Our marketing and sales programs are developed to move the consumer along the path to purchase and to book travel to Canada now by delivering new, unique and compelling travel experiences.Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, attend travel-trade shows or bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories, our initiatives target three major audiences.
The UK’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 employ a mix of paid search, paid digital media, native advertising, content partnerships and social integration channels to reach new audiences and to enhance and maintain our relationship with engaged users. Our consumer-direct strategy is aligned with our travel trade, PR/media relations channels and social channels to optimize our influence across the various stages of the path to purchase.
Destination Canada targets the UK’s priority Explorer Quotient® (EQ) types—Free Spirits and Authentic Experiencers—who present 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-UK trade development targets wholesalers, online/direct-sell operators, retail travel trade and home workers.
We collaborate with tour operators to develop innovative marketing programs and promotions to increase the profile of Canada and incorporate EQ-friendly product. We also support trade familiarization (FAM) trips and manage the Canada Specialist Program (CSP) to provide the trade with effective tools to sell Canada.
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program provides online destination training for all frontline staff in the UK plus a variety of activities and promotions to keep Canada top of mind.
Participating frontline staff members are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Online training modules and exams with instant results
- Official certificate
- Selling tools, including branded display materials
- FAM trips and invitations to training events
- Training manuals
- Quarterly e-newsletters
- Discounted rates for travel to Canada.
Destination Canada-UK also plans exclusive promotions with tour operators aimed at Canada Specialists.
Every year we bring groups of UK buyers to Rendez-vous Canada to expand their Canada travel program and experiential products. Destination Canada-UK is also responsible for organizing Canada’s strong presence at the World Travel Market trade show.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
Destination Canada-UK assists the media with partnered press trips, media events and media hosting on visits to extraordinary Canadian destinations. Our strategy is to gain visibility in the UK media by staging partnered media events and pitching targeted story ideas to media influencers.
Explore Canada Visiting Journalist Program
Destination Canada is supporting a number of group trips in 2015 in partnership with the provinces. Journalists will be experiencing Niagara icewines; travelling from Vancouver to Yukon; canoeing in Ontario in the fall; watching the opening England vs. France FIFA game in New Brunswick; plus cruising with Cunard in Nova Scotia. We are also supporting trips by freelancers representing a variety of titles such as The Financial Times, The Observer and Scotland on Sunday to see polar bears in Churchill, MB, plus experience small ship cruises in BC and Arctic cruises in Canada’s Far North.
UK media events
In March 2015 Destination Canada worked with the provinces to showcase Canada at the Travmedia International Media Marketplace, securing appointments with approximately 20 UK media to pitch Canada story ideas. March also saw us host the Guild of British Food writers, where a food blogger spoke about her Atlantic Canadian food experiences of 2014 and showcased recipes from her travels. Key writers were also recognized for their excellence in writing at this year’s British Annual Canada Travel Awards with Phoebe Smith of Wanderlust winning the award for best Canada Travel Article 2014.
Also in March, a group of select writers were introduced to Ryan Harris, the Parks Canada marine archaeologist behind the locating of Franklin’s ship last year, at a private lunch at the Royal Geographical Society. The lunch served to showcase and generate interest in Canadian Arctic cruise products .
Destination Canada, Travel Alberta and Destination British Columbia will host a small group of British ski and snowboard writers at a summer lunch at Canada House to pitch and secure upcoming 2015/16 ski/board stories.
We will continue to invite travel media to join the Canadians at World Travel Market in November, the premier global event for the travel industry. In 2014, Destination Canada hosted a specific media event for bloggers on the Wednesday evening of WTM, which was well attended by recognized, qualified and new bloggers. We are currently reviewing plans for 2015.
These networking events help maintain and develop media relationships and position Canada top of mind.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
GoMedia is held annually in Canada and is hosted by a different destination each year. In 2015, GoMedia Canada Marketplace will be held in Penticton, BC, attended by a mix of newspapers, magazines, freelancers and social-media reps. The Destination Canada London office is currently recruiting approximately 10 UK media to attend this event.
We continue to engage with travel bloggers. We saw excellent results from earlier investments in building blogger relationships, measured by the number of quality UK bloggers who took part in blogger projects in 2013 and 2014. In March 2015, Destination Canada supported the Travel Blogging Event, Traverse, running an onsite competition to generate engagement with visiting bloggers. Over 20 new contacts were established. We partnered with a new blogger consortia to host four bloggers in two bear-watching lodges in BC in early spring; content will be seeded out from June to December. This project will serve as a case study for future key learnings on blogger activity. We are also hosting two members of an Expedia #MustLoveFestivals project to Ontario/Quebec and Alberta/BC to experience a variety of Canadian festivals to seed the #MustloveFestivals project with Canada content.
Destination Canada-UK continues to work with UK trade publications and supports Canada editorial with advertorial features, including two “How to Sell Canada” guides published with Selling Travel. The first was published in early April and can be viewed at sellingtravel.co.uk/magazines; the second is due in early November.
We ensure that there are regular Canada round-ups of news throughout the year in other trade publications such as ABTA magazine, Scottish Travel News (STAN), Travel Trade Gazette, Travel Weekly and the online distributor Travelmole. We focus on agent news, such as the road shows, Mega FAM and booking incentives.
We hosted two travel-trade writers at Rendez-vous Canada in Niagara Falls this past May, from Selling Long Haul and Travel Trade Gazette.
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 the United Kingdom|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||893.9||836.9||685.7||660.9||622.8||597|
|Year to year change||6.2%||-6.4%||-18.1%||-3.6%||-5.8%||-4.1%|
|Year to year change||6.9%||-3.5%||-24.5%||-9.3%||-1.9%||-1.4%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
- The UK is Canada’s largest inbound overseas market. However, the Eurozone debt crisis in 2011 and the UK’s fragile economic performance of 0.2% GDP growth continues to have a significant impact on consumer confidence and outbound travel demand. (Source: Oxford Economics)
- In 2012, the number of UK overnight visitors to Canada fell 4.1% to 597,000 trips. The largest drop came from travel for other purposes, followed by business travel. Pleasure travel and those visiting friends and relatives represent 79% of all UK arrivals to Canada.
- Arrivals during Q1 (+0.2%) and Q4 (+0.1%) held steady, but declined in Q2 (-10%) and Q3 (-3.3%), which are when two-thirds of UK visitors choose to travel to Canada.
- Total overnight spending by UK visitors contracted 1.4% to $784.5 million, while the average spend per trip increased 2.8% to $1,314. UK visitors stayed longer (13.9 nights, +2.7%) but kept spending per night constant ($94, +0.1%).
- Though travellers aged 55 and over represented the largest segment (40%) of all visitors in 2011, their numbers declined 11.8% in 2012. The youth travel market (24 and under) saw a 29.5% increase in arrivals.
- In 2012, Ontario and British Columbia remained the most popular destinations among UK visitors, followed by Alberta and Quebec.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
During a Canadian holiday, British visitors want to experience the Canadian way of life, see Canada’s unique cultural attractions, try soft-adventure activities and socialize with Canada’s friendly people.
Canada offers a sense of familiarity, along with a beautiful natural setting and a unique balance of city and nature experiences. Still, Canada remains a "someday destination" for many British travellers. By further evoking Canada’s authentic and extraordinary travel experiences, the Destination Canada is inspiring British travellers to visit Canada now.
Guided by Destination Canada’s corporate strategy, the UK strategy focuses on high-yield travellers: consumers who spend more, stay longer and are 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.
Canadian Tourism Commission
15 Bermondsey Square
London SE1 3UN
· peters [dot] rupert [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Rupert Peters)
Regional Managing Director, Core Markets
· hawes [dot] paul [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Paul Hawes)
Marketing Manager, Core Markets
· hanmer [dot] adam [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Adam Hanmer)
Manager, Travel Trade
· singh [dot] nim [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Nim Singh)
Manager, Media & Public Relations
· salt [dot] cat [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Catherine Salt)
Marketing Specialist, Core Markets