Marketing and sales programs
The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) works to promote Canada as a four-season destination to the travel trade in India through joint marketing initiatives, travel-agent training, sales activities and organized visits to experience Canada first-hand.
In 2012, we connected with consumers, trade and media in different ways. The concept of Canada as a vacation destination is relatively new in India, but the market grows every year. In 2012, India overnight arrivals directly into Canada rose 5% to surpass 163,000.
India's importance in global tourism is widely accepted, and Canada has captured a greater share of the India long-haul outbound market over the past two years. Canada has a diverse and unique set of experiences that has helped to lure high-yield travellers amid stiff competition. Indian travellers view Canada with great interest as a new vista to explore.
With 17% of the world’s population (and a median age of 25 years), India is ranked as one of the top five countries for potential outbound travel. Its growing and affluent middle class has a desire to travel, especially to new destinations like Canada.
According to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute(MGI), if India continues on its current high-growth path, the Indian market will undergo a major transformation over the next 13 years. Income levels will almost triple and India will climb from its current position as the world’s 12th-largest consumer market to the fifth largest by 2025. India's middle class will swell more than 10 times from its current size of 50 million to 583 million people. By 2025 more than 23 million Indians will be among the country's wealthiest citizens.
CTC introduced winter holidays through select travel-agent partners for the first time in 2011. This produced year-on-year upticks in numbers in November and December 2011 of 25.3% and 29.3% respectively. We continued with that strategy in 2012, promoting Canada as a desirable winter destination through winter activities via co-op and travel-trade media advertising, and in ads placed in consumer lifestyle publications.
CTC-India has brochures packed with travel information and images that are given to consumers at our trade shows and are also available on request. Consumers at the 2013 Outbound Travel Mart in February in Delhi and Mumbai were eager to get hold of copies.
In 2013, we are using various social-media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to build advocacy tocreate a buzz about travelling to Canada.
CTC-India sends regular e-newsletters to consumers and the travel trade, educating them about different aspects of Canada such as festivals or seasons. The strategy is continuing this year. In Q1 2013, our e-newsletters included information around obtaining a visa to Canada, which resulted in many positive responses and numerous queries via calls and e-mails. In April, we also launched a search engine marketing campaign (SEM), designed to create awareness of the experiences Canada has to offer and to give Indian consumers more information on Canada while they are researching the country.
Since market launch in 2009, we have increased awareness of Canada in Mumbai and New Delhi as well as other cities. Now virtually all leading tour operators in India now carry Canada standalone tour products.
Travel agents play an extremely important role in the decision-making and booking process. Pre-planned annual holidays are fast becoming the norm (as opposed to last-minute decisions), as is the move from group travel to independent travel.
Outbound Travel Mart
CTC-India had a large pavilion at 2013’s Outbound Travel Mart in Mumbai and New Delhi. The space was shared with travel agents offering specially created products and tours to customers. Two Canadian Signature Experiences were on display at the pavilion: Polar Bears by Tundra Buggy (Frontiers North) and Yukon Aurora Tours (Northern Tales Travel Services).
The CTC pavilion was the centre of attraction at the shows in both cities and claimed two awards: Best Print Promotion in Mumbai and Most Innovative Booth in Delhi.
Focus Canada-India Marketplace 2013
This year’s Focus Canada-India Marketplace took place at the Fairmont Jaipur in Rajasthan with 44 seller organizations and 53 Indian buyer organizations. The format included briefings to buyers and sellers on the first day and B2B meetings on the second and third days. An evening of elephant polo and a dinner at an old fort complemented the networking opportunities.
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Canada’s Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, attended the show along with Michele McKenzie, CTC president and CEO. Also present were Stewart Beck, High Commissioner of Canada, Sidney Frank, Minister and Immigration Program Manager, Canadian High Commission and Siobhan Chretien, CTC regional managing director, Emerging Markets.
The event created an opportunity for Indian outbound agents to meet their Canadian counterparts, to build relationships and to share market intelligence. Focus Canada-India boosted awareness of Canada as a premier four-season destination. The post-marketplace survey results were excellent: 91% of sellers said they would attend the show again and the overall satisfaction with the B2B meetings was 99%.
Rendez-vous Canada(RVC) is Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace and led by the CTC. Fifteen Indian buyer companies attended this year’s event at theOttawa Convention Centrein Ottawa,ON, as well as one travel-trade journalist.
RVCis held annually in a different Canadian city, gathering some 1,500 international tourism industry leaders for a series of speed dating-style appointments. International buyers seek the best-matched Canadian tourism sellers. The end result: travellers get to choose from a top selection of Canadian experiences. Next year’s marketplace will take place May 27-30 at the Vancouver Convention Centre, BC.
In 2013, Showcase Canada-Asiawill be held in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 14-18, to which we expect to take approximately 20 Indian travel-trade partners. The show also has buyers from Japan, South Korea and China, who will meet with more than 100 Canadian sellers.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
We have been involved in joint advertising campaigns with leading travel agents. In Q2 2013, we targeted the peak summer season in Canada.
CTC-India supports ads in mainstream publications in conjunction with agents, with costs split 50/50. Extensive advertising was done in Q1 and Q2 2013 promoting all four seasons in Canada. Since 80% of consumer transactions are through agents, these ads have real impact on the India market.
Destination education programs
The CTC conducts periodic education seminars for the travel trade to make them aware of Canada as an extraordinary destination. These include training seminars and educating front-line staff who are the first point of contact at agencies. We share presentations, videos and print literature with them.
CTC-India conducted these training sessions in conjunction with provincial partners in Mumbai on Feb. 22 and in Delhi on Feb. 25. Our provincial and territorial partners also trained frontline staff through presentations and interactive sessions, with prizes at the end of each one to add to the excitement for attendees.
Training and sales in Tier II cities
As per our strategy of targeting smaller cities in India to expand our network, CTC-India organized training in Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata in December 2012, which attracted more than 300 agents to the three cities.
These sessions were successful and created a huge buzz in these markets. Before the training itself, the CTC-India team spent time conducting visits to travel agents, the interest was outstanding. The training ended with a quiz and prizes for the winners that included goodie bags, icewines and two tickets to Canada.
We also distributed a Canada Specialist Program(CSP) flyer promoting CSP, encouraging agents to register and complete Level 2.
CTC-India has also undertaken a sales blitz in Tier II cities, which include Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkatta, Ahmadabad, Pune and Lucknow. Feedback from these cities has been enthusiastic. More newer growth cities will be in the spotlight during the remainder of this year.
Canada Specialist Program
With more than 80% of outbound travel being routed through travel agents, educating them on Canada is of great importance. The Canada Specialist Program(CSP) Level 2 was launched in July 2010. Today the number of enrolled agents stands at 4,522, with 2,086 certified as Canada Specialists. We aim to incentivize agents to aggressively increase these numbers.
CTC-India has advertised the CSP extensively through e-newsletters, flyers, workshops and travel-trade media ads to boost enrollment and increase knowledge of Canada.
We have given Indian travel agencies CTC branding, including images, posters and more. Our key account offices plus more agencies have good Canada visibility, which helps to increase brand recall.
Canadian Signature Experiences
In May 2012, CTC-India introduced our Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) collection to the India travel trade.Designed to promote Canada as a destination that gives travellers a chance to explore larger-than-life experiences, the CSE reach the widest possible areas of interest.
CTC-India also promoted the CSE at this year’s Focus Canada-India in Jaipur via video and a brochure targeted to the Indian travel trade. CTC-India plans to officially launch the collection in India in Mumbai Dec. 4 and in Delhi Dec. 6.
Preferred Visa Agent program
The Preferred Visa Agent program started September 2012 for 25 key agents across India: Delhi (6), Mumbai (11), Ahmedabad (2), Kolkata (2), Punjab (2), Chennai(1) and Lucknow (1). CTC-India plans to expand the program in 2013 based on results.
CTC has taken travel-trade partners on familiarization (FAM) trips, exposing them to Canadian experiences and attractions across Canada. In 2013, we are planning four travel-trade FAMs. The first took seven key partners to British Columbia and Alberta in June.
CSP Super FAM
In 2013 CTC is creating its largest ever FAM trip, bringing together 200-plus trade partners from around the world, who will be spread across Canada. CTC-India has invited four trade partners and one travel-trade media rep for the trip that runs Sept. 12-19. This group will go to British Columbia before meeting the other 200 agents in Niagara for further activities.
Visit Canada programs for media
In partnership with provincial and destination marketing organizations, tour operators and airlines, the CTC organized familiarization (FAM) trips to western and eastern Canada for influential media to enjoy Canada's unique travel experiences and intriguing destinations. Canadian suppliers showcased their products, encouraging media to write stories about these destinations or experiences.
The first media FAM for 2013 took five journalists from different India cities to Ontario in June. Next up will be a trip in July for five more journalists, this time to British Columbia and Alberta for eight days.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
Indian travel media are invited to attend GoMedia Canada Marketplace, where Canadian travel operators exchange stories and ideas with international media. GoMedia is held annually in Canada and is hosted by a different destination each year.
This specialized marketplace is exclusively for global media, allowing a chance to meet with industry delegates. They can also explore Canada through a variety of pre/post tours. Participants attend fast-paced, one-to-one appointment sessions to uncover Canadian story ideas.
In 2013, the CTC-India media team is making personal visits to influential media to build and strengthen relationships. This includes pitching story ideas to different media that highlight Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and Quebecto ensure story opportunities with several outlets and to maximize coverage. CTC-India also arranges year-round interviews between destination representatives and target media to ensure Canada is covered in mainline trade and travel consumer publications.
Press releases are sent to media monthly, highlighting special attractions in Canada to create an awareness of the different experiences that Canada has to offer. Additional releases are also circulated for special occasions or milestones achieved by the CTC in India. Combined, these releases receive extensive coverage in trade and travel consumer publications throughout the year.
Consumer and trade advertising
In 2013, CTC-India is advertising extensively in consumer and trade magazines to ensure visibility and Canada getting top-of-mind recall. Trade magazines include T3, Voyagers World, Trav Talk and Express Travel World. Consumer publications include Lonely Planet, India Today Travel Plus, Holiday Talk and Outlook Traveller.
|Inbound travel to Canada from India|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||94.2||107.7||119.7||128.6||126.0||114.0|
|Year to year change||28.5%||14.4%||11.1%||7.4%||-2.0%||16.6%*|
|Year to year change||33.5%||21.1%||10.8%||10.8%||-2.7%||21.8%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· India’s economy and GDP growth slowed to 7.5% in 2011 due to concerns over persistently high inflation and interest rates combined with little progress on economic reforms. (Source: Oxford Economics, July 2012)
· India represented one of the fastest-growing markets for outbound travel in 2011. Increased holidaying and affordable international packages are encouraging India’s rising middle class to make international trips. The World Tourism Organization has predicted that India will account for 50 million outbound tourists by 2020.
· In 2011, Canada welcomed 162,900 overnight travellers from India, an 8.7% increase over 2010.
· Total spending by travellers from this market grew 11.2% to $160.9 million. On average, they stayed 23 nights in Canada, spending $988 per person-trip, the lowest average spending among CTC’s key markets.
· More than half the visitors from India (54%) travelled to Canada to visit friends and relatives, the highest proportion among CTC’s key markets.
· Although the three most popular activities for Indian visitors remained unchanged (visiting friends and relatives, shopping and sightseeing), there was growing interest in visiting historic sites.
Source : Statistique Canada, Enquête sur les voyages internationaux (sauf indication contraire). Tous les chiffres de Statistique Canada sont provisoires.
The vast majority of bookings for outbound travel (up to 95%) are made through traditional travel agents, suggesting a vital need to promote Canada among the Indian travel trade.
Air capacity for one-stop flights between India and Canada has increased substantially over the past two years with more airlines operating flights to Canada connecting to Indian cities.
The visa application process, once viewed as a major obstacle to travel to Canada, has improved significantly. Leisure travellers now enjoy speedier application processing with the opening of visa application centres in nine cities. The 10-year multiple-entry visa has also helped tremendously.
Contact our team for more information:
General Sales Agent:
72, Todarmal Road
New Delhi –110001
sanjeet [at] sanjeet [dot] in (SanJeet)
tina [at] repindia [dot] in (Tina Singh)
Assistant Vice President
madhvi [at] buzzindia [dot] in (Madhvi Awasthi)
General manager, Media
rashmi [at] repindia [dot] in (Sonia Prakash)
Senior Sales Manager
504 Marine Lines
Mumbai - 400 020, India
Ruden [at] buzzindia [dot] in (RudenDias)
Senior Sales Manager
Nida [at] buzzindia [dot] in (Nida Kapadia)