Marketing and Sales Programs

Through the Canadian Signature Experiences collection and a wide range of other unique Canadian experiences and destinations, our marketing and sales programs invite Japanese travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way. We work directly with travel agencies and tour operators, conduct travel-trade shows and bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences.

Our integrated media and trade partnership programs, targeted to fully independent travel (FIT) and group travel, are the cornerstones of all major activities in Japan. These programs focus on raising awareness of Canada as a desirable destination, driving consumers to book Canada now. The cornerstone of this program is Canada Theatre, an innovative new website featuring content, created by Japanese broadcasters, print/online media and bloggers, that showcases and differentiates Canada as a tourism destination. Over 100 tour operator packages are fully integrated into the site in ways that further tell the story of Canada and complement the web content.

Travel Trade Read more > Close >

Destination Canada-Japan's trade development focuses largely on the wholesale aspects of selling travel. The Japan team organizes trade shows, conducts sales calls, organizes tour operator and partner familiarization (FAM) tours and conducts training under the Canada Specialist Program.

Canada Joint Marketing Fund

In October 2009, the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) officially announced the appointment of Canada as one of the target destinations for JATA’s extensive tourism promotion, “Visit World Campaign 2010.” In response, Destination Canada-Japan organized and executed a number of comprehensive promotional campaigns in partnership with our territorial and provincial partners. This successful partnership continues to expand, with Yukon and Northwest Territories joining British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Activities in 2014 included:

  • Joint destination-focused co-op marketing support for travel-trade key accounts
  • In-store retail marketing campaigns through key tour operator partners
  • Product/itinerary development support
  • Agency-specific FAM tours
  • Extensive retail agent training program and cross-country Team Canada travel agent training.  
  • Participation in JATA Tourism Expo Japan, the country’s largest travel show.

The Team Canada concept is now well recognized and much appreciated by Japanese tour operators as an industry-leading way to proactively build recognition for a country in its entirety (with a specific focus on partner provinces/territories), while building a one-stop shop for tour operators’ program and product development.

Canada Specialist Program

The Canada Specialist Program provides online destination training for all frontline staff in Japan plus a range of activities and promotions to keep Canada top of mind. The program offers:

  • Online training modules and exams with instant results
  • Selling tools
  • Tools and training manuals.

CSP empowers agents to provide professional, in-depth client consultation and to develop new and innovative tours to Canada.

Trade shows

Focus Canada-Japan, Oct. 15-16, 2015
Efficiently laid out and programmed, Focus Canada-Japan is a new style of tourism workshop that connects Canadian tourism businesses with more than 50 qualified Japanese buyers for two days of business exchanges. The event also provides opportunities for Canadian businesses to build networks with key players in the Japan market and with new operators.

Rendez-vous Canada

The annual marketplace that showcases Canada from coast to coast to coast to key buyers will take place in Montréal, Quebec, April 24-27, 2016. In just four days of intensive, pre-scheduled business appointments, Canadian and international tourism organizations conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through numerous trips to each market.

For more details on events, check out our Trade Shows & Events.

Media Read more > Close >

Destination Canada-Japan supports media with partnered press trips as well as through media trips to showcase Canadian experiences. Destination Canada pitches targeted story ideas to media influencers, with a strong focus on broadcast media.

Destination Canada -Japan continues to collaborate with tourism-industry partners to support various broadcast projects, including:

  • Working with production crews to support filming in Canada
  • Promoting Canadian experiences in partnership with producers and media partners
  • Developing specialized tour products to spotlight film locations and support sales promotions with major Japanese travel agencies.

As part of the Rendez-vous Canada tradeshow, Destination Canada -Japan assembles the best of Japan's travel media to meet Canadian operators and destination representatives. These media influencers are seen as a key tool in further educating the travel trade on Canadian product on an ongoing basis.

Visit Canada programs for media

In partnership with provincial and destination marketing organizations, tour operators and airlines, Destination Canada -Japan invites influential media to enjoy Canada's unique travel experiences and intriguing destinations. Canadian suppliers showcase their products, encouraging these influencers to write stories about their destinations or experiences.

Social media

Destination Canada -Japan has a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel. Social media is growing at a fast clip in Japan (post-earthquake, many social media platforms experienced exponential growth in follower numbers). Destination Canada -Japan has and will continue to focus on influencer programs to grow Canada fan numbers and encourage further exchange and engagement, in partnership with Canadian and Japanese associates.

Canada Theatre

May 2015 saw the launch of the Canada Theatre campaign, alongside a two-year TV drama in partnership with BS Imagica. Destination Canada -Japan will work with the TV network to develop a storyline that showcases Canada and its upcoming 150th birthday in 2017. The initiative will give Destination Canada , provincial partners and tour operators an opportunity to engage in a storyline that will create a three-year sales and marketing platform across Japan. 

This drama is Destination Canada ’s primary tactic to increase Japanese visitation to Canada—using the support of key media partners as well as collaborating with key account travel-trade partners. Destination Canada -Japan will also work with other Japanese broadcasters, print and online media to develop special TV programs in collaboration with Japanese tour operators to feature unique Canadian stories and experiences in the build-up to 2017.


Inbound travel to Canada from Japan
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2012 2012
Overnight trip to Canada (000's) 310.6 258.9 180.3 215.4 186 190
Year to year change -14.6% -16.7% -30.4% 19.5% -13.6% 2.2%
Receipts ($M) 402.3 356.1 270.9 330.10 307.3 312.0
Year to year change -18.5% -11.5% -24.0% 21.8% -6.9% 1.5%
Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.

Quick facts Read more > Close >

  • The Japanese economy experienced flat GDP growth in 2014 (0%), as economic reforms were implemented and its main markets slowed down, particularly China and Europe. (Source: Oxford Economics)
  • Amid a stalling economy and weak yen, outbound travel from Japan declined 5.7% in 2014.
  • Despite the decline of outbound travel, arrivals from Japan bounced back in 2014, up 14.9% to 258,500 visitors.
  • Japanese travellers spent an estimated $430 million in Canada in 2014, with an average spend per trip of $1,836 and trip duration of 15 nights.
  • Just under half (44.3%) of Japanese visitors to Canada travelled for pleasure and 28.3% to visit friends and relatives (VFR). 

Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.

Current trends and market considerations Read more > Close >

Despite earlier predictions that expected a significant decrease in outbound travel, the opposite has occurred. Since 2011, there has been a year-on-year increase of Japanese travellers, with some short-haul destinations enjoying record numbers in terms of growth. Although long-haul destinations did not see the same increases, the drop in visitor numbers was significantly less than originally anticipated, including those to Canada.

As a result of the tourism recovery process, some new trends have appeared:

  • The school group (school trips) market is growing. “Abenomics” tax rebates are being offered for study-abroad and school group programs.
  • Four-season experiential travel and culinary travel are expected to grow.
  • The Japanese traveller to Canada is younger than commonly thought: over 72% of arrivals in 2012 were under 55.
  • The FIT market is growing, with families and female travellers looking for more adventurous experiences.
  • Canada tends to attract young females who are well educated and engaged in the white-collar workforce. To see greater success in this market, Canada must broaden its appeal by emphasizing its scenic attributes, but also products that appeal to the broader market, namely historical and cultural attractions and urban activities.

Hikes in fuel surcharges remain a major concern for tour operators. While consumers have now begun to accept fuel surcharges as the norm, it plays a role in their selection of destinations (short haul vs. long haul).

Tour wholesalers have introduced tour products with extra nights for consumers who prefer longer summer holidays. So far, such demand proved limited among consumers.

Japanese travellers enjoy touring the country by coach or rail, interacting with locals and visiting historical or cultural attractions. Nature travel is highly rewarding for these travellers, who love to explore coastal scenery and rivers, as well as national parks and protected areas. However, Japanese travellers are—more than ever—interested in engaging closely and meaningfully with outdoor, cultural and lifestyle travel experiences in Canada. They want to get in on the action.

The Japanese are also changing their travel patterns, shifting from a preference for group-escorted tours to travelling alone or in parties of two adults. More Japanese travellers are also starting to use the Internet to book their vacations, particularly for short-haul destinations, although growth is also being seen for long-haul destinations.

To effectively compete with the desire for exotic and trendy destinations among younger Japanese travellers, Canada needs to promote a diverse range of compelling travel experiences.

Guided by the CTC corporate strategy, the Japan strategy focuses on high-yield travellers—consumers who spend more, stay longer and are less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.

Contact our team for more information.