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 2014 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.
CTC-France’s spring consumer campaign will run mid-February to late March across print and online platforms. This is a brand-centric campaign, with other elements to help consumers develop their itineraries. The Canada Shared creative will run via online video platforms to inspire and raise awareness while dynamic, bespoke online content will engage the audience, 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 spring campaign will include provincial and airline partners to further deepen the message to consumers and provide a platform for conversion.
A CTC-only campaign will follow in the autumn to maintain Canada’s profile in-market during the early bookings period via partnerships with leading publications and websites.
CTC-France deploys quarterly e-newsletters throughout the year to maintain, grow and engage the consumer database. The content consists of recent media stories, upcoming promotions and, where appropriate, partner offers. Content is selected based on its appeal to our priority EQ target segments. Newsletters are deployed in line with key travel planning and booking periods and campaign activity.
CTC-France trade development focuses on the retail and wholesale aspects of selling travel, both online and offline. We send a quarterly e-newsletter to the active tour operators and travel agents in our database. The in-market team works with retail agencies to create dedicated Canada newsletters, contests, online Canada campaigns and window displays, as well as the Canada Shared by Canadians video on digital screens in travel agencies.
CTC-France partnered with Selectour Afat, the first agency network in France (1,200 travel agencies) on a marketing campaign that included window displays featuring product from across Canada, which also ran on digital screens inside the agencies and on their websites from mid-October to mid-December.
We participated in Selectour Afat’s annual congress as well, hosting a two-hour workshop to educate the travel trade. We also sponsored its Christmas contest, offering a place in an upcoming FAM trip to Canada.
Late in 2013, CTC-France partnered with TUI France (293 travel agencies) on a marketing campaign that included placing a Canada totem pole inside the agencies that featured winter and summer Canada products.
CTC-France partnered the OTA Govoyages to produce a dedicated Canada webpage featuring Canada product offers, major Canadian attractions and the Canada Shared by Canadians video.
Elsewhere, CTC-France initiated product updates and seminars, training sessions for reservations staff, and was instrumental in the joint development and financing of partner campaigns.
· CTC-France educated Jetset sales representatives in a workshop dedicated to 2014 updates and presented the new CSE members.
· CTC-France partnered with Air Transat on a flyer that featured the airline and an introduction to Canada via a contest. Fifty-five thousand copies were distributed on French SNCF trains from Nov. 25-29. Five train stations also ran a major billboard display.
· CTC-France partnered with tour operator Vacances Transat to advertise Canada’s winter product in Parisian metro stations and Saint Lazare train station, as well as on the sides of buses in six provincial cities.
· CTC-France partnered with tour operator Destination Poudreuse, which specializes in heli-ski vacations, for a client event attended by 60 guests.
· CTC-France partnered with Aventuria for a client event dedicated to Canada at the reopening of its Marseille travel agency. An e-newsletter presenting the tour operator’s winter Canada packages was sent to its 61,000-strong client database after the event.
Canada Specialist Program
Travel agents, tour operators and other travel influencers greatly impact where and how consumers travel. As of now, we have 489 fully accredited Canada Specialist Program(CSP) agents. Our target is for 500 CSP agents by the end of 2013, which would surpass 10% of the total French travel-agent community. CTC-France has run two challenges to help us reach that goal.
The first challenge was exclusive to travel agents in the Selectour Afat agency network. It included a quiz on their intranet and our CSP e-learning module. The winner claimed a trip for two to Canada, choosing one of tour operator Voyamar’s winter products. The second challenge was open to the entire French travel agent community. Any agents who finished their CSP e-learning before the end of 2013 were entered to win a trip for two to Canada.
All travel agents participating in the CSP program 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
CTC-France partnered with Tourisme Québec for its Rendez-vous Quebec workshop on Dec. 10, inviting 100 travel agents to meet the organization’s 17 regional partners.
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 Q4 2013, CTC-France organized individual press trips to Yukon for Geo magazine and partnered with Destination Québec on several press trips. A TV crew also visited Newfoundland and Labrador for the travel TV show “Echappées Belles,” which featured the Gulf Stream route.
CTC-France’s representative attended TBEX Europe, held in Dublin, Ireland, in 2013 to learn about the latest trends on social media and its best practices on how to work and network with bloggers.
Special media events/PR
CTC-France and the tour operator Comptoir du Canada hosted a combined media and VIP event for 100 guests at Canadian singer Elizabeth Shepherd’s private concert at the Canadian Cultural Centre Dec. 12.
CTC-France partnered with the Chamber of Commerce France–Canada for its Christmas party at Hotel de la Marine. A 50-minute cross-Canada film ran continually on a screen and each of the 300 attendees received a brochure presenting our key account tour operators’ Canada packages and airline offers. CTC-France representative, Tourisme Québec, Tourism & Parks New-Brunswick and key account tour operators attended the event.
CTC-France participated in a youth campaign “Win one year in Canada and become a blogger for Le Parisien Etudiant.” The contest ran on Le Parisien Etudiant’s Facebook page and shared on partners’ social-media platforms. The 11 finalists, out of nearly 1,000 entrants, submitted a blog/video project to all partners who elected the winner, with the award ceremony held at the Canadian Cultural Centre. The winner, Leatitia Ropp, will move to Toronto,ON, in February for a year (with six months at Ilac Language school), and start a blog on Le Parisien Etudiant website.
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, will be held in Winnipeg, MB, Aug. 17-21.
|Inbound travel to Canada from France|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||359.4||404.5||388.2||408.1||422.4||422.8|
|Year to year change||-0.4%||12.6%||-4.0%||4.9%||3.5%||0.1%|
|Year to year change||3.0%||13.3%||-5.3%||2.7%||3.2%||-2.6%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· Despite flat GDP growth of 0% and a relatively high unemployment rate of 9.9%, overall French outbound travel increased 1.1% in 2012. (Source: Oxford Economics)
· France, Canada’s second-largest overseas inbound market, saw a 0.2% decline in arrivals to 421,000 trips in 2012. While business (-2.1%) and pleasure (-6.7%) travel declined, visiting friends and relatives traffic expanded 1.3% and travel for other purposes, including educational study, surged 46.5%.
· Spending by overnight French travellers declined 2.7% to $530 million, and spending per trip fell 2.5% to $1,260. The average trip duration increased to 16.7 days (+1.6%), while spending per night declined to $75 (-4.1%).
· A large proportion (45%) of French travellers chose to visit Canada during the summer months of Q3.
· The number of youth travellers 24 and under expanded 31.3% to 99,500, the highest number among overseas markets and surpassing the number of French travellers aged 25-34. Altogether, visitors under 35 represented 42.9% of arrivals, while those over 55 years of age represented 25.7% of the market. Compared with proportions of 23.6% and 44.5% for the US leisure market and 30.4% and 39.8% for the UK market, the average French traveller to Canada is younger than visitors from these countries.
· Similar to previous years, French travellers reported shopping, sightseeing and visiting friends and relatives as their top activities. Like their British counterparts, French travellers also attended more festivals and fairs (+24.2%) in 2012.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.
Canada ranks as the No. 1 or No. 2 dream destination forFrench consumers every year. Although the current economic and geopolitical situation in France is affecting many destinations, Canada is keeping up good visitor numbers. Despite downsizing, bankruptcies and a record 3.3 people million unemployed, the French are not ready to sacrifice their holidays.
Winter sales for Canada are down as the French are seeking warmth and sunshine during these difficult economic times. Canada remains a luxury destination for winter as it is the second vacation.
Tour operators are offering early reservation offers for 2014 summer packages in order to be in a position to implement better yield management.
The travel industry is currently undergoing massive restructuring in order to stay in business. By the end of 2013, TUI will have closed 26 travel agencies, Thomas Cook 23 agencies and Carlson Wagonlit by Havas 23 agencies. This will leave the total number of travel agencies in France at just over 4,000. Elsewhere, Air France/KLM is eliminating 2,800 positions, TUI 247 positions and Thomas Cook 172 positions.
Guided by CTC’s corporate strategy, the France strategy focuses on high-yield travellers in key geographic regions 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.
Contact our team for more information.
General Sales Agent – TOURISME SYNERGIQUE
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)