How do you market a country? examines the key areas needed to win traveller hearts and minds in a highly competitive market.
Tourism is recovering well from a spell of economic turbulence to become one of the world’s fastest-growing industries and a key driver for Canada’s economy. Indeed, the United Nations World Tourism Organization registered 980 million international tourist arrivals in 2011, up 4% on 2010, with the total predicted to pass one billion in 2012. That’s a lot of trips.
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s 2011 Annual Report: How do you market a country? National tourism marketing in today’s global economy reviews this past year of transformation for the tourism industry and CTC itself. It also looks at ways to market a country effectively in an extremely competitive international marketplace: with entrepreneurial drive, by being lean and nimble plus focusing on export revenue.
The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of Industry and Minster of State (Agriculture), has just tabled the report in Parliament.
CTC’s preliminary estimates for 2011 tell a positive story. Canada’s tourism industry racked up $78.8 billion for the Canadian economy, up 7.4% on 2010. In doing so, $31.2 billion went to Canada’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a 6.4% year-on-year increase, and the money overall via tourism spending created or protected 603,400 jobs in this country. International tourism revenue rose 1.8% to 15.1 billion.
“International tourism today is only 19% of the country’s overall tourism revenue, and yet is a trillion-dollar market,” says Steve Allan, CTC chair. “In order to maintain Canada’s share of the global tourism market—one of the largest and fastest-growing economic sectors in the world—we need to invest and reap the rewards to the benefit of the Canadian economy.”
The 2011 Annual Report spotlights results directly attributable to CTC’s 2011 marketing activities, including:
The annual report looks back over CTC’s transformation in 2011: streamlining the organization, focusing on the key international markets where Canada’s brand leads and making every available dollar go to work on innovative marketing initiatives. The emphasis is on spending smarter: CTC’s new Signature Experiences Collection®, designed to draw travellers to quintessential Canadian experiences rather than just to places, and Explore Canada Like a Local, CTC’s website and mobile app for visitor trip planning, are two prime examples.
“Canada is fortunate to have a strong country brand, one the CTC is committed to leveraging to attract tourism,” says Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. “Last year, for the second time in a row, FutureBrand [in its Country Brand Index] declared ours to be the No. 1 country brand in the world.”
The Annual Report is CTC’s mechanism for reporting back to Parliament on its activities during its fiscal year.