Snippets from the show:
2013 has been a good year, particularly for British Columbia. Despite some challenges, we managed to increase our business from India to Canada by 7 per cent. Overall, 2014 is looking positive and we look forward to future growth. With the new multiple-entry visa policy being announced, most of the travel agents at the show are positive regarding selling
Monica Leeck Market Development Manager, Asia Destination British Columbia
I can see significant changes from the first year. Earlier, a lot of operators did not know much about Canada, but now four years later, everyone is selling Canada as a separate destination. For the first time, since I’ve been coming here, CTC arranged workshops with agents in Tier-II cities and Ahmedabad and Chennai. We have a very strong VFR market and leisure to Vancouver is growing as well. MICE is also picking up.
Dayna Miller Director of Sales, Travel Trade Tourism Vancouver
With the segregation of the Western and Southern buyers and Eastern and North buyers, the event was more focussed now. This is the best way to talk sellers on a one–to–one basis. Tour operators who are not selling Canada should also be brought in, so that they can gain value and start selling Canada. The air fare is the only obstacle I face while selling the destination.
Guldeep Singh Sahni President OTOAI
In 2013, we had double-digit growth in terms of business going to Canada. This year, we have met with some new agents. India, as a market, is price sensitive, and the agents are putting in one or two Fairmont hotels in an itinerary of 8 or 10 days. Regarding 2014, we would like to grow 10 to 12 per cent, but the indications are that it will be a slow year.
Tekla Maira Director, Global Sales – India FRHI
Canada as a country is drawing a lot of attention. Focus Canada has been an interesting event because we always go back with some new products. It’s always an enlightening and enriching experience. When it comes to growth, it is not just the numbers, but the kind of packages we put together and sell.
Nagsri Sashidhar Head - Outbound Holidays Mercury Travels