France Marketing and Sales Programs
Our marketing and sales activities encourage French travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way, and to do it now versus later. Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, conduct travel-trade shows, bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences, our initiatives target three major audiences:
France’s 2013 consumer direct strategy is focused on integrated advertising campaigns over various media channels (such as print, online, SEO and social media) in partnerships with key provincial/territorial, city and small/medium-size tourism enterprises. Campaigns target France’s priority Explorer Quotient®(EQ®) segments, Free Spirits and Cultural History Buffs, who pose the best potential for conversion.
Our consumer direct strategy aligns with our travel trade and PR/media relations channels to optimize our influence across the various stages of the path to purchase. This strategy utilizes the latest research findings such as Global Tourism Watch and our 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.
The spring-summer consumer campaign took place early in 2013, and capitalized on the awareness generated from our 2012 Upgrade to Canada campaign by featuring iconic Canadian summer experiences. We used CTC’s global marketing platform for print and online ads, supported by our social-media channels. The campaign drove consumers to the partnered tour operator site for the advertised packages.
CTC-France’s autumn consumer campaign will run November/December to stimulate 2014 summer travel. The campaign will be based around branding, with other elements brought in to help consumers develop their itineraries. We will use dynamic, bespoke online content while the consumer website will focus on Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) partners. Social-media cultivation will bring additional traffic through Facebook and other social networks.
Throughout 2013 CTC-France is deploying quarterly e-newsletters to maintain, grow and engage the consumer database. The content consists of recent media stories, upcoming promotions and where appropriate, partner offers. CTC-France selects content based on its appeal to our priority EQ® target segments.
CTC-France trade development focuses on the retail and wholesale aspects of selling travel, both online and offline. We send a monthly e-newsletter to the active tour operator and travel agents from our database. The in-market team works with retail agencies (Nouvelles Frontières and PartirauxAmériques) to create dedicated newsletters, contests on social media (Equinoxiales), online Canada campaigns, window displays such as Thomas Cook, Selectour Afat Voyages, Carlson Wagonlit, plus Canada videos on digital screens located in travel agencies.
CTC-France worked with online agencies such as Opodo and Govoyages to develop dedicated microsites featuring Canada product offers and to feature the Canada Shared by Canadians video. We also partnered with B2B organizations such as Thomas Cook and Tourmag for roadshows in 11 different cities to educate the travel trade. During Q1 2013, CTC-France trained 262 agents.
Wholesale activities include destination/product-specific meetings with Canadian partners such as Coast Hotels, Travel Manitoba and Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) members from Manitoba and Hopewell Rocks. We initiated product updates and seminars, training sessions for reservations staff, and were instrumental in the joint development and financing of partner campaigns, including:
· Air Transat: Five 60-second radio clips featuring PAN Canada iconic experiences on National radio Nostalgie from February 25 to March 1.
· Vacances Transat: Canada ads in the Parisian metro, on the side panels of buses in Lyon and Marseille as well as ads in the traditional press.
· Destination Poudreuse: two journalists visited British Columbia to generate photos and videos that CTC-France can utilize.
· Maison des Etats-Unis et du Canada: a client event will take place with a pan-Canada conference in order to launch the Canada brochure and initiate summer sales. Seventy of its best clients are expected to attend the evening.
CTC-France attended the Canada Shared, Canada Squared event in London in late February to conduct meetings with partners.
During CTC President and CEO Michele McKenzie’s visit to France, CTC-France organized a lunch for key accounts with the Canadian Embassy that was held at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence. The event was co-hosted by Jean-Dominique Ieraci, Minister Counsellor, and Michele McKenzie.
Canada Specialist Program
Travel agents, tour operators and other travel influencers greatly impact where and how consumers travel. As of now, we have 449 fully accredited CSP agents, of which 100 were recruited through our ViaRail contest. The two trips for two from Toronto, ON, to Vancouver, BC, were won by Severine Thomann (E.Leclerc Voyages Saint-Ouen l’Aumone) and Géraldine Houver (Thomas Cook Boulogne). Our goal for 2013 is to have 500 CSP agents, which would represent 10% of the total French travel-agent community.
Participating travel agents are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Certified training programs and testing
- Conferences and seminars
- Familiarization (FAM) trips
- Tools and training manuals
- CSP website and e-newsletters
- Marketing and sales support
We partnered with Travel Manitoba on a CSP workshop with 20 travel agents attending a 90-minute breakfast session. The workshop was videotaped and interviews were conducted, the final footage will be posted on our CSP e-learning website in order to keep it dynamic.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
CTC-France assists the media with partnered press trips, media events and by hosting media on visits to Canadian destinations. Our strategy is to gain visibility in the French media by creating and building buzz. We send a quarterly e-newsletter to our media database and pitch targeted story ideas to media influencers. We translate one media story and one blog every week from the CTC’s Media Centre.
In Q1 2013, we organized two press trips. Vincent Gaudin from www.journaldutrek.com joined a press trip initiated by Tourism Yukon to attend the Yukon Quest and experience winter activities in the Yukon.Sabrina Bailleul from Télé7jours visited Montréal and Quebec City to report on winter activities in Quebec.
In Q1, CTC-France participated in the ADONET Press Day, a gathering where journalists and destination organizations developed press trips for 2013. CTC-France participated in the meeting in Montréal of the Congrès Mondial Acadien 2014(CMA), where future partnerships between Tourisme Québecand Tourism New Brunswick were discussed.
CTC-France attended the General Assembly of “Femmes du tourisme” followed by the awards ceremony to attribute the best tourism communication campaign. Tourism New Brunswick was nominated among the three finalists.
CTC-France attended the “Plumes d’Or” luncheon March 21, a gathering of journalists and destination organizations where one journalist is awarded the title of “Golden Pen.”
CTC-France took part in the New Brunswick lobster media dinner alongside 30 journalists.
Special media event/Public relations
CTC-France will host a table at the Travel d’Or Awards and invite our French key accounts.
Go Media Canada Marketplace
French media attend GoMedia Canada Marketplace, CTC'sannual media event where Canadian travel suppliers and destination marketing organizations exchange stories and ideas with international media. GoMedia, held annually in Canada and hosted by a different destination each year, takes place in Charlottetown, PEI, Sept. 8-12. The listing of French invitees has been forwarded.
|Inbound travel to Canada from France|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||351.2||360.9||359.4||404.5||388.2||408.1|
|Year to year change||4.8%||2.8%||-0.4%||12.6%||-4.0%||5.1%|
|Year to year change||15.4%||0.0%||3.0%||13.3%||-5.3%||1.6%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· Despite moderate GDP growth of 1.7% and a relatively high unemployment rate of 9.3%, overall French outbound travel grew by 2%. (Source: Oxford Economics, July)
· France, Canada’s second-largest overseas inbound market, registered a 3.4% increase in visits to Canada in 2011, rising to 421,800 trips. This increase was largely driven by pleasure travel as well as visits to friends and relatives, up 11% and 8.2% respectively.
· Pleasure travel accounted for 48% of all overnight arrivals from France.
· Spending by overnight French travellers rose 2% in 2011, reaching $537.7 million.
· French travellers stayed on average 16 nights in Canada, spending an average $1,275 per person-trip, a 1.3% decrease compared with 2010.
· A large proportion (45%) of French travellers chose to visit Canada during the summer months (July through September).
· Similar to previous years, French travellers reported shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives as their top activities.
· The majority of French travellers visited Quebec, reaching just over 330,000 visits, up 8.1% on 2010.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
Although Canada is seen as a safe and secure destination by French consumers and ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 dream destination year after year, the current economic situation is having a negative impact on the number of French travellers. The current French unemployment rate of 9.9% is the highest ever recorded, with more than three million French people unemployed.
The French travel industry is facing downsizing, mergers and bankruptcies, which in turn is creating great uncertainty for consumers.
The travel industry is struggling. During the period of Nov. 1, 2011 to Oct. 31, 2012, the Association de Tour-Opérateurs (CETO) reported long-haul trips down 4.1% and mid-haul destinations down 3.7%. Travel to the US is down 3% for packages but up 6.1% for flights only, indicating a trend towards the latter option. The outlook for 2013 is even worse: reservations so far for the period of Nov. 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013 are down by 10.3%.
Guided by CTC’s corporate strategy, France focuses on high-yield travellers in key geographic regions less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.
Market development activities
· BEC supported Tourisme Montréal on its FAM trip to Montréal for 15 buyers.
· BEC worked on an agency FAM trip to Montréal and Québec City(postponed to later in the year).
· BEC partnered with Tourism Torontof for Meedex.
· EIBTM follow-up: BEC sent an e-blast to 880 EIBTM buyers who opted to receive third-party information.
Current trends and market considerations
France's economy will grow a mere 0.1% in the first quarter of this year. The central bank maintained its forecast that the euro zone's second-biggest economy is dodging recession.
The bank's business confidence indicator for industry rose to 96 in February from 95 a month earlier, while the reading for services fell to 88 from 90 in January.
According to the Bank of France, business managers are predicting a stable level of industrial activity in March and a slight fall in the services sector.
Statistics office INSEE said in March that the French economy contracted by 0.3% in the last quarter of 2012. The European Commission expects France to barely grow this year, forecasting a 0.1% expansion.
Contact our team
201, rue Saint Honoré
sandra [dot] teakle [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Sandra Teakle)
daniel [dot] arnatsiaq [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Daniel Arnatsiaq)
Manager, Industry Relations
vanessa [dot] gomez [at] tourisme-synergique [dot] com (Vanessa Gomez)