Destination Canada’s annual international marketplace helps foster major deals, which generate hundreds of millions of dollars for Canadian tourism industry.
RVC 2015 was dominated by two major stories, which kept the marketplace floor buzzing throughout the week: Prime Minister Stephen Harper's May 22 announcement for a new, three-year $30-million “Connecting America” marketing campaign led by Destination Canada and partners. Then, the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture) and David F. Goldstein, Destination Canada President and CEO, revealed the CTC’s new business identity: Destination Canada.
RVC 2015 was a highly successful event, enjoying one of its highest-ever attendances. An estimated 1,500 tourism-industry reps came to the Scotiabank Convention Centre, in Niagara Falls, ON, May 26-29 to take part in over 24,000 one-to-one appointments. They were joined by delegates from 461 buyer organizations, who flew in from 28 international markets.
Twenty-five international and domestic travel-trade journalists from key markets came to RVC 2015, getting the latest information on new products and trends from the Canadian travel industry, as well as garnering interviews with its leading figures. Mr. Goldstein hosted a special news conference on May 27 to brief journalists on Destination Canada’s latest campaigns and initiatives.
The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, provided a detailed briefing to media and attendees on the upcoming changes to Canada visa policies that will help boost tourism. This included the full rollout of the electronic authorization authority (ETA) project in 2016, following which the visa requirement will be partially lifted for Mexican, Brazilian, Romanian and Bulgarian travellers. A new visa office is also being opened in Guangzhou, China, this summer.
For the second year in a row, Destination Canada’s Inside Track sessions set the pace at the marketplace. These high-octane sessions, led by Destination Canada staff in markets, provided info on plans for the US market, marketing to millennial travellers, plus market trends and insights from top travel-trade accounts in each market.
“Our re-entry in the US market is fantastic news for the Canadian tourism industry and we can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and work with our partners to maximize this opportunity,” says Mr. Goldstein. “We will be looking to use innovative approaches to entice increasing numbers of Americans to travel to Canada.”
Rendez-vous Canada is one of Canada’s gateways to economic growth for every region of our country. With some of the best minds in the business in attendance, RVC is an important industry-trade platform for Canadians to launch new tourism products, view other products through a competitive lens and increase the range of tourism experiences that the industry offers.
The official hosts alongside Destination Canada at RVC 2015 were Niagara Falls Tourism and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation. The marketplace’s diamond sponsors were Air Canada, Travel Alberta, Canada 150 and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Banff & Lake Louise Tourism, Aboriginal Canada and Edmonton Tourism sponsored the luncheons, while Niagara Parks and Hornblower Niagara Cruisessponsored the opening night reception. Niagara Falls Tourism and partners organized RVC2015 Niagara Night, a magnificent evening centred around local food and wine.
“It was awesome to see the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada at RVC for the first time, alongside 17 First Nations tourism organizations and businesses,” says Jon Mamela, Destination Canada Senior Vice President Marketing Strategy/Chief Marketing Officer. “Canada has a rich cultural heritage and having aboriginal tourism businesses attend RVC will really help grow their business opportunities and tell their stories to international travellers.”