Canada has a milestone birthday to celebrate in 2017, turning 150 years old. Which can only mean there’s going to be lots of events to be thrown in its honour – making for the prefect time to visit.
The annual Canada Corroboree industry roadshow once again visited Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Sydney to showcase the country’s new and amazing experiences to travel agents and media under a new theme “Celebrate Canada”.
More than 700 travel agents had the chance to network with the total 29 Canadian representatives, including new partners Atlantic Tours, Travel Manitoba, Orca Spirit Adventures, Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver, and Sparkling Hill Resort.
“Canada Corroboree is an outstanding opportunity for the Australian travel industry to gain first-hand information about the latest tourism products and experiences,” Donna Campbell, Managing Director, Destination Canada GSA said.
While final figures are yet to be compiled, travellers to Canada from Australia is expected to be up 17% year on year, a high figure considering typical outbound growth is at less than 1%. In addition to the upswing, length of stay is also increasing, with 3 weeks being the current average.
“Our goal for 2017 is to continue to work with Australian media and strong Canada advocates, in order to compel Australian consumers to travel to Canada now. We’ll achieve this through powerful storytelling and engaging content, linking directly to Canadian packages provided by Australian wholesalers,” Campbell told Travel Weekly.
“We are experiencing the perfect storm with the Australian and Canadian dollars close to parity, and the increased air capacity through Air Canada’s new daily flights from Brisbane. Travelling to Canada has never been easier or more affordable.”
Air Canada continues to market its direct service from Sydney and Brisbane into Vancouver as a gateway to the US, but also around half of Australian visitors enter Canada via the US.
While the baby boomer market continues to be the largest demographic of Aussies visiting Canada, and the tourism board said new trends show an increase in families and millennials taking the trip over.
New trends are also being driven by Australian travellers choosing to venture further afield. The northern territories (Yukon and Northwest Territories) have become very popular for northern lights viewing, and the tourism board said they were “definitely seeing an ongoing increase of Aussies to Eastern Canada and Atlantic Canada, while Western Canada still remains the favourite area”.
“Australian travellers are realising that Canada is an exciting destination, with so much to see and do beyond the familiar, iconic experiences. Our consumer and trade campaigns will remind Aussies about all those cool experiences they’ve heard so much about, but also introduce lesser-known treasures in Canada’s 10 provinces and three territories that are a perfect match for travellers seeking unique cultural, urban, wildlife, and outdoor adventure experiences,” Campbell said.
Meanwhile Canada’s 150th year-long celebrations is well underway with events and ceremonies taking place from coast-to-coast, but the capital city of Ottawa is the focal point of the festivities with a full schedule of free and ticketed events taking place throughout the year.