Japan Marketing and Sales Programs
Through the launch of the Canadian Signature Experiences collection, our marketing and sales programs invite Japanese travellers to see and experience Canada in a whole new way. We work directly with travel agencies and tour operators, conduct travel-trade shows and bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories and tourism experiences.
Our integrated media and trade partnership programs (targeted to fully independent travel (FIT) and group travel) are the cornerstones of all major activities in Japan. These programs focus on raising awareness of Canada as a desirable destination, driving the consumer to book Canada now.
CTC-Japan's trade development focuses largely on the wholesale aspects of selling travel. The Japan team organizes trade shows, conducts sales calls, organizes tour operator and partner familiarization (FAM) tours and conducts training under the Canada Specialist Program.
Canada Joint Marketing Fund
In October 2009, the Japan Association of Travel Agents(JATA) officially announced the appointment of Canada as one of the target destinations for JATA’s extensive tourism promotion “Visit World Campaign 2010.”In response, CTC-Japan organized and executed a number of comprehensive promotional campaigns in partnership with our territorial and provincial partners. This successful partnership continues to expand, with Yukon and the Northwest Territories now joining the original four provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Prince Edward Island. Activities in 2013 will include:
- Joint destination-focused co-op marketing support for travel-trade key accounts
- In-store retail marketing campaigns (through key tour operator partners)
- Product/itinerary development support
- Agency-specific FAM tours
- Extensive retail agent training program and cross-country Team Canada travel-agent training.
The Team Canada concept is now well recognized and much appreciated by Japanese tour operators as an industry-leading way to proactively build recognition for a country in its entirety (with a specific focus on partner provinces/territories), while building a one-stop shop for tour operators’ program and product development.
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program provides online destination training for all frontline staff in Japan plus a range of activities and promotions to keep Canada top of mind. The program offers:
- Online training modules and exams with instant results
- Selling tools
- Tools and training manuals.
CSP empowers agents to provide professional, in-depth client consultation and to develop new and innovative tours to Canada.
· Rendez-vous Canada– Ottawa, May 12-15
The annual marketplace that showcases Canada from coast to coast to coast to key buyers from Canada’s key markets takes place in Ottawa, ON, this year. In just four days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, Canadian and International tourism organizations conduct business that would otherwise be generated only through numerous trips to each market.
For more details on events, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
CTC-Japan supports media with partnered presstrips as well as through the organization of media trips to showcase Canadian experiences. The CTC pitches targeted story ideas to media influencers, with a strong focus on broadcast media.
CTC-Japan continues to collaborate with tourism-industry partners to support various broadcast projects, including:
· Working with production crews to support filming in Canada
· Promoting Canadian experiences in partnership with producers and media partners
· Developing specialized tour products to spotlight film locations and support sales promotions with major Japanese travel agencies.
As part of the Rendez-vous Canada tradeshow, CTC-Japan will assemble the best of Japan's travel media to meet Canadian operators and destination representatives. These media influencers target their content to Japanese trade and are seen as a key tool in further educating the travel trade on Canadian product on an ongoing basis.
Visit Canada programs for media
In partnership with provincial and destination marketing organizations, tour operators and airlines, CTC-Japan invites influential media to enjoy Canada's unique travel experiences and intriguing destinations. Canadian suppliers showcase their products, encouraging these influencers to write stories about their destinations or experiences.
CTC-Japan launched a Facebook page, Twitter account and YouTube channel in 2011. Social media is growing at a fast clip in Japan (post-earthquake, many social-media platforms experienced exponential growth in follower numbers). CTC-Japan has and will continue to focus on influencer programs to grow Canada fan numbers and encourage further exchange and engagement, in partnership with Canadian and Japanese associates.
|Inbound travel to Canada from Japan|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||398.3||363.7||310.6||258.9||180.3||215.4|
|Year to year change||1.8%||-8.7%||-14.6%||-16.7%||-30.4%||19.5%|
|Year to year change||0.7%||-11.4%||-18.5%||-11.5%||-24.0%||21.9%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· The March 11, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant crisis hit Japan just when its economic recovery appeared to be back on track. The economy contracted in 2011 with negative GDP growth of 0.7% as manufacturing slowed, one of the impacts of the disaster. (Source: Oxford Economics, July 2012)
· Japanese outbound travel saw a swift recovery in 2011, with total departures up 2.1% on 2010. (Source: Japan National Tourism Organization)
· Overall arrivals from Japan to Canada fell by more than 13%. The period after the disaster contributed most to this decline with a 30% drop in Q2, but Q1 also saw a 24% drop.
· Pleasure travel registered the largest decline (-24%), followed by travel for other purpose (-13%) and business travel (-10%), while visiting friends and relatives rose nearly 10%.
· Total spending by Japanese travellers experienced just a 7% decline (not falling relative to trips). This resulted in a 7.5% increase in the average spend per person-trip, which rose to $1,616.
· Top tourism-related activities were shopping, sightseeing, and visiting national or provincial nature parks.
· The most popular provinces, British Columbia, Ontario and Alberta, all experienced lower levels of visits in 2011, while overnight visits to Quebec and Canada’s North saw appreciable increases over 2010.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated. All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
Japan continues to recover from the major earthquake in Tōhoku on March 11, 2011,and the ensuing massive tsunami that subsequently triggered failures at several nuclear power plants.
While the primary business and population centres are more or less back to life as usual, Japan as a whole is adapting to life with significantly decreased access to electrical power. A considerable portion of Tokyo’s electrical energy was supplied by the Fukushima power plant and the damage caused by the tsunami led to a 30% decrease in available electricity to Tokyo and the surrounding areas, as well as to a decision to power down all 50 nuclear power plants across Japan (in the majority of cases indefinitely or permanently). As a result, Japan has put into place a plan to conserve energy that includes compulsory curbs on use of power by individuals and Japanese industry.
Despite earlier predictions that expected a significant decrease in outbound travel, the opposite occurred. 2011 saw an increase of year-on-year travellers, with some short-haul destinations enjoying record numbers in terms of growth. While long-haul destinations did not see the same increases, the drop in visitor numbers was significantly less than originally anticipated, including to Canada.
Since November 2011, Canada has been enjoying year-on-year growth out of the Japan market, including double-digit growth in visitor numbers in January, February and March of 2012. Much of this is as a result of the development of new Canadian winter itineraries and increased efforts to market Canadian winter experiences.
As a result of the recovery process, some new trends have arisen:
· An increase in last-minute bookings. One to two weeks prior to departure is no longer an unusual booking window.
· An increase in longer vacations at beach destinations (two to three additional nights) for Hawaii, Guam and Southeast Asia, as well as an additional one or two nights to long-haul destinations.
Hikes in fuel surcharges remain a major concern for tour operators. While consumers have now begun to accept fuel surcharges as the norm, it plays a role in their selection of destinations (short-haul vs. long-haul).
Last year, tour wholesalers introduced tour products with extra nights for consumers who wanted to have longer summer holidays. However, such demand proved limited among consumers.
Japanese travellers enjoy touring the country by coach or rail, interacting with locals and visiting historical or cultural attractions. Nature travel is highly rewarding for these travellers, who love to explore coastal scenery and rivers, as well as national parks and protected areas. However, Japanese travellers are—more than ever—interested in engaging closely and meaningfully with outdoor, cultural and lifestyle travel experiences in Canada. They want to get in on the action.
The Japanese are also changing their travel patterns, shifting from a preference for group-escorted tours to travelling alone or in parties of two adults. More Japanese travellers are also starting to use the Internet to book their vacations, particularly for short-haul destinations, although growth is being seen for long-haul destinations.
About half of the Japanese who visit Canada are 50 years and older. To effectively compete with the desire for exotic and trendy destinations among younger Japanese travellers, Canada needs to promote a diverse range of compelling travel experiences.
Guided by the CTC corporate strategy, the Japan strategy focuses on high-yield travellers—consumers who spend more, stay longer and are less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.
Contact our team for more information: