Government departments come together to promote Canada’s awesome nature and food.
The contacts books have been tucked away and LinkedIn connections updated for another year: this year’s Showcase Canada-Asia Marketplace has just closed its doors in Japan after a fruitful five days of deals and relationship-building.
The Showcase—the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s pre-eminent business-to-business (B2B) event outside Canada—took place at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in Osaka, Oct. 15-19. It’s the once-a-year one-stop-shop for Canadian sellers to get face time with buyers from China, India, Japan and South Korea in a concentrated B2B environment. Pre-scheduled speed-dating-style appointments filled the days, reinforced by more informal networking events in the evenings.
A triumvirate of Canadian government heavy-hitters partnered for the event for the first time: CTC, Parks Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Large-scale images around the show displayed Canada’s national parks, marine conservation areas and national historic sites to maximum effect. Canadian beef and seafood took centre stage at each day’s lunch, as well as opportunities to weave in unique Canadian dining experiences into tour-operator packages.
The marketplace ran in two halves to facilitate and maximize the number of appointments: Japanese and South Korean tour operators filled the floors for the first two days, followed by those from China and India.
Delegates came in droves from these four CTC key international markets, with 194 buyers making their presence felt. The Canadian tourism industry was there in force to meet them: 145 reps from 87 seller companies from across the country completed a rewarding 8,900-plus appointments (more than 95% of the available slots) during the Showcase.
“The unique cross-governmental partnership at this year’s Showcase demonstrated the multiple ways in which tourism brings benefits to the Canadian economy,” says Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International. “Showing off the energy and vibrant culture of our cities as well as our culinary heritage can also build valuable international trade relationships, bringing further revenue to Canada’s coffers.”
Calendar note: Showcase Canada-Asia Marketplace will take place next year in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 14-18. Stay tuned to CTC News or the marketplace website for registration details.