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 arrivals directly into Canada were up 5% to 163,000-plus overnight arrivals.
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 new 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 become 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 advertising, 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 also on request. Consumers at the 2013 Outbound Travel Mart in February in Delhi and Mumbai were eager to get hold of copies for themselves.
In 2013, we plan on using various social-media channels, such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, using advocacy tocreate a buzz about travelling to Canada.
CTC-India sends regular e-newsletters to the consumers and the travel trade, educating them about different aspects of Canada such as festivals or seasons. In Q4 2012, our e-newsletters included a VIA Rail offer (to encourage agents to complete the Canada Specialist Program) and promoted the mega FAM trip to be held in September 2013. These e-newsletters resulted in much positive response and numerous queries. The strategy will continue into 2013.
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 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.
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, International 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 share market intelligence. Focus Canada-India boosted awareness of Canada as a premier four-season destination.
RVC is Canada’s premier international tourism marketplace and led by the CTC. The event is 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 the best selection of Canadian experiences.
The 2012 iteration of Showcase Canada-Asia in Osaka, Japan,attracted 35 Indian agents and three media delegates. With almost 90 sellers, the Indian contingent had full appointment schedules that resulted in successful meetings with Canadians.
In 2013, Showcase Canada-Asia will be held in Hangzhou, China, Oct. 14-18, to which we expect to take approximately 30 Indian travel-trade partners.
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 Ltd).
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.
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.
Joint co-op advertising: CTC-India supports ads in mainstream publications in conjunction with agents, with costs split 50/50. Extensive advertising was done in Q4 2012 promoting winter activities 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.
Training Tier II cities
As per our new 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 the market. Before the training itself, the CTC-India team were in the market conducting visits to travel agents. The interest from the markets 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.
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 4,369, with 2,034 certified as Canada Specialists.
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. A VIA Rail offer for the program attracted many enquiries. Moving forward into 2013, we aim to incentivize agents to register and complete the CSP.
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 collection (CSE) 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 reaches the widest possible areas of interest.
CTC-India also promoted the CSE at this year’s Focus Canada-India in Jaipur via a special booth via video and a brochure targeted specifically at the Indian travel trade. CTC-India plans to officially launch the collection in India this coming summer.
Key account meetings
Charles McKee, CTC vice-president International, and Siobhan Chretien, CTC regional managing director, Emerging Markets, Americas / Asia, visited India Oct. 4 and 5 for meetings with key accounts. Eleven CEOs of travel agencies came to New Delhi and a further 10 to Mumbai to meet them.
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) and one each from Chennaiand Lucknow. 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.
2012 travel-trade FAM trips:
· Calgary Stampede and Alberta, July 9-16, 2012: CTC-India, together with Travel Alberta, hosted a familiarization trip for its four agents from All India to watch the Calgary Stampede Centennial celebrations and visit Alberta. The trip covered street performances in Edmonton, natural beauty, distinctive neighbourhoods and iconic attractions such as the West Edmonton Mall.
· East Canada FAM July 29–Aug. 6, 2012: CTC-India also hosted eight agents from All India on a FAM trip to Ontarioand Quebec. The trip included visits to Niagara Falls, Toronto, Montréal and Québec City.
In 2013, we have two FAM trips planned: one to Ontario/Quebec, the other to Alberta/British Columbia.
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. We will continue this program in 2013.
2012 media FAM trips:
· Media FAM trip Aug. 10-18, 2012: CTC-India organized a FAM trip to Alberta and British Columbia for five journalists from Delhi and Mumbai. The trip covered street performances in Edmonton, natural beauty, eclectic neighbourhoods, iconic attractions such as the West Edmonton Mall and downtown Victoria.
· Media FAM trip July 9-16, 2012: CTC-India organized a media FAM trip to Alberta for four Indian journalists from Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai during the Calgary StampedeCentennial. The major highlight of the itinerary was the chuckwagon races. The tour included trips to Banff, Jasper National Park and Edmonton.
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. Not just that, 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.
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.
|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
tina [at] repindia [dot] in (Tina Singh)
Assistant Vice President
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)