Our marketing and sales programs are developed to move the consumer along the path to purchase and to book travel to Canada now by delivering new, unique and compelling travel experiences.Whether we launch an integrated marketing campaign, attend travel-trade shows or bring media and destination partners together to exchange stories, our initiatives target three major audiences.
The UK’s 2014 consumer direct strategy is focused on integrated advertising campaigns over various media channels (such as print, cinema, online, SEO and social media) in partnerships with key provincial/territorial, city and small/medium-size tourism enterprises. Campaigns target the UK’s priority Explorer Quotient®(EQ) types—Free Spirits and Authentic Experiencers—who pose the best potential for conversion.
Our consumer direct strategy is aligned with our travel trade and PR/media relations channels to optimize our influence across the various stages of the path to purchase. The 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-UK’s spring consumer campaign will run mid-January to mid-March across cinema, print and online platforms. This is a brand-centric campaign, featuring other elements to help consumers develop their itineraries. The “Canada Shared” creative will run in cinemas to inspire and raise awareness while dynamic, bespoke online content will engage Brits, 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. This campaign will include provincial, destination 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 booking period, again via multiple media channels.
CTC-UK 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. CTC-UK selects content 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-UK trade development targets wholesalers, online/direct-sell operators, retail travel trade and home workers.
We collaborate with tour operators to develop innovative marketing programs and promotions to increase the profile of Canada and incorporate EQ-friendly product. We also support trade familiarization (FAM) trips and manage the Canada Specialist Program(CSP) to provide the trade with effective tools to sell Canada.
Canada Specialist Program
The Canada Specialist Program provides online destination training for all frontline staff in the UK plus a variety of activities and promotions to keep Canada top of mind.
Participating frontline staff members are offered a range of information and support, including:
- Online training modules and exams with instant results
- Official certificate
- Selling tools, including branded display materials
- Familiarization (FAM) trips and invitations to training events
- Training manuals
- Quarterly e-newsletters
- Discounted rates for travel to Canada.
CTC-UK also plans exclusive promotions with tour operators aimed at Canada Specialists.
Every year we bring groups of UK buyers to Rendez-vous Canada to expand their Canada travel program and experiential products. CTC-UK is also responsible for organizing Canada’s strong presence at the World Travel Market trade show.
For details on these events and more, check out our Trade Shows & Events.
CTC-UK assists the media with partnered press trips, media events and media hosting on visits to extraordinary Canadian destinations. Our strategy is to gain visibility in the UK media by staging partnered media events and pitching targeted story ideas to media influencers.
Explore Canada Visiting Journalist Program
In 2013, CTC-UK worked with partners to host group media FAM (familiarization) trips to showcase skiing in the winter, and Newfoundland and Labradorin the summer. We also hosted several individual media FAM trips with top national media outlets. We continued to focus on encouraging TV production companies to consider Canada, and a major 13-part cross-Canada culinary adventure series featuring a British chef filmed this fall. A series following UK reality stars shot an episode in late September in which they experienced a Canadian ranch, to air in February 2014.
UK media events
The CTC hosted more than 50 media at the Canadian Signature Experiences(CSE) event at Canada House Feb. 28. We also partnered with Travel Alberta, Tourism British Columbia and Tourisme Québec to create ski/winter content in March, which we used to promote winter activities to British ski and snowboard writers at a summer lunch. Eight British media took part in CTC’s GoMedia Canada Marketplace, held annually in Canada. GoMedia 2014 will be held in Winnipeg, MB, Aug. 17-21.
Other annual UK media events in London include hosting ski media around the time of the Metro Ski & Snowboard Show (October), plus travel media at World Travel Market (November), the premier global event for the travel industry. At 2013’s WTM, we also hosted a media event for bloggers on the Wednesday evening, and had regular travel writers join us at the “Happy Hours on the Stand” on the Monday and Tuesday evenings.
The Canadian Tourism Commission hosted a table at the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards event in November for some key media contacts and some new contacts. For the second year running we supported the British Annual Canada Travel Awards (BACTAs), the judging of which took place mid-November in London. All finalists and their relevant editors attended the BACTAs lunch on Dec. 12.
These networking events help maintain and develop media relationships and position Canada top of mind.
We continue to engage with travel bloggers. We saw excellent results from our 2011 and 2012 investments in building blogger relationships, measured by the number of quality UK bloggers who took part in blogger projects in 2013. We focused on food bloggers in 2013 and supported a food-blogging conference in London this past July by inviting a well-known British food blogger to talk to the attendees about her travels across Canada. This sowed the seeds for the continued evolution of a Canada-friendly blogger network.
Web seeding and radio syndication
CTC-UK seeds UK-relevant Canada footage onto UK websites, with a focus this year on winter/ski footage. Filmed in April 2013 across Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia, the clips were seeded to UK website beginning this past September. We also worked on a series of syndicated Canada radio broadcasts with spokespeople from across Canada on a variety of subjects, including First Nations experiences at Hotel Musée Premier Nations, Wendake, QC, and ranch life on the Prairies with Sturgeon River Ranch.
CTC-UK continues to work with UK trade publications and supports Canada editorial with advertorial features, including three “How to Sell Canada” guides published with Selling Long Haul. We also ensure that there are regular Canada round-ups of news throughout the year in other trade publications such as ABTA magazine, Travel Trade Gazette, Travel Weekly and the online distributor Travelmole. In 2013, we hosted one travel-trade writer at Rendez-vous Canada in Ottawa, ON, May 12-15.
|Inbound travel to Canada from the United Kingdom|
|Overnight trip to Canada (000's)||893.9||836.9||685.7||660.9||622.8||597|
|Year to year change||6.2%||-6.4%||-18.1%||-3.6%||-5.8%||-4.1%|
|Year to year change||6.9%||-3.5%||-24.5%||-9.3%||-1.9%||-1.4%|
|Source: International Travel Survey, Statistics Canada.|
· The UK is Canada’s largest inbound overseas market. However, the Eurozone debt crisis in 2011 and the UK’s fragile economic performance of 0.2% GDP growth continued to have a significant impact on consumer confidence and outbound travel demand. (Source: Oxford Economics)
· In 2012, the number of UK overnight visitors to Canada fell 4.1% to 597,000 trips. The largest drop came from travel for other purposes, followed by business travel. Pleasure travel and those visiting friends and relatives represent 79% of all UK arrivals to Canada.
· While arrivals during Q1 (+0.2%) and Q4 (+0.1%) held steady, they declined in Q2 (-10%) and Q3 (-3.3%), which are when two-thirds of UK visitors choose to travel to Canada.
· Total overnight spending by UK visitors contracted 1.4% to $784.5 million, while the average spend per trip increased 2.8% to $1,314. UK visitors stayed longer (13.9 nights, +2.7%) while keeping spending per night constant ($94, +0.1%).
· Though travellers aged 55 and over represented the largest segment (40%) of all visitors in 2011, their numbers declined 11.8% in 2012. The youth travel market (aged 24 and under) saw a 29.5% increase in arrivals.
Source: Statistics Canada, International Travel Survey, unless otherwise indicated.All Statistics Canada numbers are preliminary.
During a Canadian holiday, British visitors want to experience the Canadian way of life, see Canada’s unique cultural attractions, try soft-adventure activities and socialize with Canada’s friendly people.
Canada offers a sense of familiarity, along with a beautiful natural setting and a unique balance of city and nature experiences. Still, Canada remains a "someday destination" for many British travellers. By further evoking Canada’s authentic and extraordinary travel experiences, the CTC is inspiring British travellers to visit Canada now.
Guided by the CTC corporate strategy, the UK strategy focuses on high-yield travellers: consumers who spend more, stay longer and are 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.
Canadian Tourism Commission
15 Bermondsey Square
London SE1 3UN
· peters [dot] rupert [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Rupert Peters)
Regional Managing Director, Core Markets
· hawes [dot] paul [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Paul Hawes)
Marketing Manager, Core Markets
· fournier [dot] nicolas [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Nicolas Fournier)
Manager, Travel Trade
· singh [dot] nim [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Nim Singh)
Manager, Media & Public Relations
· salt [dot] cat [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Catherine Salt)
Marketing Coordinator, Core Markets