Recent lifting of ban on Canadian beef in South Korea follows culinary tourism promotions.
Sometimes promoting Canada travel has plus points for other Canadian industries. A recent case in point was the restoration of access to the South Korea beef market for Canadian exports after a nine-year ban.
This was great news for Canadian beef producers and the Canadian economy as a whole. It was also an excellent example of an all-government approach successfully resolving non-tariff barriers for trade, as during the ban the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) worked with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to put Canadian food high up the menu in South Korea.
One of CTC’s five Unique Selling Propositions, fundamental to dotting the “i”s and crossing the “t”s of Canadian experiential travel, is “award-winning Canadian local cuisine.” CTC ran two promotions in South Korea to bring the flavours of Canada to South Korean palates. First was a consumer promotion at The Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul that included racks of lamb, lobster and scallops. Next came an advertising campaign on posters at COEX Mall (the biggest underground shopping centre in Asia), in magazines (South Korea’s top culinary, luxury and membership ones) and online.
CTC dips its toes in other market waters, too. Most recently it helped with the visa issue in Mexico, which gave a helping hand not just to the tourism industry but smoothed the path for Canadian business in general.
“The tourism industry often has knock-on plusses for our colleagues in other industries and government sectors,” says Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International. “Our work can raise awareness beyond just wooing prospective travellers and open doors in international marketplaces, sometimes in subtle ways, but always to the benefit of Canadian business and the overall economy.”