Signature Experiences Collection® draws industry crowds at Brit mega show.
29 November 2012
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) had to blow out the candles on two significant anniversary cakes at 2012’s World Travel Market (WTM) at ExCeL London, UK.
This year marks the 50th year since Canada first opened a tourist office in the UK. On top of that, CTC is celebrating the 21st year of its Canada Specialist Program (CSP), which has trained thousands of travel agents over the years in the UK. CSP agents who visited the stand even got a special Canada memo block as a birthday treat.
CTC was joined by 27 industry partners at the Canada stand for this year’s WTM Nov. 5-8, one of the stand-out B2B events on the tourism calendar. New exhibitors on the stand included Gananoque Boat Line, The Butchart Gardens, One Ocean Expeditions and The Sandman Hotel Group/The Sutton Place Hotel Group. The first pair are both members of CTC’s Signature Experiences Collection® (SEC), which featured prominently on the stand as a way attracting tour operators on the lookout for new, inspirational products. Air Canada sponsored the lounge area, hosting media and industry peeps for more relaxed networking sessions in the evenings.
Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO, brought Canada’s expertise to the table on day three for a panel discussion on optimizing the tourism benefits of major events for host nations. The panel examined whether the rights-holders for major sporting events such as the IOC should relax their tight marketing constraints to allow the host countries to better market their tourism products.
In its 33rd year, WTM drew in the tourism-industry crowds again. There were more than 38,700 attendees in the first three days checking out 4,910 companies. More than 3,000 media reps turned up to cover the B2B mega-show, proving once again the power of the tourism story in the global marketplace.
CTC-UK was also at its ghoulish best just before WTM, hosting a Halloween brunch for UK ski and snowboard media and Canadian ski resort reps at the Metro Ski and Snowboard Show in London. The menu was from beyond the grave, with scarily titled treats including scrambled brain on witch’s broom, blood shots and gargoyle blood and guts. The best Halloween costume also won a prize.
More than 700 UK travel agents based at home have been brushing up on their Canada Specialist Program (CSP) knowledge since October through a series of programs on a specialist trade network. Travel Counsellors TV screened daily 30-minute shows on Canada as well as supplementary training programs from partners Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership, Tourisme Québec, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Travel Manitoba, Travel Alberta, and Tourism British Columbia.
Selling Canada, part of Selling Long Haul magazine, was one of the finalists for the “Travel Trade Publication of the Year” award at this month’s prestigious British Travel Press Awards in central London Nov. 21. The CTC-supported mag insert has inspired many UK travel retailers via a big boost to awareness of Canada’s destinations and travel products since its launch in spring 2011. It has also been a major source of inspiration for agents to enrol in CTC’s Canada Specialist Program. CTC was the headline sponsor at the awards, which were attended by many of the UK’s travel writing big names.
Prize guys: Canada claimed the “Long haul destination of the year for soft adventure” top honours at this year’s Travel Agents Choice Awards in the UK. These influential awards for the travel trade are jointly sponsored by Selling Long Haul, Selling Short Breaks & Holidays and Selling Cruising.
Prize guys, take two: CTC picked up another award in Australia, another of its other core markets in October. The Australian Society of Travel Writers gave CTC the Most Outstanding Tourism Organization in Australia award in the Travel Journalism Awards for Excellence 2012.