CTC News

Case study: how the success of CTC’s Showcases is built on partnerships.

CTC’s shared goals with industry partners, along with their excellent on-site events, drive tourism business forward for Canada.

06 November 2011

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s international Showcase events are its primary way of bringing the Canadian tourism industry together with buyers in each of its international markets for some quality face time to build relationships and future business.

The foundations of the success of each of these Showcases are the shared objectives between CTC and its partners, as well as the fantastic events and promotions those partners put on during the show itself. This integrated approach also fits well with the recently announced Federal Tourism Strategy, which highlights a “whole-of-government” approach to integrate tourism smoothly.

As a case study, CTC News examined the recent Showcase Canada-Asia, which took place Oct. 13-20 in South Korea.

Showcase Canada-Asia is CTC’s largest business-to-business event outside Canada and 194 buyers from China, India, Japan and South Korea were at the Lotte Hotel in Busan for the 2011 iteration. The Calgary Stampede, a genuinely global icon in the travellers’ event calendar,was one of CTC’s main partners this year. A series of extremely lively Stampede  breakfasts got attendees in the mood for each day as well as informing them about one of Canada’s iconic experiences.

CTC received a one-time $5-million investment in the last federal budget to promote the Calgary Stampede’s Centennial celebrations in 2012 via promotions in CTC’s key tourism markets.

The chefs rustling up the pancakes were dressed in white cowboy hats and red bandanas, Stampede official mascot Harry the Horse lifted attendee spirits and the Keister Family Fiddlers provided a country and western musical backdrop.The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) attended this year’s Showcase Canada-Asia and, in true Stampede spirit, cooked and served pancakes with maple syrup to hungry delegates.

The Stampede breakfasts featured Canadian food, which is one of CTC’s five Unique Selling Propositions (“Award-winning Canadian local cuisine”) putting our country in a different class than its international tourism competition. It was a perfect match for“Delicious Canada,” Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s month-long Canadian food promotion, also held at the Lotte Hotel. (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada was another co-sponsor of this year’s Showcase.)

Here, Showcase delegates and local South Koreans had a chance to sample Canadian flavours. One way to travellers’ hearts is through their stomachs, so the food and beverages should have inspired some of the diners to come and taste the delicacies at their source—in Canada.

“Great Canadian food and partnerships were much of the flavour of this year’s Showcase Canada-Asia,” says Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International. “The menu may change for different Showcases in different markets, but the core ingredient of collaboration remains the same. This year’s work with the Calgary Stampede and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada are two excellent examples of the great outcomes these partnerships generate.”


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