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.
The 2014 planning cycle commenced mid-2013. Briefings for 2014 campaigns will take place after the publication of the Global Sales, Marketing and Communications Plan in September. Details of partner opportunities will be available late fall. We plan to launch activity for spring 2014 in January.
Throughout 2013 CTC-France has deployed 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 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 IFTM-Top Résa for its destination workshops to educate the travel trade (four 30-minute sessions with 60 participants each time) and the first edition of the Travel Agent Cup. During Q3 2013, CTC-France trained a total of 240 agents.
We initiated product updates and seminars, training sessions for reservations staff and were instrumental in the joint development and financing of partner campaigns.
· Philippe Bechon, General Manager France Transat Group, participated in the annual ambassador event in Quebec in July.
Canada Specialist Program
Travel agents, tour operators and other travel influencers greatly impact where and how consumers travel. As of now, we have 456 fully accredited Canada Specialist Program(CSP) agents. 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
CTC-France organized and escorted a British Columbia/Alberta FAM trip with 10 key agents and sales representatives (representing eight tour operators) and one travel-trade journalist from Le Quotidien du Tourisme. They enjoyed several Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE), including the Cliffwalk, Peak-2-Peak Gondola, Jasper Motorcycle Tours and Calgary Stampede.
Two Canada Specialist Program agents won a trip to Canada following a CSP/ViaRail contest. They travelled via train from Toronto, ON, to Vancouver, BC, with stops in Jasper and Banff-Lake Louise, AB,crossing to Victoria and Tofino afterwards.
CTC-France worked on a global Canada Specialist Program mega FAM trip. A total of 203 travel agents took part, including 31 French CSP agents, who visited Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, British Columbia and Yukon prior to a final gathering and workshop session in Niagara Falls. Three major French travel-trade media covered the event.
- Eight tour operators attended this year’sRendez-vous Canada, as well as one travel-trade journalist, who produced an article dedicated to the marketplace and another on Canada itself. As part of the show, CTC-France organized a night event for its partners on Vancouver Island.
- CTC-France took a 152 m² (1,636 sq-ft) booth at IFTM - Top Resa to accommodate 21 partners from New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, Yukon and Northwest Territories. The lounge was sponsored by Air Canada, with pancakes cooked on site by Pierre Faucher of Sucrerie de la Montagne. Air Transat co-sponsored the photo animation with Parks Canada.
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 Q2 2013, we organized four individual press trips and one VIP group press trip:
· Le pointmagazine:Christophe Migeon’s VIARail journey from Toronto, ON, to Vancouver, BC resulted in a four-page article about the cities and the train journey.
· Geo magazine: Béatrice Leproux’s trip to Yukon resulted in an 11-page article about the territory.
· Marie-France magazine: Annette Vezin’s trip to Toronto, ON, resulted in a six-page article titled a “48-hour stop in the city of Toronto.”
· www.voyagerpratique.com and Radio RCF: Dominique Krauskopf and Waltraud Riegler’s trip to Yukon resulted in web articles and three 27-minute radio sessions that featured Whitehorse and Dawson.
· A press trip is organized for four journalists to Quebec, New Brunswick and the state of Maine to familiarize them with the World Acadian Congress taking place in 2014.
Special media events/Public relations
CTC-France and Canadian partners Destination Quebec and Tourism New Brunswick hosted one final training session for the 6.7-km all-female race La Parisienne. The session was followed by a relationship-building dinner. The race took place Sept. 15 with more than 40 participants.
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, took place in Charlottetown, PEI, Sept. 8-12. CTC-France invited four media to the 2013 marketplace, with three taking part in pre- and post-marketplace FAM trips to Nova Scotia and Manitoba. GoMedia 2014 will be held in Winnipeg, MB, Aug. 17-21.
|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 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 economical 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.
Tour operators are reporting an increase in fly/drive vacations and a decrease in escorted tours, while airlines are reporting good load factors for the summer season with higher yields.
Traditional agency bookings are made at an earlier stage than online bookings, which appeal to last-minute travellers who are not necessarily looking for a better deal but can’t book vacations due to the prevailing uncertainty in the market.
More online agencies are opening storefronts to meet with their clients face to face.
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.
Market development activities
· BEC organized Incentive Canada 2013 Aug. 16-19. The host destination was Kelowna, BC, showcasing Canada to international buyers with an intense program of four days of meetings. Nine European MC&T buyers attended, including one from France and one from Switzerland. The general consensus among participants was very positive with two new leads confirmed immediately and others in progress.
· BEC organized a post-event extension with several participants to Vancouver, BC, in cooperation with Tourism Vancouverand participating hotels.
· BEC exhibited at the UK Meeting Show, July 9-11 at London Olympia. This was a first edition attended by 3,693 industry professionals. French buyers attended pre- scheduled meetings, which generated several leads.
· BEC hosted the HelmsBriscoe European meeting in London in July. Forty HelmsBriscoe representatives enjoyed a personalized red bus transfer, destination presentation and networking.
· BEC organized a trip for the 2012 EIBTM Canada trip prize winner to Vancouver and Vancouver Island in September.
· BEC is organizing a meeting with Global Cynergies at EIBTM in Barcelona. Global Cynergies is proudly celebrating its fifth anniversary in November and will be present at the Spanish show with a group of 50 worldwide representatives including some from France.
· BEC provided marketing material, maps and brochures for the Trajectoire participants to the AAO HNSF Congress from Sept. 28-Oct. 2 in Vancouver, BC.
· BEC organized a Canada Annual Event in Brussels on Sept. 17 with 60 buyers and partners. The fun theme of the evening, a TV quiz show, updated guests on their knowledge of Canada.
Current trends and market considerations
The current study of the European incentive and motivational travel market found that:
· Tourism consumer spending generates €278.3 billion, with 87% coming from domestic tourists.
· Conferences and conventions account for 24% of all business travel, with Germany heading the overall expenditures.
· Banks and insurance companies generate 20% of the events, followed by the pharmaceutical, medical and chemical industries with 16.3% of the overall business.
· Forty per cent of budgets have increased significantly, especially for medium- to large-sized events.
Incentive trips last on average 3.2 days. No planner from the pharmaceutical segment has incentives that last longer than three days. (Source: Pharmaceutical Codex)
Searching for providers and suppliers is also changing, with organizers preferring hotel portals and convention bureaus when searching for MC&IT offers.
Social networks have now entered offices, with 56% using it for work.
The French Events Barometer reveals:
· The event industry has an estimated annual turnover of €2.4 billion.
· There are approximately 600 event production companies in France, which directly employ 6,500 people.
· French clients account for 85% of all meetings.
· Paris Ile-de-France is the main destination with 55% of overall business.
· Only 12% of events have more than 500 participants.
· Trust is the No. 1 criteria for clients to appoint an event agency, followed by price.
· Over the past 12 months, corporate clients have requested on average three quotes from four different agencies each time.
· The French economy is a big concern in the event industry.
· Heavy taxation and rising unemployment are challenges for all those in the French MC&IT industry.
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)