Canada was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) by China in June 2010, allowing the CTC and travel trade to actively market Canada directly to Chinese consumers. Since then, CTC-China has undertaken a variety of ongoing marketing activities that have increased the awareness of Canada in China and Chinese visitor numbers to Canada.
After successful consumer campaigns in 2011 and 2012 and the introduction of the new global marketing platform in spring 2012, CTC-China launched its 2013 spring/summer campaign. This tactical campaign uses CTC branded ads to accelerate consumers through the path to purchase, focusing on Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) partners in conjunction with selected key accounts and in partnership with Canadian provinces and territories.
CTC-China launched the sequel of “Canada, You can be a Star” in spring 2013. The focus is on creating awareness and interest in provinces and territories new to the China market, including unique CSE experiences likely to attract mature, high-yield independent travellers. The Travel Channel, which has a national viewing audience of 500 million-plus, will broadcast the show for 29 weeks starting in July 2013. A nationwide weekly travel magazine will publish each winner’s itinerary, while a featured Canada microsite on sina.com, the biggest digital presence in China, will showcase the stories of each trip taken by these influential bloggers. Specific Chinese travel agents will offer fully independent traveller (FIT) itineraries from those featured on the websites and TV programs.
Given the China market’s significant growth of interest in Canadian winter experiences, CTC-China has agreed to an exclusive partnership with the Nan Shan Ski Resort, one of the leading Chinese ski resorts located close to Beijing, to commence in November 2013. This will launch Canada as a premier ski and snowboarding destination through an integrated advertising and promotional consumer campaign and in cooperation with leading travel agencies selling and promoting winter programs.
CTC-China has merged its three previous websites to create one consumer website. Chinese consumers can visit our consumer website to get travel ideas, learn about Canadian destinations, view podcasts and read the Chinese e-brochure. There is also an option to explore Canada through various fully independent traveller (FIT) itineraries and group itineraries.
CTC-China’s travel-trade development focuses on the wholesale and retail aspects of selling travel. The China team conducts co-op advertising with our Canadian partners and 29 preferred agencies, organizes trade shows, conducts sales calls, organizes tour-operator and partner familiarization tours and conducts group or in-house training seminars in major cities in China. Tourism British Columbia, Travel Alberta, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Tourisme Québec have partnered in promotions to date.
CTC-China enlarged its preferred agency list to 34 after discussions with the Canadian Embassy and key players from Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou. The five newly added agencies are on a six-month probation period. The CTC and key partners worked with the preferred agency list on joint promotions in China in spring 2013.
Preferred agencies have a simplified visa application process. CTC-China has worked with provincial marketing organizations to do joint advertising with eight travel agencies, which will run from May to June 2013.
The Canadian Embassy started the Canada Interest Stream—Free Independent Traveller (CIS-FIT) program in April, which will provide improved service and turnaround times for FIT visa applications from the CTC preferred agencies. These agents will provide quality FIT itineraries, especially promoting the Canadian regions, provinces or territories new to Chinese travellers.
CTC-China has developed promotional plans and training seminars combined with Canada Specialist Program (CSP) promotions. Traffic from northern China and southern China to Canada increased from late June 2012 due to new thrice-weekly flights from Chengdu and Shenyang to Vancouver, BC. CTC-China is working with key agencies on new products for 2013, especially around FIT promotions and itineraries.
Summer air capacity from China to Canada reached 57 flights per week in 2012. There will be seven additional Air Canada direct flights from China to Vancouver, starting June 2013. Air China will also add additional flights to Vancouver in 2013. China Eastern will schedule three more flights from Shanghai to Vancouver, starting July 2013.
- Air Canada: 28 flights per week to Vancouver, BC, and Toronto, ON
- Air China: seven flights per week to Vancouver
- China Eastern: 11 flights per week to Vancouver
- Hainan Airlines: four flights per week to Toronto
- China Southern: five flights per week to Vancouver
- Sichuan Airlines: three flights per week to Vancouver
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program (CSP) provides online destination training for all frontline staff in China, plus a range of activities and promotions to keep Canada top of mind.
Participating travel agents are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Online training modules and exams with instant results
- Selling tools, including maps and posters
- Familiarization (FAM) trips
- Tools and training manuals
- Canada Specialist websites and e-newsletters
- Conferences and seminars.
The Canada Specialist Program (CSP) Level 2 in Chinese gives Chinese agents access to key information on tourism products. CSP training and promotions are included in the CTC activities to trade.
Trade shows 2013
- Rendez-vous Canada in Ottawa, May 12-15 with 50 Chinese delegates
- International Luxury Travel Market in Shanghai, June 3-6
- Beijing International Tourism Expo in Beijing, June 21-23
- Showcase Canada-Asia: Oct. 14-18 in Hangzhou with around 80 Chinese buyers
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
CTC-China assists Chinese media (including travel, high-end lifestyle, business and social media, plus major websites, newspapers and networks) with story ideas and travel assistance so that they can experience Canadian destinations first-hand. We conduct media familiarization (FAM) tours to various Canadian partner provinces and territories. We also host media lunches, conduct workshops and training in conjunction with partners, collate media clippings, plus offer media monitoring and quarterly e-newsletters.
CTC-China will hold a press event for the launch of the second phase of our “Canada, You can be a Star 2013” campaign for 80 key Chinese media.
|Inbound travel to Canada from China|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||113.2||139.0||150.8||158.7||159.5||193.3|
|Year to year change||18.7%||22.7%||8.5%||5.3%||0.4%||21.2%|
|Year to year change||28.3%||17.1%||0.5%||2.0%||-0.7%||21.5%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
- Chinese outbound departures increased to 67.4 million in 2011, a remarkable 17.5% year-on-year growth. (Source: Tourism Economics, July 2012)
- Despite China’s GDP expanding by 9.2%, the Chinese economy slowed, although it continued to outpace other economies. A combination of domestic policies and weaker international demand for goods made in China reduced growth.
- Since Canada gained ADS (Approved Destination Status) in June 2010, overnight arrivals to Canada have increased in spectacular fashion. In 2011, Chinese overnight arrivals reached 236,600 trips, a gain of 22.4% over 2010.
- China travellers injected $408 million into the Canadian economy in 2011, up 29.5% over 2010.
- In 2011, Chinese travellers spent on average $1,724 per person-trip and stayed on average 29 nights in Canada.
- Chinese tourists preferred to visit Canada during the summer months, with approximately 97,900 visitors arriving July through September 2011, a 28% increase over 2010.
- In 2011, 38% of overnight Chinese travellers headed to Canada for the main purpose of visiting friends and family, while 27% cited other reasons, which includes study and education-related travel.
- In 2011, the most popular activity among Chinese travellers while in Canada was shopping, followed by sightseeing and visiting friends or relatives.
- In 2011, British Columbia was the most popular Canadian destination, capturing 37% of all province visits, followed by Ontario (32%), Quebec (12%) and Alberta (10%).
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated. All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
Current trends and market considerations
China has huge tourism potential for Canada and the CTC is committed to succeed in this growing market. Guided by the overall CTC corporate strategy, we are moving forward with robust and innovative marketing plans. Our existing strategy in China involves developing and maintaining strong business and personal relationships with the leading wholesale and retail travel agencies in key market regions and cities across China.
Media and PR activities play a crucial role in reaching Chinese consumers, while developing the growing FIT and Meetings, Conventions and Incentive Travel (MC&IT) market is another key strategy.
Group traffic volume continues to grow. Chinese travellers are more affluent, experienced and confident with good English skills; they’re looking for experiences other than standard group products. There has also been growth in the number of FIT (fully independent travellers) or semi-FIT travellers to Canada.
Canada has strong competition from other long-haul destinations, including the US, Australia, UK and European countries. Canada’s visa application processing time extended from five working days to two weeks to nearly two months during the summer of 2012, which had a negative impact on the market. Many groups to Canada have been forced to change their destinations due to long delays in obtaining Canadian visas.
Contact our team for more information.
Contact our team for more information.