weather conditions more favourable. Infrastructure is adequate and developing at a rapid pace.

58. In both locations, FAO cooperation with regard to translation and interpretation arrangements may be required, particularly if non-European languages become full working languages of the Congress.

59. Neither location has hosted previously an international event of the size of the World Forestry Congress.


Organizational Structure in the Host Country


Expected number of participants: 4 500

Conference and Exhibitions

All rooms in the categories shown above should be equipped with Simultaneous Interpretation Equipment (SIE) to cover four languages. Interpreters' booths should be in accordance with AIIC standards.

Office Space


Projectors in meeting rooms; close-circuit television; computer connections, document reproduction facilities, access to Internet and international communications by fax, telex, telephone.

Hotel Accommodation


Budget and Finance

Other Services and Facilities



Summary of Requirements: Logistics and Infrastructure

  Present plans are in accordance with operational guidelines Present plans are in accordance with operational guidelines
Conference facilities for 4 500 participants Three main Convention Centres can provide the required facilities for meetings and social functions Congress could be accommodated in a single structure (the Convention Centre) with overflow of social functions in adjacent hotels
Office space for Bureau of Congress and Secretariat (1 200 m2)   Available at the Convention Centre
Exhibition space Available at one of the Convention Centres or, alternatively, at theParque de la Industria (COPEREX) Available at the Convention Centre
Dedicated areas (Press, documents, registration) Arrangements can be made at the three Convention Centres and pre-registration in other areas including the airport can be arranged All facilities available at the Convention Centre
Interpretation facilities Mobile booths to be installed in the Congress area Eight installed booths available in the main hall, which can be divided into two rooms with four booths each. Other rooms would require mobile booths
Other equipment Standards in accordance with operational guidelines. Standards in accordance with operational guidelines
Hotel accommodation Total availability: 5 832 hotel rooms from one to five stars, 15 375 beds including non-hotel accommodation Total availability: 6 438 hotel rooms from one to five stars plus non-hotel accommodation according to season
Catering Wide choice of restaurants at different price levels Wide choice of restaurants at different price levels
International Airport International airport well connected to the US, Latin America and European capitals Direct international flights to some US and European capitals. Most international connections through Montreal or Toronto
Internal transport Internal transport for Congress participants needs to be arranged. Sufficient number of private transport companies available Limited transport needed as most hotels are within walking distance of Convention Centres. Good public transport available. Shuttle buses may be required for "out of area" participants. Sufficient number of private transport companies available
Budget and finance US$6 million budget accepted. Provisional distribution of funding sources available US$6 million budget accepted. Provisional distribution of funding sources available
Medical Public and private hospital network available. Hotels to which Convention Centres are attached have first-aid and emergency facilities. Medical services available at short notice. No specific arrangements required
Security Local conditions satisfactory. Special security arrangements would be made by Government Security not considered a problem. Regular security forces sufficient to cover Congress
Field visits Present plans include six field visits to various forest areas Programme of field visits not yet final. Two sites provisionally identified