CALGARY: Canada is open for business. That was the underlying message as Rendez-vous Canada 2017 got off to a confident start at Calgary’s BMO Centre.

David Goldstein, CEO, Destination Canada, pointed out that 2016 had been a good year, with 20 million arrivals, a growth of 11 per cent.

Goldstein pointed out that the country was finally perceived as ‘not cold, but cool‘, and had “tailwinds behind them”.

He announced a new ambitious five year target for the country for international arrivals – ‘22-22-2022‘. Read 22 billion dollar spends by 22 million tourists by 2022. To this end, he announced 22 pathfinders – tourism partners who will spearhead the effort.

Tourism arrvials

“Our strategy is to stand out,” he said. “Canadian travel is a sum of its parts – a constellation of experiences”. There will be a Team Canada approach, he stressed.

During the event, more than 1,700 delegates representing 29 countries are visiting Calgary, attending over 30,000 business appointments with Canadian tourism operators.

IN PICS: RVC2017

Country representatives from Canada’s top source markets also made brief presentations. Besides India, this included China, Australia, UK, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and the US.

Emerging Indian market
San Jeet, India Representative, Destination Canada, said he was looking at 227,500 Indians arrivals to Canada in 2017, a growth of 7 per cent.

He urged Canadian operators to appreciate the unique attributes of Indian travellers, and called for “patience and persistence”.

Indians often spend more on shopping than they would on their entire trip

He also pointed out that Indians purchase late and that needs to be factored in.

He also pointed out that Indians often spend more on shopping than they would on their entire trip. “They research online and buy in stores.”

He said more direct flights linking Canada and India was helping, with a new Air Canada service between Mumbai and Toronto in the offing.

David Goldstein, CEO, Destination Canada with country representatives at RVC2017. India representative San Jeet is second from the left

RVC is a gateway to tourism experiences from every region of Canada for the travel professionals who attend this four-day event. As Canada is marking its 150th year of establishment in 2017, the mood in the sector is upbeat about its ability to draw global visitors looking for unique experiences.

565 buyers are registered from 28 countries, indicating strong global interest in Canada as a destination of choice.

With 565 buyers registered from 28 countries, there is strong global interest in Canada as a destination of choice.Over 1,050 delegates from 567 organizations (485 selling, 82 PMOs/DMOs/tourism partner pavilions) are selling Canadian products and services this year.

As Goldstein pointed out, Canada is “putting out more seats around the table” in a bid to attract more visitors to this vast country.

Suman Tarafdar / Musafir Namah Bureau

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