News releases

Canadian Tourism Commission launches new Canada Specialist Program

Online program provides interactive tool to help travel agents around the world sell Canada.

VANCOUVER, BC, July 08, 2010—The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) today launched the Canada Specialist Program—an interactive standardized training program that offers travel-trade professionals operating in the CTC’s key markets a user-friendly way to prepare them to sell Canada more effectively. From telling travellers where in Canada they can spot blue whales or in what city spa can they slip inside a chic Turkish-Roman hot-air bath after a grape-seed body buff…a CSP agent knows. Or can find out—fast!

“The success of a travel-agency business depends on having unique information that a visitor can’t find anywhere else, especially the high-yield traveller targeted by the CTC,” said Charles McKee, CTC vice president, International. “The new Canada Specialist Program provides this intelligence in an easy-to-use format that gives agents and operators a competitive edge for Canada and allows them to offer high degree of customer satisfaction. Over time, the CSP logo will be recognizable as a point of trust for consumers looking for extraordinary experiences in our country.”

CSP training is like a personalized tour through Canada's "wow" experiences. The series is presented in eight training modules: Introduction, British Columbia/Alberta, Manitoba/Saskatchewan, Ontario/Quebec, Atlantic Provinces, Canada’s North, Winter Experiences and Aboriginal Experiences. Imaginative visuals make the learning experience fun with such tools as an interactive map with itineraries and classic driving routes for agents and operators to download, plus photo carousels that showcase Canadian travel experiences. While learning at their own pace, agents and operators must pass a quiz on each module to progress to the next.

Once qualified, they have full access to the site’s tourism tools and resources that make it easy to understand what Canada’s tourism brand is all about, such as the five key Unique Selling Propositions (USPs) that showcase the extra-ordinary experiences that make Canada so enticing, the Explorer Quotient (EQ) customer segmentation web tool and the Canada Brand Library—a unique national resource of images, video and graphics. There will also be a localized component where CTC travel-trade managers can post pertinent travel news and events information for each market’s agents and operators.

Qualified agents will also gain access to a wide range of benefits outside website offerings—CSP agent familiarization (fam) trips, discounts, partnership funding for promotions, listing on the CTC’s consumer website, window display materials—and much more depending on markets.

The initial rollout is for the English-speaking markets: UK, US, Australia and India. Other markets—Germany, China, Brazil, France, Japan, Mexico and South Korea—will follow later in the year in the respective language of those countries.

Current Explorer level agents will be invited to use the new website to become Specialists. The Explorer program is an introduction to Canada that covers geography and helps build a foundation for the Specialist level program.

Click here to explore the new CSP website:



About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail. 


For further information, please contact:

Margaret Nevin
Senior Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel / Tél 604.638.8406
Cell 604.376.6690
nevin [dot] margaret [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca