Calgary Stampede and Signature Experiences Collection® make the Canada stand the talk of the town at giant UK show.
Like modern-day Dick Whittingtons, the major players of the global tourism industry headed for London, UK, earlier this month to seek out tourism gold at 2011’s World Travel Market. They certainly weren’t disappointed by the Canada stand at the massive trade show, where the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and 30 tourism partners put our country high up the industry agenda.
The Canada stand had compelling content and activities; Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO, and Charles McKee, CTC vice-president, International, led the charge alongside CTC’s UK team. The Calgary Stampede drew a chorus of yee-haws for its two cocktail happy hours at the “Last Chance Saloon.” Here attendees sipped Stampede-themed cocktails and nibbled on Stampede fare such as beef sliders, corn dogs and pancakes while listening to live western music from native Albertan Jake Matthews. The Signature Experiences Collection® was also at the fore, with trade and media reps snapping up the USB keys explaining CTC’s latest compelling program to entice international visitors.
New to the stand for 2011: a Discovery Zone featuring a map of Canada with QR codes that had visitors snapping their smartphones to learn more; a Twitter wall; plus two all-you-wanted-to-know-but-were-afraid-to-ask mini-sections with more info on the Brand Canada Library. CTC’s partners at the stand were a mix of airlines, hotels, provincial and destination marketing organizations and tour operators.
Even in its 32nd iteration, World Travel Market showed Nov. 7-10 that it has lost none of its immense travel clout. More than 28,000 visitors came through the doors of ExCeL Londonover the four days. They were joined by 7,600 travel-industry participants putting their shoulders to the grindstone to do business.
“It was great to see the enthusiasm for Canada from visitors to the stand, and not just the industry pros,” says Rupert Peters, CTC regional managing director, Core Markets. “The Signature Experiences Collection® is fast becoming a real trump card for tour operators, while we noticed a lot of envious glances cast at it by our competitors.”