New to tourism

In today's competitive marketplace, tourism-focused businesses need to make every resource count and to clearly focus on what can set them apart from the competition. This is especially true in the travel industry where prospective travellers are deluged with offers and deals. And it's where Destination Canada can help make the difference.

If you're new to the tourism industry, you're in the right place. Destination Canada inspires domestic and international visitors to explore Canada, focusing on the extra-ordinary experiences this country has to offer. We have information, resources and tips to help you get started in tourism.


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Get to know your local destination marketing organizations.

Canada's tourism industry is a dynamic affiliation of public and private sector organizations ranging from small- to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to provincial marketing organizations (PMOs) to destination marketing organizations (DMOs). We also have a wealth of tourism industry and trade associations.

If you're starting out in tourism, your local destination marketing organization or regional marketing organization is your main point of contact with the rest of the tourism industry.

Let's say you're opening a new attraction in Vancouver. Tourism Vancouver can be a great source of insight and knowledge to help you establish yourself in the marketplace. Local convention and visitors bureaus are also great resources.

When your business is more established and export ready, regional marketing organizations can help you get involved in international media or trade familiarization (FAM) tours and promote your business through provincial marketing organizations, all of which work closely with Destination Canada.

If you don't know your regional marketing organization, contact your provincial or territorial marketing organization.

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Questions to ask before embarking on your new tourism venture.

You've come up with the idea for a perfect visitor experience. But you're not sure where to go from here. Here are just a few questions to consider:

  • Do you want a part-time business or a full-time tourism enterprise? Will it be you primary source of income or a supplement to other income?
  • Who are your key target markets? What do they expect in a travel experience?
  • Are there other similar products/experiences in your region? If so, what makes yours different?
  • Are you looking for domestic or international visitors?
  • What regions of Canada or the world will your customers be coming from? What do you know about these visitors and their travel interests?
  • How will your customers search for and purchase your type of travel experience (e.g. online searches, travel agents, national tour booking organizations)?
  • What unique stories in your region can be incorporated into your product to give visitors the strong connection to place they crave?
  • Does your product meet national quality standards?
  • What funding sources will you need to get your business up and running?
  • Does your idea effectively utilize your own skills and abilities?
  • Can you find personnel that have the expertise you lack?

Destination Canada has world-class research and intelligence resources to help you learn more about travel markets, consumer interests and travel motivations, and to stay on top of current travel trends. 

Get more information on developing your tourism experience by downloading Destination Canada's Experiences toolkit.

One of Destination Canada's latest marketing initiatives is the Explorer QuotientTM (EQ), an award-winning tool that uses an online quiz to go beyond traditional demographics to discover the values and motivation behind travel decisions. The results are divided into nine "Explorer Types," from Free Spirit to Cultural Explorer to Authentic Experiencer. Destination Canada is launching a series of kits to give businesses easy access to harness the power of EQ and serve up the experiences that travellers are most likely to buy.

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Resources for funding for your tourism business.

A number of federal government agencies and programs assist small businesses with funding support as well as creating business plans. They include:

Canada Small Business Financing Program (CSBP)

The CSBF Program, under the Canada Small Business Financing Act, can assist businesses in obtaining term loans and capital leases of up to $500,000 to help finance fixed asset needs. It does so by encouraging financial institutions and leasing companies to make their financing available to small businesses.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC is a federal Crown corporation providing a range of financial services for small- and medium-size businesses across.

Brand toolkit will give you a great introduction to our brand, and help you capture the look and feel of the brand in promoting your tourism business.

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Staying on top of tourism trends and industry news.

Stay current by subscribing Destination Canada NEWS for daily updates on Destination Canada research & statistics, marketing programs, tourism issues, industry trends and more.

Regular updates on story ideas can also be found on both the Destination Canada Media Centre website and Twitter

You can also sign up for newsletters through your provincial or territorial marketing organizations.

Other tourism industry links

Aboriginal Tourism Canada
Tourism Associations of British Columbia
Canada Revenue Agency
Canada Border Services Agency
Canadian Association of Tour Operators
Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council
Hotel Association of Canada
Industry Canada
Parks Canada
Statistics Canada
Tourism Industry Association of Canada
United Nations World Tourism Organization
World Tourism Organization