Marketing and sales programs
Destination Canada works to promote Canada as a four-season destination to the travel trade in Indiathrough joint marketing initiatives, travel-agent training, sales activities and organized visits to experience Canada first-hand.
We connect with consumers, trade and media in different ways. While the concept of Canada as a vacation destination is relatively new in India, the market grows every year.
India's importance in global tourism is widely accepted, and Canada has captured a greater share of the India long-haul outbound market over the past two years. Canada has a diverse and unique set of experiences that has helped to lure high-yield travellers amid stiff competition. Indian travellers view Canada with great interest as a new vista to explore.
With 17% of the world’s population (and a median age of 25), India is ranked as one of the top five countries for potential outbound travel. Its growing and affluent middle class has a desire to travel, especially to new destinations like Canada.
According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute, if India continues on its current high-growth path, the market will undergo a major transformation over the next 13 years. Income levels will almost triple and India will climb from its current position as the world’s 12th-largest consumer market to the fifth largest by 2025. India’s middle class will swell more than 10 times from its current size of 50 million to 583 million people. By 2025, more than 23 million Indians will be among the country’s wealthiest citizens.
In India, 90% of travel business is transacted through the travel trade. In previous years, Destination Canada-India has used a trade-centric approach, but from 2014 onwards we shifted the focus slightly towards direct-to-consumer.
Destination Canada-India has been aggressive on social-media channels such as Facebook. With regular posts directed to Indian fans and through ad campaigns, the number of likes has increased tremendously to approximately 56,000.
Destination Canada-India geo-targets Indian consumers by posting eye-catching images as well as content five times a week to encourage them to like, share and comment on our page.
Branding premium shopping malls is a successful way to increase awareness of Canada and to encourage Indians to visit. This is due to many Indians being compulsive shoppers.
In December 2014, Destination Canada-India branded Select City Walk, one of Delhi’s most popular malls, with eye-catching images of Canada via 68drop-down banners throughout the mall. The promotion helped spread awareness about Canada and increased the probability of consumers choosing Canada as their next travel destination.
A Canada-branded boothin the centre of the mall, staffed by four industry partners, showcased Canadian leisure packages and attracted many consumers. Our industry partners distributed flyers with various itineraries to visitors to the booth and shared travel information on Canada.
Destination Canada-India integrated the mall branding activity with a radio campaign during the same month to enhance consumer awareness and attract consumers to the booth. Over the December holiday season, we added a radio studio tothe mall to engage visitors via a talk on Canada and get them to promise to visit the country.
Destination Canada-India has brochures packed with travel information and images that are given to consumers at trade shows and are also available on request.
In Q1 and Q2 2015, Destination Canada-India advertised extensively in consumer magazines to ensure visibility and Canada getting top-of-mind recall. Consumer publications included Lonely Planet, India Today Travel Plus, Travel & Leisure, National Geographic Traveller, Travel Secrets and TLF Magazine.
We have increased awareness of Canada in Mumbai and New Delhi plus Tier 2 cities in India. The Destination Canada-India team regularly visits travel agents and conducts onsite destination training with front-line agents and mid-level management to educate them on the Canadian travel experiences that they can sell to their clients.
Travel agents play a vital role in the decision-making and booking process. Pre-planned annual holidays are fast becoming the norm (as opposed to last-minute decisions), as is the move from group travel to independent travel.
In March 2015, Destination Canada-India, in conjunction with 11 Canadian partners, conducted education sessions for the travel industry in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata, attracting almost 100 travel agents in each city. The format was a combination of presentations and B2B meetings.
These events created opportunities for Indian outbound agents to meet Canadian receptive agents, build relationships and boost their awareness of Canada as a premier four-season destination.
Destination Canada-India sends regular e-newsletters to the travel trade, educating them about different aspects of Canada such as festivals, seasons, golf, spas and self-drive options. We also send e-newsletters promoting the Canada Specialist Programto the travel trade. In 2014, our e-newsletters included various aspects of Canada to entice consumers to visit the destination.
In 2014, Destination Canada-India continued a search-engine marketing campaign designed to create awareness of the experiences Canada has to offer and to give Indian consumers more information on Canada while they are researching the country.
Rendez-vous Canada (RVC) is Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace and led by the Destination Canada.
RVCis held annually in a different Canadian city, gathering some 1,500 international tourism industry leaders for a series of speed-dating-style appointments. International buyers seek the best-matched Canadian tourism sellers. The end result: travellers get to choose from a top selection of Canadian experiences. RVC 2015 took place May 26-29 in Niagara Falls, ON.
Joint advertising campaigns
In the first half year of 2015, Destination Canada-India partnered with leading travel agents for joint advertising campaigns in mainline publications. Ads targeted the peak summer season, promoting Canada as an experiential travel destination. Since almost 90% of consumer transactions are through travel agents, these joint ads have great impact in the India market.
Destination education programs
Destination Canadaconducts periodic education seminars for the travel trade to make them aware of Canada as an extraordinary destination. These include training seminars and educating frontline staff (the first point of contact at agencies). We share presentations, videos and print literature with them as well as information about the Canada Specialist Program.
Destination Canada-India conducted these training sessions, in conjunction with provincial partners, in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata March 23-26. Our provincial and territorial partners also trained frontline staff through presentations and interactive sessions, with prizes at the end of each workshop. Destination and provincial marketing organizations conducted B2B sessions with the Indian sellers.
Destination Canada-India will continue its efforts to train the travel trade. In the second half of 2015, we will visit Tier 2 cities such as Pune, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Indore and Hyderabad to conduct education programs and sales visits.
The sales teams have been aggressive with sales calls in Delhi and Mumbai, as well as in the Tier 2 cities of Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Indore, Nagpur, Pune, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Kolkata. Through these calls and in-person meetings, Destination Canada-India meets major agents, makes introductions to new travel agents, distributes brochures and meets front-office teams.
Canada Specialist Program
With more than 90% of outbound travel being routed through travel agents, educating them on Canada is vital. The Canada Specialist Program(CSP) Level 2 now has 2,982 enrolled agents, with 1,768 certified as Canada Specialists. Destination Canada-India has advertised the CSP extensively through e-newsletters, flyers, workshops and travel-trade media ads to boost enrollment and increase knowledge of Canada.
The CAN+ Visa program was launched in July 2014. Indian nationals who have travelled to Canada or the US within the past 10 years are now eligible for expedited visa processing.This new process is encouraging for the India market and will greatly help traveller numbers to grow.
We have given Indian travel agencies Destination Canadabranding, including images, posters and more. Our key account offices, plus more agencies, have good Canada visibility, which helps to increase brand recall.
Canadian Signature Experiences
Destination Canada-India aggressively promotes the Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE)to the Indian travel industry. In 2015, we promoted the experiences in all our workshops and training sessions conducted with the travel agents, as well as distributed CSE brochures.
Preferred visa agent program
The preferred visa agent program has 25 key agents across India: Delhi (6), Mumbai (11), Ahmedabad (2), Kolkata (2), Punjab (2), Chennai (1) and Lucknow (1). Destination Canada-India plans to expand the program in 2015 based on results.
Destination Canadaconducts FAM (familiarization) trips for its travel-trade partners exposing them to Canadian experiences and attractions across Canada. The first FAM trip will be conducted in July to Jasper, Banffand Lake Louise, with British Columbia following soon after. These FAMs are run in conjunction with our Canadian partners.
Destination Canada-India is advertising with trade publications throughout 2015 to ensure visibility and top-of-mind recall for Canada. The trade magazines so far included TRAVtalk and Travel Trends Today (T3). Destination Canada-India has also advertised on Trade TV, which promotes trade news on TV.
Visit Canada programs for media
In partnership with provincial and destination marketing organizations, Destination Canadaorganizes familiarization (FAM) trips to western and eastern Canada for influential media to enjoy Canada's unique travel experiences and intriguing destinations. Canadian suppliers showcase their products, encouraging media to write stories about these destinations or experiences.
The target media for FAM trips is a mix of travel-trade publications, freelancers and travel writers from newspapers as well as from consumer, lifestyle and travel magazines. This year’s first media FAM trip went to British Columbia in May. FAM trips to Ontario are planned for August. Canada gets extensive coverage from these FAMs.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
Indian travel media are invited to attend GoMedia Canada Marketplace, where Canadian travel operators exchange stories and ideas with international media. GoMedia is held annually in Canada and is hosted by a different destination each year.
This specialized marketplace is exclusively for global media, offering the chance to meet with industry delegates. They can also explore Canada through a variety of pre/post tours. Participants attend fast-paced, one-to-one appointment sessions to uncover Canadian story ideas.
In 2015 the Destination Canada-India media team has madepersonal visits to influential media to build and strengthen relationships. This included pitching story ideas to different media about Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec to ensure story opportunities with several outlets and to maximize coverage.
Major travel supplements of leading financial newspapers such as ET Travel and English dailies like The Times of India, HT City and DNA After Hours, together with consumer and lifestyle magazines such as Society, India Today Travel Plus, Lonely Planet, Outlook Traveller and niche business magazines such as Outlook Business and Business Today More have carried stories about Canada in the past 18 months. Many travel-trade publications, including Voyager’s World, Travel News Digest, Tourism and Wildlife, Trav Talk and Plaza Times have given Destination Canadaregular coverage on its destinations and activities in India.
Destination Canada-India also arranges year-round interviews between destination representatives and target media to ensure Canada is covered in mainline trade and travel consumer publications.
Press releases are sent to media twice a month, highlighting special attractions in Canada to create an awareness of the different experiences that Canada has to offer. Additional releases are also circulated for special occasions or milestones achieved by Destination Canadain India. Combined, these releases receive extensive coverage in trade and consumer travel publications throughout the year.
Destination Canada-India has shared story ideas based on Canadian Signature Experiences and many other Canadian tourism products, including wine, food, festivals and major events plus Destination Canada-India’s activities in the market.
Radio is one of the most popular mediums to reach to Indian consumers. Destination Canada-India ran a campaign in May on two of the most popular radio channels that featured several Canadian Signature Experiences, helping to build awareness and recall for consumers.
|Inbound travel to Canada from India|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||119.7||128.6||126.0||114.0||162.9||162.2|
|Year to year change||11.1%||7.4%||-2.0%||18.9%||8.7%||-0.4%|
|Year to year change||10.8%||10.8%||-2.7%||21.8%||12.2%||6.4%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
- India’s GDP growth accelerated 7.1% in 2014 amid sustained population growth, progress on economic reforms and increased productivity.(Source: Oxford Economics)
- Total outbound Indian travel increased 15.6% in 2014 to reach 13.6 million trips, including 5.2 million trips to long-haul destinations.
- The number of Indian overnight arrivals increased 19.3% to 176,000 in 2014, the second-highest growth rate among DC key markets after China.
- Tourism expenditures in Canada by Indian visitors totalled $280 million dollars in 2014.
- On average, Indian visitors spent $1,411 and stayed 33 days in Canada.
- Over half (53.5%) of Indian visitors to Canada travelled to visit friends and relatives (VFR) and over a quarter (27.5%) for business. Pleasure visitors accounted for about 10% of total overnight visits to Canada from India.
Source : Statistique Canada, Enquête sur les voyages internationaux (sauf indication contraire). Tous les chiffres de Statistique Canada sont provisoires.
In 2014, the Canadian government introduced a number of initiatives to make the Canadian visa process in India easier:
- Can+ Visa program: Any Indian traveller who can demonstrate having visited the US or Canada at least once over the past 10 years, with no adverse security or criminal history, is now able to obtain a Canadian visa without having to submit proof of economic solvency. These applicants will also benefit from expedited processing in India, with an average turnaround time of five days.
- Multiple entries: Since February 2014, the vast majority of visas issued are for multiple entries (95%). Multiple-entry visas can be valid up to 10 years or up to the validity of the applicant’s passport.
- Tourist Partner Program: This program offers a fast, simplified visa application process for Indian tourists who use travel agencies registered with the Canadian Embassy.
The vast majority of bookings for outbound travel (up to 90%) are made through traditional travel agents, suggesting a vital need to promote Canada among the Indian travel trade.
Air capacity for one-stop flights between India and Canada has increased substantially over the past two years with more airlines operating flights to Canada connecting to Indian cities.
The visa application process, once viewed as a major obstacle to travel to Canada, has improved significantly. Leisure travellers now enjoy speedier application processing with the opening of visa application centres in nine cities. The 10-year multiple-entry visa has also helped tremendously.
Contact our team for more information:
General Sales Agent:
72, Todarmal Road
New Delhi –110001
sanjeet [at] sanjeet [dot] in (SanJeet)
richa [dot] chopra [at] buzzindia [dot] in (Richa Chopra)
madhvi [at] buzzindia [dot] in (Madhvi Awasthi)
General manager, Media
rashmi [at] repindia [dot] in (Sonia Prakash)
Senior Sales Manager
504 Marine Lines
Mumbai - 400 020, India
Ruden [at] buzzindia [dot] in (RudenDias)
Senior Sales Manager
Nida [at] buzzindia [dot] in (Nida Kapadia)