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 2015 consumer-direct strategy is focused on the consideration phase of the path to purchase. Our goal is to drive aided destination interest and active consideration for travel to Canada through curation, creation and distribution of relevant, inspiring and exciting content. We employ a mix of paid search, paid digital media, native advertising, content partnerships and social integration channels to reach new audiences and to enhance and maintain our relationship with engaged users. Our consumer-direct strategy is aligned with our travel trade, PR/media relations channels and social channels to optimize our influence across the various stages of the path to purchase.
The CTC targets the UK’s priority Explorer Quotient® (EQ) types—Free Spirits and Authentic Experiencers—who present the best potential for engagement. The strategy utilizes the latest research findings such as Global Tourism Watch and CTC’s conversion studies. Insights from both CTC in-market teams and key industry partners aid media and channel planning to ensure we optimize our consumer projects.
Our main activity will concentrate on the consideration phase of September through November to fuel the conversion period of early 2016, supported by nimble and responsive activity in key booking, planning and consideration phases during the year.
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
- 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 May 2014, CTC-UK and partners hosted a group media FAM trip to Alberta to showcase some Canadian Signature Experiences and the opening of the new Glacier Skywalk. Journalists representing The Times, Daily Mail, MSN Online, Grazia and Red online all participated. In summer 2014, CTC and partners hosted a group media FAM trip to Saskatchewan. We continue to host several individual media FAM trips with top national media outlets such as the Financial Times, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, Sunday Times Travel Magazine and the Daily Mail andSunday Telegraph. We also continue to focus on encouraging TV production companies to consider Canada. A major, 13-part cross-Canada culinary adventure series featuring a British chef filmed last year; it is still waiting confirmation of a 2015 air date.
UK media events
In February 2014, the CTC hosted more than 50 media at a Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) event at Canada House. We also partnered with Travel Alberta, Destination British Columbia and Tourisme Québec to host British ski and snowboard writers at a summer lunch to pitch and secure upcoming 2014/15 ski/board stories. Four British media took part in CTC’s GoMedia Canada Marketplace, Aug. 17-21, in Winnipeg,MB.
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. In 2014, CTC hosted a specific media event for bloggers on the Wednesday evening of WTM, which was well attended by recognized, qualified and new bloggers.
In early December, we hosted a small group of interested media to attend a talk by the Parks Canada Marine Archeologist Ryan Harris, involved in the locating of HMS Erebus, Franklin’s ship earlier in 2014. The talk opened a discussion about Canadian Arctic travel and tourism, which we hope will lead to future trips by qualified media.
These networking events help maintain and develop media relationships and position Canada top of mind.
GoMedia Canada Marketplace
GoMedia is held annually in Canada and is hosted by a different destination each year. In 2014, GoMedia Canada Marketplace was held in Winnipeg, MB, Aug. 17-21, attended by a mix of newspapers, magazines, freelancers and social-media reps. GoMedia 2015 will take place Sept. 27-Oct. 1 in Penticton, BC.
We continue to engage with travel bloggers. We saw excellent results from earlier investments in building blogger relationships, measured by the number of quality UK bloggers who took part in blogger projects in 2013 and into 2014. In early February, five bloggers travelled to Quebec to #LoveWinter, where they learned to snowboard in Tremblant and to #lovewinter in Montréal. Canada also engaged in February with travel bloggers at the Traverse Event in Newcastle, establishing new contacts and continuing to sow the seeds for the evolution of a Canada-friendly blogger network. At Food Bloggers Connect on June 6, we served Nanaimo bars, Canadian wine and beer samples and barbecued salmon tasters (courtesy of Canadian chef Anna Olson) to attendees helping to strengthen our relationship with culinary/foodie bloggers.
Four foodie bloggers explored Atlantic Canada in late May 2014, each visiting a different province, and all returning to Nova Scotia on the last day to cook lunch together using ingredients and ideas picked up along the way. The event was hashtagged #AtlanticCanadaEats.
We continue to work on a series of syndicated Canada radio broadcasts with spokespeople from across Canada on a variety of subjects, including Winter Carnaval in Québec City, gardening in Canada with Jardin de Metis, and the food and wine scene in the Niagara region with Anna Olson. We are always on the lookout for interesting spokespeople who can bring Canadian tourism experiences to life in an engaging way that will connect with a British audience.
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 Travel. We 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 2014, we hosted two travel-trade writers at Rendez-vous Canada in Vancouver, from Selling Long Haul and Travel Trade Gazette, with both staying on to experience the Rocky Mountaineer and new Glacier Skywalk. A writer from Travel Weekly also participated in the Alberta Glacier Skywalk FAM tour in early May. We worked with Travelmole to run a video of the 2014 Canada Shared event on its website for a month immediately after the event and also with Travelmole’s sister website, Sportsmole, to create a series of films from upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup host cities to seed or distribute in 2015.
Business Events Canada
For information on our Business Events Canada activities, check the BEC Markets sectionof the corporate website.
|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 continues 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.
- Arrivals during Q1 (+0.2%) and Q4 (+0.1%) held steady, but 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%) but kept 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 (24 and under) saw a 29.5% increase in arrivals.
- In 2012, Ontario and British Columbia remained the most popular destinations among UK visitors, followed by Alberta and Quebec.
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
· hanmer [dot] adam [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Adam Hanmer)
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 Specialist, Core Markets