CTC and partners show our country in all its glory at Focus Canada-India and Outbound Travel Mart in Jaipur, New Delhi and Mumbai.
Never underestimate the value of a trade show. The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and industry partners have just spent three weeks in India putting Canada in the hearts and minds of the travel trade and consumers alike. India has massive potential as a tourism market for Canada, with a rapidly expanding middle class eager for new global experiences.
Focus Canada-India Marketplace took top billing in Jaipur, India’s “Pink City” Feb. 27-March 1. More than 65 reps from top Canadian travel industry partners met with 59 key Indian travel agents and tour operators for an intense three days of networking, relationship building and sharing market intelligence at Fairmont Jaipur.
Guests of honour at the marketplace were The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO, Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International, and Siobhan Chretien, CTC regional managing director, Emerging Markets. Minister Bernier had a full slate of meetings and briefings with Indian government officials, Indian travel media, Canadian industry attendees and Indian operators. Minister Bernier also led a reception with Stewart Beck, Canadian High Commissioner to India.
CTC’s Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) Collection caught many Indian operators’ eyes, its range of products repositioning Canada in this market as a truly experiential destination.
According to the latest figures from CTC Research, 7.7 million Indian tourists plumped for long-haul international travel in 2011. Of those Indian travellers, 162,900 came to Canada, up 8.7%; travel receipts soared 11% to $160.9 million; and the average spend per person-tripwhile in Canada reached $988.
The addition of nine visa application centres, a new 10-year multiple-entry visa and a large increase in air capacity over the past two years have all made it much easier for Indian travelers to reach Canada. The total number of Indian trips to Canada is forecast to rise 5.1% in both 2012 and 2013, with Indian travellers’ spending staying flat (+0.2%) in 2012 and then jumping 8.1% in 2013.
Focus Canada-India came hot on the heels of Outbound Travel Mart, a mega travel tradeshow in Mumbai (Feb. 8-10) and New Delhi (Feb. 14-16), the two biggest Indian outbound tourist markets. CTC and Canadian key-account partners made their mark on the shows, which had tens of thousands of trade and consumer visitors. There was also a drive for new members of the Canada Specialist Program (CSP), CTC’s education tool for travel agents. CTC won an award for “Best Print Promotion” at OTM Mumbai.
Indian tour operators and consumers got to see Canada as a true four-season destination. CTC is looking to expand its sales network in 2013 into Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ludhiana and Pune.