Fol­low in the foot­steps of the rich and recog­nised

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Destination Canada - MERRY KIRK­WOOD

THE Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge’s highly pub­li­cised re­cent visit to Canada may in­flu­ence us more than we re­alise: post­card im­ages from such pub­lic tours — beamed via tele­vi­sion and shared on YouTube and Face­book — can play a role in shap­ing our fu­ture hol­i­day dreams.

When we fol­low the jour­neys of pub­lic fig­ures or favourite celebri­ties, we may sub­con­sciously adopt their itin­er­ary as a rec­om­men­da­tion or inspiration. The new­ly­weds’ tour, for ex­am­ple, in­cluded a broad smat­ter­ing of big cities, re­gional com­mu­ni­ties and invit­ing wilder­ness ac­tiv­i­ties across Canada, in­clud­ing the vi­brant Cal­gary Stam­pede, com­plete with match­ing white cow­boy hats.

Donna Camp­bell, who rep­re­sents the Cana­dian Tourism Com­mis­sion in Aus­tralia, says she has long recog­nised the power of per­son­al­ity in pro­mot­ing tourism.

‘‘The au­di­ence tends to no­tice what is hap­pen­ing in the back­ground,’’ she says.

For the past 10 years, she has or­gan­ised a range of Aus­tralian TV iden­ti­ties to re­port from se­lected Cana­dian lo­ca­tions as a means of cre­at­ing in­ter­est in the coun­try and its at­trac­tions.

But it’s likely that we are most in­spired by fam­ily and friends re­turn­ing from Cana­dian hol­i­days — whether from the pop­u­lar ski­fields of Big White, Whistler or Sil­ver­star, or from the Rocky Moun­taineer rail jour­ney — when it comes to plan­ning our trips.

Then there are prac­ti­cal con­sid­er­a­tions: the Aus­tralian and Cana­dian dol­lars are nearly on par, for ex­am­ple, and ski­ing is known to be well priced. Ease of travel is an­other plus for Aussies, given our com­mon lan­guage and out­doors life­style.

It’s no sur­prise, then, that re­search by the Cana­dian Tourism Com­mis­sion’s Global Tourism Watch re­veals Canada is ranked among the top three in­tended des­ti­na­tions for Aus­tralians.

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