France Marketing and Sales Programs
Our marketing and sales activities encourage French travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way, and to do it now versus later. Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, conduct travel-trade shows, bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences, our initiatives target three major audiences:
France’s 2015 consumer-direct strategy is focused on the consideration phase of the path to purchase. Our goal is to drive aided destination interest and active consideration for travel to Canada through curation, creation and distribution of relevant, inspiring and exciting content. We will employ a mix of paid search, paid digital media, native advertising, content partnerships and social integration channels to reach new audiences and enhance our relationship with engaged users. Our consumer-direct strategy is aligned with our travel trade, PR/media relations channels and social-media channels to optimize our influence across the various stages of the path to purchase.
Activity will target France’s priority Explorer Quotient® (EQ) types—Free Spirits and Authentic Experiencers—who pose the best potential for engagement. The strategy utilizes the latest research findings such as Global Tourism Watch and Destination Canada’s conversion studies. Insights from both Destination Canada in-market teams and key industry partners aid media and channel planning to ensure we optimize our consumer projects.
Our main activity will concentrate on the consideration phase of September through November to fuel the conversion period of early 2016, supported by nimble and responsive activity in key booking, planning and consideration phases during the year.
Destination Canada-France trade development focuses on the retail and wholesale aspects of selling travel, both online and offline. We send a quarterly e-newsletter to the active tour operators and travel agents in our database. The in-market team works with partners to create dedicated Canada newsletters, contests, workshops and roadshows, online Canada campaigns and window displays, as well as the Canada Shared by Canadians video on digital screens in travel agencies.
Destination Canada partnered with Air Transat to run major radio campaigns, nationally and in the Paris region, March through mid-May. We also partnered with tour operators to promote their summer packages, including Vacances Transat, Ponant (an upscale yatching company that just launched cruises from Vancouver to Alaska), Cercle des Vacances, Kuoni and Jet Tours. In addition, Destination Canada partnered on two dedicated e-newsletters that promoted Canada packages and went to Aventuria’s database of 60,000 contacts and to Maison des Amériques’s database of 150,000 contacts. A special mailing (@200) announced their new Canada-dedicated website, Désir Canada, as well.
Destination Canada also partnered with seven agency networks—Selectour Afat (850 agencies), Thomas Cook (200), Carlson Wagonlit by Havas (340), Nouvelles Frontières (290), Tourcom (200), Ailleurs voyages (104) and Carrefour voyages (108)—for window display campaigns that promoted pan-Canada packages and destination training via webinars. An additional partnership was conducted with Carrefour Voyages and Vacances Transat to promote the FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Canada this summer. Canada packages were sold exclusively at dedicated villages by a sales representative from Vacances Transat and a travel agent from Carrefour Voyages; soccer tournaments were conducted in the parking lots of Carrefour malls with the overall winning team awarded a trip to Canada and tickets to a World Cup game.
Destination Canada created a Canada brochure (total of 200,000) to promote 15 tour-operator packages and two airline offers. These were distributed in the 54 restaurants of La Criée during the promotion of Ma Criée au Canada in January, and generated 650 additional contacts for our consumer database.
Destination Canada partnered with Vacances Transat on two FAM trips: one to Quebec and Ontario with 11 agents in May, and one to British Columbia and Alberta with 11 agents in June. A travel trade journalist was invited to participate in both FAM trips in order to generate destination and product coverage following the trips.
Destination Canada partnered with Comptoir du Canada on a FAM trip to BC and Alberta for four travel agents.
Trade education and training
- Destination Canada held a Training Day for 65 agents at Air France’s headquarters to highlight their new direct Paris/Vancouver flight. The workshop was dedicated to Western Canada but included an overview of Eastern Canada. Several partners were involved: Destination BC, Travel Alberta, Tourism Yukon, Visit Seattle Tourism, Via Rail, Westjet, OTMPC, Tourisme Québec and Tourism New Brunswick. Another training session was conducted in Nantes for 55 travel agents.
- Destination Canada organized a workshop for 15 agents at the Canadian Cultural Centre with Europe Airpost to promote its flight to Halifax as well as the Maritimes in general.
- Destination Canada participated on the behalf of OTMPC at La Caravane, organized by Vacances Transat, in five workshops dedicated to Eastern Canada for 154 travel agents from Nantes, Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice and Paris.
- Destination Canada also trained 304 travel agents from Carrefour Voyages in 45-minute workshops featuring Ontario/Quebec and BC/Alberta in Evry, Rennes, Angers, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Quétigny, Toulon, Nice and Vitrolles.
- Destination Canada partnered with the following tour operators:
- Jetset: 3 workshops to 45 agents in total inGrenoble, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse
- Vacances Transat: 1 workshop to 15 agents in Pau
- Visiteurs: 1 workshop to 22 agents in Paris
- Kuoni/Vacances Fabuleuses: 1 workshop to 80 agents in Paris.
- Destination Canada trained six reservation agents from tour operator Parcours Voyages during a one-hour workshop dedicated to golf courses in Canada and five reservation agents from tour operator Cercle des Vacances during a one-hour workshop dedicated to Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Destination Canada assisted in the organization of appointments for five representatives from Manitoba to meet and train French key accounts.
- Destination Canada partnered with the following tour operators for client events:
- Maison des Amériques to promote 2015 summer sales to Western Canada for 65 of their best clients
- Aventuria to promote 2015 summer sales for 100 of their top clients.
Canada Specialist Program
Travel agents, tour operators and other travel influencers greatly impact where and how consumers travel. As of now, we have 483 fully accredited Canada Specialist Program (CSP) agents, which surpasses our target of 10% of the total French travel-agent community.
We had 11 participants at this year’s RVC from nine tour operators: Vacances Transat, Amérigo, Terre Canada, Backroads, Nord Espaces, La Case Départ, Ceetiz, Maison des Amériques and TUI.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
From Jan. 30 to Feb. 1, Destination Canada partnered with the travel agency network Univairmer (32 agencies) for its annual fair. Canada was the destination of honour.
From April 2-3, Destination Canada participated in DITEX, the B2B trade show located in Avignon in the southeast France, sharing a booth with Tourisme Québec and Tourism New Brunswick. Training sessions and face-to-face meetings were held at the booth during the two days.
Destination Canada-France assists the media with partnered press trips, media events and by hosting media on visits to Canadian destinations. Our strategy is to gain visibility in the French media by creating and building buzz. Highlights to date have included:
- Adonet Day: a media marketplace where we met with journalists to discuss projects for the year
- Le Salon des Bloggeurs, where we met bloggers to discuss projects for the year.
- Nine individual press trips have taken place and include the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, Newfoundland, BC and Alberta and Yukon.
- A winter group press trip for four journalists in partnership with Air Transat focused on the Winterlude festival in Ottawa and multi-activities in the Outaouais region.
- A summer group press trip for six journalists in partnership with Air Transat and Lyon’s airport will feature Toronto, Ottawa and the Outaouais region.
- Destination Canada partnered with Tourism New Brunswick for a press trip that includes a FIFA game in Moncton for two journalists.
- We organized a trip across Canada aboard Via Rail’s The Canadian for travel blogger Bruno Maltor from Votre tour du monde.
Special media events/PR
- Destination Canada conducted two sessions followed by dinner for 40 key accounts, including tour operators and journalists, prior to the charity race “La Parisienne,” which will take place in September. This year’s coach is Charles Julien, Product Manager for Jetset Voyages.
- Destination Canada organized an event at the Canadian Cultural Centre with OTMPC and Great Spirit Circle Trail for 16 journalists and tour operators. Guests were invited to create their own dream catcher following the instructions given by Falcon Migwan.
- Destination Canada hosted a table at the Travel d’Or and the Victoires du Tourisme awards; Canada was awarded “Best International Tourism Office” at the latter ceremony.
- Destination Canada organized an event at the French ambassador’s residence for 100 key accounts to introduce the new President and CEO, David F. Goldstein, and to celebrate France’s record year of 482,362 visitors.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
French media attend GoMedia Canada Marketplace, Destination Canada’sannual media event where Canadian travel suppliers and destination marketing organizations exchange stories and ideas with international media. GoMedia, held annually in Canada and hosted by a different destination each year, will take place Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in Penticton, BC. Seven French journalists plan to attend.
Business Events Canada
For information on our Business Events Canada activities, check the BEC Markets section of the corporate website.
|Inbound travel to Canada from France|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||359.4||404.5||388.2||408.1||422.4||422.8|
|Year to year change||-0.4%||12.6%||-4.0%||4.9%||3.5%||0.1%|
|Year to year change||3.0%||13.3%||-5.3%||2.7%||3.2%||-2.6%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
- Despite flat GDP growth of 0% and a relatively high unemployment rate of 9.9%, overall French outbound travel increased 1.1% in 2012. (Source: Oxford Economics)
- France, Canada’s second-largest overseas inbound market, saw a 0.2% decline in arrivals to 421,000 trips in 2012. While business (-2.1%) and pleasure (-6.7%) travel declined, visiting friends and relatives traffic grew 1.3% and travel for other purposes, including educational study, surged 46.5%.
- Spending by overnight French travellers declined 2.7% to $530 million, and spending per trip fell 2.5% to $1,260. The average trip duration increased to 16.7 days (+1.6%), while spending per night declined to $75 (-4.1%).
- A large proportion (45%) of French travellers chose to visit Canada during the summer months of Q3.
- The number of youth travellers 24 and under expanded 31.3% to 99,500, the highest number among overseas markets and surpassing French travellers aged 25-34. Altogether, visitors under 35 represented 42.9% of arrivals, while those over 55 years of age represented 25.7% of the market. Compared with proportions of 23.6% and 44.5% for the US leisure market and 30.4% and 39.8% for the UK market, the average French traveller to Canada is younger than visitors from these countries.
- Similar to previous years, French travellers reported shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives as their top activities. Like their British counterparts, French travellers also attended more festivals and fairs (+24.2%) in 2012.
- While the majority of French travellers visited Quebec (323,000 visits, -3.1%), Ontario (119,000 visits, +13.4%) saw increased visitation in 2012.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.
- Canada ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 dream destination forFrench consumers every year.
- Although the current economic and geopolitical situation in France is affecting many destinations, Canada is keeping up good visitor numbers. Security is now the number one criteria. Despite downsizing, bankruptcies and a record 3.3 people million unemployed, the French are not ready to sacrifice their holidays. Over 482,000 travellers visited Canada in 2014, was a record year for French visitation.
- Tour operators report explosive growth in FIT (free, independent traveller) vacations.
- French travellers prefer individualized, made-to-measure vacations with a mix of elements, such as one night in a bed & breakfast another night in a quaint little hotel. No matter the style, they are always searching for a connection with locals. Today real luxury is not a 5-star hotel but a unique vacation.
- New cruise products are being launched in Canada: Ponant from Vancouver to Alaska and Rivages du Monde from Montréal to Niagara Falls.
- There is an 8% increase in air capacity for 2015 as Air France is now offering direct service from Paris to Vancouver five times per week, confirming that there is more demand from the French market for western Canada. Air Canada is adding a daily flight to Montréal and to Toronto for the summer period.
- Current feedback is positive; 2015 could be our new record year with half a million of French visitors to Canada.
Guided by Destination Canada’s corporate strategy, the France strategy focuses on high-yield travellers in key geographic regions less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.
Business Events Canada
For information on our Business Events Canada activities, go to the BEC Markets section of the corporate website.
Contact our team for more information.
General Sales Agent – TOURISME SYNERGIQUE
201, rue Saint Honoré
sandra [dot] teakle [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Sandra Teakle)
daniel [dot] arnatsiaq [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Daniel Arnatsiaq)
Manager, Industry Relations
vanessa [dot] gomez [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Vanessa Gomez)