Next year marks the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, and in honor of the anniversary, Syracuse will be hosting the 2017 World Canals Conference. It's going to take place at the Marriott Downtown Syracuse, and Brad Vivacqua has a preview.          

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- The Marriott Downtown will be the host hotel of the four-day World Canals Conference that is expected to attract people from all around the world.

The conference will include speakers, discussions, and other events near waterways like the canal and Onondaga Lake.

Visit Syracuse President David Holder recently attended the conference which was held in Scotland.  He says the conference highlights ways canals can be more attractive for new events and to improve regional economies.

The event is expected to have an indirect economic impact of about two million dollars in the city of Syracuse.  More importantly he says it allows great ideas to move forward.

"To really make certain that we have a historic resource here.  How do we use this as a visitor amenity to actually help people understand educationally, what the canal has meant for the local economy, the regional economy, and how it's still being used today," said Holder.   

The conference will be co-hosted by Visit Syracuse, the State Canal Corporation, and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.   

Construction of the Erie Canal began in Rome in July of 1817 so next year will be a special year for the canal.

And to learn more about the conference, head to their website.