CTC News

Case study: how attending Rendez-vous Canada can result in great tourism product.

How a first-time American buyer capitalized on CTC’s major annual tourism marketplace to devise new Canadian itineraries.

17 August 2011

In any good relationship, someone needs to make the first introduction. So it is for first-time buyers at Rendez-vous Canada, the Canadian Tourism Commission(CTC)’s marquee marketplace for Canadian tourism.

This year’s iteration (the 35th) in May at Québec City Convention Centre in Québec City, QC, attracted a record number (85) of new buyer organizations out of the 400-plus in attendance from CTC’s key international markets. For many, it was the first time meeting reps from the Canadian provinces, cities and hotels with whom they were interested in doing business.

For Sharon Heggie, Epitourean director of International Business Development, it proved to be an inspirational experience. Epitourean specializes in upscale culinary vacations, a perfect fit for the range of culinary experiences in Canada. After having her initial introductions at RVC arranged by Yvonne Nichie, CTC manager Global Sales, Emerging Markets, the company’s progress was rapid— and sensationally so.

Some of Heggie’s first contacts were the good folk at Ottawa Tourism. Their open co-operation resulted in a familiarization (FAM) trip and a new Canadian culinary tourism package through Epicurean’s sister company, Cooking Vacations. “A Capital Cooking Adventure in Ottawa” had a broad reach, too, via an e-newsletter to the company’s 130,000 subscribers. All this within two months of RVC closing its doors.

This is just the start for Heggie, a Canadian native now residing in the S, who is breathlessly keeping pace with the rapid flow of new leads and packages since RVC. Three more packages for Quebec, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ONand the Rockies, are now on the books, while there at least 12 more waiting in the wings..

“We had a bumper RVC this year, with more than 22,000 appointments booked, but our main focus this time was on attracting new buyers,” says Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International. “Here we have a prime example of the show’s benefits, how someone new to the marketplace was so bowled over by what she found that she swiftly developed new and exceptional tourism experiences in Canada for her customers.”

Other companies thoroughly enjoyed their first-time experiences at RVC. Check out this blog post from iStorm New Media, a leading web-design company. It’s another first-hand testimonial to all the new business and friends its staff generated in Québec City.

Rendez-vous Canada 2012 will take place in Edmonton, AB, May 13-16.


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