Our marketing and sales programs invite Australian travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way. Our integrated advertising partnership programs—focusing on ski travel, fully independent travel (FIT) and group travel—are the cornerstones of all major activities in Australia. These programs focus on raising awareness of Canada as a desirable destination, driving the consumer to book Canada now.
Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, conduct travel-trade shows or bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences, our initiatives target three key audiences:
Australia’s 2014 consumer direct strategy is focused on integrated advertising campaigns over various media channels (such as print, cinema, online, SEO and social media) in partnerships with key provincial/territorial, city and small/medium-size tourism enterprises. Campaigns target Australia’s priority Explorer Quotient®(EQ) segments—Free Spirits and Social Samplers—who pose the best potential for conversion.
Our consumer direct strategy aligns with our travel-trade and PR/media relations channels to optimize influence across the various stages of the path to purchase. This strategy utilizes the latest research findings, such as Global Tourism Watch and the 2012 conversion study. Insights from both CTC in-market teams and key industry partners aid media and channel planning to ensure we optimize our conversion prospects.
CTC-Australia’s main consumer campaign will run from September to October across print, online and platforms to distribute broadcast assets and generate engagement. This campaign will be open to partner participation, details of which will be distributed early summer. The brand elements of the campaign will feature the Canada Shared creative in cinema and online video platforms to inspire and raise awareness. Dynamic, online content will drive response, and the consumer website will focus on Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) and trip ideas. Social-media cultivation will bring additional traffic through Facebook and other social networks. The campaign will be supported by a range of tactical call to actions, provided by selected key account tour operators, to provide the consumer with a clear route to purchase. These campaign packages will also be communicated to the Australian consumer e-mail database via a focussed e-mail blast.
CTC-Australia's trade development focuses on the wholesale aspects of selling travel. Our team in Australia organizes trade shows, makes sales calls, coordinates tour operator and partner familiarization (FAM) trips and conducts training under the Canada Specialist Program. We ensure travel agents—from elite Canada Specialist agents to those with a general interest in Canada—have access to the training tools they need to learn about and share all that Canada has to offer.
Additional work is done to educate the local fully independent travel (FIT) wholesalers and group tour operators to ensure that the reservation teams and outside sales staff are up to date on Canada's products, regions and experiences. The Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) program has been introduced to key wholesaler partners with excellent early feedback and enthusiasm. We are working with these partners to include CSE members in co-op marketing campaigns. One example of this is the Canada Sales Manual we have developed with Rail Plus. It is a travel agent tool that gives agents vital information to help them sell Canada better, with a focus on the CSE program.
We are planning a product managers’ FAM trip, with a CSE focus, to British Columbia and Alberta in September 2014. Targeting at least three key accounts, we will partner with Destination British Columbia and Travel Alberta to pull this together.
Ski wholesalers are an independent segment and deliver a large number of visitors to Canada. Work with this group of dedicated operators goes on year-round, ensuring a steady flow of relevant information, contacts and advertising support that is resulting in growing traffic to Canada. Whistler, BC, now advises that Australian key account Ski Max is the largest wholesaler in terms of business to Whistler in the world. The resort also advise that Australia as a market is about to surpass the UK as its largest international market.
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program (CSP) helps educate travel agents and wholesale reservation staff on the unique range of Canada's experiential products available to the Australian consumer.
Participating travel agents are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Webinars (online Canada presentations)
- Canada Specialist websites and e-updates
- Consumer leads through agency details listed on CTC websites
- Canada window displays
- CSP members-only incentives
- Chance to be selected for group FAM trips
- Independent FAM trip rates
- Assistance with Canadian seminars for Canadian partners as well as sales calls upon request
- Regular e-newsletters
- Certified web-based training program
- Exclusive travel agent rates for Canadian partners such as hotels and attractions
- CSP logo for use in e-mail auto signature for certified Canada Specialists
- Publication of contact details on CTC’s consumer site
CTC-Australia also collaborates with tour operators to develop promotions exclusive to Canada Specialists.
CTC-Australia's public relations and media activities showcase Canada as a compelling, four-season destination to Australian journalists. We invite media reps to attend events at the beginning of each year (such as the Corroboree media lunch) to hear about new Canadian products, destinations and experiences. Alongside these events, FAM trips are organized for media to experience Canada's products firsthand.
The focus of CTC-Australia's public relations and media activity is to build strong and lasting relationships with media nationally in Australia and to grow awareness of Canada as a must-visit destinationfor consumers.
Independent FAM trips
CTC-Australia focuses on independent FAM trips as opposed to group FAMs that include, where possible, Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) businesses and new developing regions. Iconic products and destinations are used to introduce new products. We create a pitch document that is presented to travel and magazine editors in the hope that they will commission a writer to travel to and cover a Canada story. We anticipate taking between 40 to 50 individual journalists to Canada in 2014, who will visit many Canadian provinces and territories.
We are currently negotiating two television shows. One will be shot in British Columbia, Alberta and Yukon in late July, while the other took place in late May and early June, again in BC and Alberta. This medium is a key sales tool for creating awareness for a destination. Past TV shoots—such as last year’s “Australian Today Show,” which ran live starting in Lake Louise, then Banff, then Whistler and Vancouver before finishing in Victoria, reaped strong sales and forward travel bookings for 2014 and 2015.
An Australian blogger travelled to BC and Alberta to participate in and write about Canada’s varied themed experiences, including food, adventure and city experiences.
Australian Instagrammers took part in a FAM trip to Northwest Territories, Alberta and Quebecin the first quarter of 2014 to increase the visual presence of these provinces in the Australian market. We will continue to cultivate blogger and Instagram FAMs during the third and fourth quarters of 2014.
A non-traditional partnership with Blackwolf and Vigilante will see the company running a competition for consumers purchasing products and opting in for a chance to win a trip to Canada. The companies’ catalogues (one 86 pages and one online) are being shot in Canada and will introduce consumers to the Canadian wilderness plus activities available in these remote areas. Canadian destinations will be featured in company catalogues, in-store promotions, clothing tags, banner and TV advertising and online and social-media activities. A selection of photographs will be given to the CTC to integrate into our Brand Canada Library.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
GoMedia is held annually in Canada and is hosted by a different destination each year. GoMedia Canada Marketplace 2014 will be held in Winnipeg, MB, Aug. 17-21 and we are working on selecting eight journalists from Australia to attend.
Australian media website and newsletter
Australian media gather Canada information from CTC’s Media Centre. The site offers a huge variety of story ideas, itineraries, celebrity spots, media releases and news from all over Canada. CTC-Australia sends an e-newsletter six times a year to key Australian media highlighting significant products, seasons and events in Canada.
In February of each year, CTC-Australia hosts two media events during Corroboree, one in Sydney and one in Melbourne, to share our stories for the coming year and to determine which media are keen to travel to Canada over the next 10 months.
|Inbound travel to Canada from Australia|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||207.7||219.3||188.1||202.2||215.9||219.4|
|Year to year change||16.7%||5.6%||-14.2%||7.5%||6.8%||1.6%|
|Year to year change||15.9%||10.3%||-12.3%||13.0%||11.0%||9.3%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada. Note: *Compared to preliminary 2009 estimate Quick Facts.|
- Australia posted GDP growth of 3.3% in 2012, a quicker pace than in recent years. The boom in outbound travel by Australians continued through 2012, supported by the strong Australian dollar. (Source: Oxford Economics)
- Australians took 8.2 million outbound trips in 2012, a 5.4% increase over 2011. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)
- There were 219,400 overnight trips to Canada from Australia in 2012, up 1.6% from 2011.
- Australian travellers injected $393million into the Canadian economy in 2012, a 0.3% improvement on 2011.
- In 2012, Australian travellers spent on average $1,791 per person-trip; the average stay was 15.6 nights.
- Travellers 34 years of age or younger accounted for 27% of Australian overnight visitors to Canada, while the proportion of those aged 55 and over tumbled 10 percentage points to 37%.
- In 2012, British Columbia (+0.9%) remained the most popular province among Australian travellers, while Ontario (-8.3%) and Alberta (-22.1%) declined.
All sources: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.
Guided by the CTC corporate strategy, the Australia strategy focuses on high-yield travellers—consumers who spend more, stay longer and are less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.
Some 48% of all visits to Canada from Australia include a side trip to the US during the journey. An additional 29% of travellers visit Europe and Canada in one trip—opening the door for the creation of dual nation vacations.
Work is being done to match Canadian travel experiences to the growing interest in fully independent travel (FIT) and fly/drive products. This is being done through the Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE)program and incorporating these experiences into co-op marketing campaigns with key wholesaler partners. In addition, as more Australian travellers classify themselves as adventurous, Canadian tourism businesses can tap into the growing adventure-travel market. Australians are also keen skiers, with many travelling to ski resorts in western Canada.
As FIT travel continues to grow, there is an opportunity to capitalize on this niche segment by developing packages that focus on experiencing Canadian nature—both as an observer (for the less active) and via soft adventure. Interest in lifestyle/experiential travel continues to grow, with food and wine, spa, culture and soft adventure all ranking as preferred activities.
Australians over 55 years of age enjoy travelling at a less strenuous pace, and their journeys involve a blend of nature, sightseeing, cruise and rail vacations, the magnificent Rockies plus other dramatic landscapes and unique attractions. Travellers of all ages are signing up for responsible tourism projects.
Winter non-ski and “White Christmas” products are making a comeback in the market with FIT and group programs being offered.
General Sales Agent
D.C. & Associates Worldwide
Contact: donna [at] dcaworldwide [dot] com (Donna Campbell)
Nathan [at] dcaworldwide [dot] com (Nathan McLoughlin)
Account Director – Trade, Australia