Discover how you can connect an outstanding tourism product with the travel trade for promotion to potential visitors from around the world. Here you will find information about Destination British Columbia's consumer and trade initiatives in primary markets, both domestic and international.
Destination British Columbia partners with key industry representatives on cooperative marketing and education initiatives. Together they deliver a diverse range of travel trade programs in North America and overseas thereby increasing demand for British Columbia as a preferred travel destination.
To learn more about these markets, please contact the following:
North America Trade
Europe & South Pacific
Canada Corroboree leads to big exposure Down Under
This year's Canada Corroboree roadshow, hosted by Destination Canada, took Destination BC and partners to seven shows. The team connected with 800 travel agents while promoting travel to Canada and BC. The yearly roadshow allows access to travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers and media. Over 60% of the Australian consumers still buy their travel to Canada via a travel agent, so Canada Corroboree is an important yearly event.
The team of Canadian delegates gathers together in Sydney to cap a successful Canada Corroboree. From February 1-9, the team visited Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, as well as Sydney.
Updates from the United Kingdom
Destination BC UK representative David Ezra promoted BC at the Travmedia MediaPlace quarterly event in London last month. Ezra discussed story angles with representatives of the Daily Telegraph, Daily Express, Travel Trade Gazette and Independent.co.uk at this important networking gathering of UK media.
In other news, travel journalist Alf Anderson profiled BC ski resorts, including Red Mountain and Kicking Horse, in “CAMPERVANADA!,” a feature article for the Metro chain. Destination BC organized his trip.
On the training front, a Destination BC UK representative trained two sales agents at the travel company Bridge and Wickers in London last month to increase their knowledge of BC.
As well, the Destination BC UK team attended a meeting with Destination Canada and provincial marketing organizations in London last month to share updates on activities.
New videos appeal to millennial market in China
Destination BC and partners support Destination Canada’s content marketing and consumer programs. A series of Zhou You Jianada videos of a cross-Canada motorcycle tour were broadcast over the summer/fall. Destination Canada China then launched a series of core winter videos with a focus on youth, art, music, culture, outdoor activities and Canada’s 150th. All videos appear on principal video-streaming channels as well as Condé Nast Traveler and Destination Canada social media platforms. The average view of each video is expected to be 3-million to 4-million. The BC video was filmed last February in Whistler.
The cast of the BC video gathers in Whistler.
Sweet Success for A Skier's Journey, complete with Nanaimo bars
Last month, Destination BC helped promote the launch of the A Skier's Journey series at The Mayfair Hotel in London, England. Travel media and tour operators specializing in outdoor activities were invited to the event, where Destination BC UK provided information on BC and handed out Nanaimo bars. Destination BC worked with BC-based clothing brand Arc’teryx to bring the series to ski enthusiasts around the world. The final episode, Crossing Home, featured the Coast Mountains of British Columbia. Read more: www.destinationbc.ca/News/Local/Destination-BC-Helps-to-Bring-Arc%E2%80%99teryx-Film-to-Sk.aspx#.WEsnp7IrK70
Lisa Cooper, from Destination BC UK, ready to welcome guests at the launch.
A Skier's Journey, directed by BC-based filmmaker and photographer Jordan Manley, follows professional skiers who traverse mountains and experience local culture around the world.
Canada prepares to welcome more Mexican visitors
December 1st marked the lifting of visa requirements for Mexican visitors to Canada. Mexico City celebrated this milestone in style with a recent celebration at the Four Seasons Hotel. Over 200 travel industry partners attended. Visitors from Mexico now only require the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), a move expected to bolster visitation to Canada. Destination BC and Destination Canada are committed to invest in this already-growing market.
(L-R): Daniela Santibañez (Destination BC's in-market representative); Moises Braverman (Director Leisure, Corporate Travel Services); Rossy Geifmann (Travel Agent, Corporate Travel Services); Jorge Morfin (Destination Canada Mexico) at the celebration in Mexico City. The sign translates to #FriendshipisaJourney.
Campaign urges Australians to holiday in BC next year
Destination BC and partners Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler ran a month-long campaign with 165 Escape Travel retail travel agencies (a brand of Flight Centre) across Australia throughout November. The goal was to increase awareness of British Columbia as a potential holiday destination in 2017. The campaign promoted product from around British Columbia with tour wholesale partner Adventure World. Retail store windows and in-store magazines were splashed with images and packages urging visitors to explore British Columbia in 2017.
Joanne Motta, of Destination BC Australia, tries to decide her next great escape.
Virtual Reality takes flight in Australia
Flight Centre’s new Concept Stores are allowing Australian customers to escape to three dream destinations, including British Columbia. The technology will be featured in their Concept Stores in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Destination BC provided Flight Centre with the video content to include on their VR headsets.
A consumer tries the VR experience in downtown Sydney.
Destination BC makes connections at World Travel Market 2016
Destination BC’s United Kingdom representatives were on hand to make the most of the World Travel Market in London last month. It gave our team an opportunity to meet with UK tour operators to catch-up on their progress and offer assistance. Destination BC facilitated the meetings for World Travel Market and partnered on a Destination Canada stand with Tourism Vancouver.
The team at World Travel Market, including representatives from Tourism Vancouver.
BC showcased at Travel Counsellors Conference in Manchester
Destination BC representative Sarah Holmes-Siedle met with industry partners last month at the Travel Counsellors Conference: an annual get together and celebration for one of the largest tour operators in the UK. The meeting in Manchester was a good opportunity to showcase BC and gather contact information for a trade database to use for future BC communications.
Sarah Holmes-Siedle represented Destination BC at this year’s Travel Counsellors Conference.
Tip-top training for 1st Class Holidays
Staff at 1st Class Holidays learned all about BC recently when Destination BC representative Sarah Holmes-Siedle led a training session at their head office in Manchester, UK.
Sarah Holmes-Siedle details BC’s various regions during training in Manchester.
Destination BC team out in force for CITAP
Destination BCwas well represented at the recent 20th annual Canadian Inbound Tourism Association -Asia Pacific (CITAP) Winter Function, held in Vancouver at the Hyatt Regency. CITAP has over 300 members from across Canada, including Asia/Pacific Receptive Tour Operators and tourism suppliers. The Winter Function features educational seminars , marketplace and a reception/dinner. There was a record attendance at the event, with 150 people attending the seminars. For more information on CITAP visit: www.CITAP.ca
Destination BC staffed a marketplace booth at CITAP’s Winter Function, which saw record attendance this year.
Team Canada Japan connects with travel agents
Team Canada Japan is comprised of Destination Canada and key Canadian provincial marketing organizations including Destination BC. One of the recent joint Team Canada activities included working with JTB World Vacations, the largest travel agency in Japan. JTB World Vacations conducted seminars to introduce spring/summer products (of worldwide destination) to their retail stores. Team Canada had an opportunity to conduct dedicated Canada training and host Canada Night receptions at the end of November. The team trained 330 retail agents over three days! Natsuko Morass presented on behalf of Destination BC and focused on products such as the cycling and foodie tours in Vancouver, Vancouver-Victoria whale watching, and spring-summer in Whistler.
A group of Japanese retail agents focuses on learning more about travel in Canada.
Destination BC Asian field reporter project: Tofino
Destination BC’s Japanese Field Reporter visited Vancouver Island in late September, showcasing that there is still lots to see and do as summer turns to autumn. The two videos we created can be viewed on www.HelloBC.jp and HelloBCjp’s YouTube channel and are shared with our Travel Trade partners. They feature the culinary delights of Tofino as well as surfing, whale and bear watching, a Hot Springs Cove tour, the Pacific Coast Trail and stops along the way such as Cathedral Grove and Coombs Old Country Market. To view the latest videos, please follow the links below:
Workshops in Cologne help educate travel agents
Destination BC staff in Germany partnered with Destination Canada to provide workshops to educate Canada Specialist Agents in Cologne, Germany. Destination BC contractor Eva Brucklacher trained more than 60 agents in small groups over a series of eight workshops with three different levels (beginner, advanced, expert). Participants were given supporting printed and electronic information to use in their work.
Aussies bear down in BC’s rainforest
Destination Canada, Destination BC and the Northwest Territories recently hosted a select group of Australian product managers to see Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Boarding a floatplane at the tip of Vancouver Island, the group flew to Great Bear Lodge, a secluded retreat surrounded by a rainforest and home to grey wolves, otters, mink, bald eagles, grizzly bears and humpback whales.
The visitors enjoyed daily treks along rivers and estuaries to watch the bears chasing salmon, as well as interpretive rainforest walks and boat excursions to explore the glacier-carved inlet. The three-night stay in Great Bear Lodge was an unforgettable experience and a “trip of a lifetime” for these managers and company owners.
“There’s nothing like encountering a grizzly bear catching his salmon breakfast to remind you just how wild British Columbia really is”, said one participant. The group also checked out some of the new tourism highlights in Vancouver, including taking a trip with Sea Vancouver.
Destination BC attends fall trade shows in Asia
Fall is trade show season, and Destination BC attended the Destination Canada-led show called Focus Canada Japan, from October 13-14 in Tokyo. Destination BC’s team met with more than fifty Japanese tour operators at the show, and also conducted two days of sales calls.
Japan visitor arrivals to BC and Canada are up more than 11 percent and the recent announcement of the new Air Canada Rouge flight from Nagoya to Vancouver in June 2017 means that Japanese tour operators are optimistic about selling BC and Canada. Several key accounts are also committed to Canada's off-season (such as "Cool Canada"), as well as Canada's 150th.
The next week, Destination BC attended Showcase Canada Asia, a Destination Canada led show in Nanjing, China. Our team conducted close to one hundred meetings with Chinese tour operators from first- and second-tier cities. The China market is also experiencing double-digit growth to BC and Canada (+16.9% YTD), and has more air capacity on the horizon from secondary cities.
New flights between Zhengzhou and Vancouver bring opportunity
Beginning this month, Sichuan Airlines is operating a new non-stop destination from Vancouver International Airport to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport. The Guangdong Aerocity Aviation Development Co. Ltd. (GAAD), part of Nanhu Travel, is chartering this new route and their team organized a recent trade seminar in Zhengzhou city.
Destination BC, Destination Canada and the Vancouver Airport Authority attended and conducted destination training to more than 200 travel trade guests from the Henan market. Zhengzhou is the capital city of Henan province located in central China. New direct flights between Vancouver and the cities of Xiamen, Qingdao and Nanjing will also begin in 2016.
Promotion Aims to Draw Offseason Visitors from Japan
Destination BC recently partnered on a co-op marketing project with Travel Standard Japan, one of Japan’s fast-growing online travel agencies. In an effort to grow the off-season, BC and Yukon Aurora packages are being promoted through a number of sales tactics, including an offline consumer event at the Whistler Café (http://www.whistlercafe.com/) in downtown Tokyo. Read More:
At the event, 60 millennial s, who were all selected based on their social network sites (SNS) influence level, heard a presentation from Destination BC Japan and Tourism Yukon. A competition took place, and the winners will travel to BC and Yukon this winter for a “dream tour.” They will post on their own social platforms (blog/Facebook/twitter/Instagram) during the trip. The content will then be used for Travel Standard Japan’s special microsite, which will link to a variety of BC and Yukon packaged tours for sale (such as Christmas and Aurora, Ski and Aurora, early flower and Aurora).
Last year, our team worked with Travel Standard Japan and Destination Canada Japan on an influencer trip with twin blogger/models. The resulting content, targeting women aged 20-30, included video, blogs, and content distribution through a travel portal and postings on Destination Canada’s Canada Theatre.
Visitor arrivals from Japan to BC are strong this year, and by developing and promoting unique, off-season products and itineraries to the Japanese tour operator community, our staff are expecting to see growth for the fall/winter/spring season.
Content is King in our Overseas Campaigns
September saw the dawn of content campaigns in three of our core markets: the UK, Germany and Australia. The campaigns include multiple platforms of online digital media, traditional media, social media, paid advertorials, paid search and travel trade as call-to-action booking channels. The campaign was led by Destination Canada, with investment and other support from Destination BC. Here are some of the videos used at the campaigns:
Collaboration is Key in Battle for German Market
The Canada’s West Winter campaign in Germany is going full speed ahead on multiple channels to drive early bookings of ski to BC and Alberta and to create a new database of skiers. The campaign employs multiple platforms and channels including online special campaign site, eDMs, digital media paid editorials on various major magazines, out-of-home hero image posters on geo-targeted areas, and tour operators’ sales channels . The campaign started in July and runs to 2017. Destination BC and Travel Alberta are the major partners of the campaign, with support from Destination Canada.
See the German site: http://www.canadas-west.de/
"Stay Like a Royal" Video Heightened Excitement for Visit
Before the Royals touched down in BC, Destination BC and Destination Canada were working behind the scenes to maximize coverage. Just one way we did this was by sending film crews to create a “royal themed” video of Vancouver and Victoria in mid-September. The video was picked up by Yahoo.com and many other outlets. Watch it here.
Mosaic Canada: Content Marketing in Japan
As part of Destination Canada’s content marketing strategy in Japan, DC Japan team have created a digital hub called “Canada Theatre” (www.canada.jp) to house all of the elements of the campaign. This includes online and social marketing, online and traditional media, unique content development for the site, partnerships with broadcasters, magazines and publishers, blogs, video and over 150+ tour operator itinerary packages to help close the sale.
The cornerstone of the Canada Theatre website is the development of a two-year TV drama, in partnership with Imagica TV, about Canada, called “Mosaic Canada”. Over a timespan of three years, Imagica TV will develop, film and air a 13-part docu-drama series featuring Canada (and the 10 Canada Theatre themes), in the build up to 2017 and the 150th Anniversary of Canada. Storyline: The main character, Nana Akizuki, who works for Destination Canada Japan, has begun preparation for Canada’s 150 Anniversary Campaign. The drama follows Nana as she travels across Canada to learn more about the country, the people and the culture, as she works towards a deeper understanding of Canada. As the story progresses, each episode showcases a different Canada Theatre theme, combining the fictional story line of her work with Destination Canada Japan team and the real-life travels and experiences of Nana. The story takes place in “live time” and will be heavily integrated into the actual Destination Canada Japan social media efforts and the development of the new packages with tour operators on the Canada Theatre website.
The first episode aired on July 1, 2015 and introduced the character and story line. Each episode airs multiple times on the Imagica TV network, it’s sister networks, as well as the Canada Theatre website, and receives approximately 8 million viewers. Vancouver “walking” theme was featured in the second episode. The crew has filmed a wildlife, nature and Aboriginal theme episode at Spirit Bear Lodge.
In addition to Mosaic Canada, the lead actress films a series of additional “travel diaries” across Canada, in her drama character, called “Nana’s Travel Diaries”. The content is featured exclusively on the Canada Theatre website and acts as an extension to the drama and encourages repeat visitation to the Canada Theatre website, with the expectation of enticing further tour operator sales. Each “Travel Diary” video is approximately 15 minutes in length. The latest episode filmed in Tofino last week and captured Nana’s experiences learning to surf, hiking in the rain forest, wildlife viewing and enjoying the fresh seafood in Tofino.
Destination BC appoints representative for Australia and New Zealand
Destination BC has recently appointed Global Tourism Solutions as contract representative in Australia and New Zealand to promote BC in this key market.
Global Tourism Solutions (based in Balgowlah, NSW)
Travel Trade: Joanne Motta, Account Director & Travel Trade Manager
Travel Media: Lizzie Doyle, Media Relations Manager
Social Media: Samantha Saunders, Social Media Manager
For any queries, please contact:
Leona Zheng, Acting Market Development Manager, Europe & South Pacific (based in Vancouver)
Email: Leona.Zheng@DestinationBC.ca; Phone: +1‐604‐660‐6367
Xiamen Airline Takes Off From BC
Once again, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has made history – this time, as the first airport in the Americas and Europe to be serviced by five mainland Chinese carriers. On July 25, Xiamen Airlines launched a three-times-weekly, non-stop flight between Vancouver and Xiamen Gaoqui International Airport – the airline’s first route to North America. Widely considered the gateway to Asia-Pacific, YVR now has more Chinese carriers than any airport in the Americas or Europe with Xiamen Airlines joining China Eastern (to Kungmin via Shanghai), China Southern (to Guangzhou), Air China (to Beijing) and Sichuan Airlines (to Chendu via Shengyang). Xiamen Airlines services 56 destinations in Mainland China and 16 destinations in Greater China. Passengers in Xiamen can also connect onward to major cities throughout China and Asia. Destination BC and our partners have been engaging with the key travel agents in Xiamen through destination training, familiarization tours and joint marketing of BC travel itineraries.
Follow Me to BC
Recognizing the importance of travel agents and influencers in China for the promotion of travel to BC and Canada, Destination BC initiated an innovative campaign called "Follow Me to BC" last year. The concept was to engage the travel agents and create a competition for the best itinerary submissions, for the opportunity to win a spot in an exclusive familiarization tour to BC. The 2015 campaign was acknowledged as a very successful marketing initiative in China's travel trade industry, and a result, Destination BC launched “Season 2” campaign in spring 2016, this time with a specific focus on outdoor tour themes. DBC targeted travel agents, tour operators, outdoor clubs and key opinion leaders nationwide, and the campaign featured an online, design competition of outdoor themed travel itineraries for BC. The participants could study destination knowledge on DBC’s campaign website www.wildwithin.cn and then design and submit their own itineraries. A total of 140 creative itineraries were received during three weeks, and the final top 10 winners were selected through netizens' votes.
As the grand prize for the top 10 winners, the reward fam to BC was hosted during June 14-20 and visited Vancouver Island, Whistler and Vancouver. The fam group consisted of 8 travel trade guests, and 2 key opinion leaders (KOLs) who have been very active in exposing the travel highlights through the trip via their strong social media platforms. For example, one 3-minute video of Whistler’s zipline tour from one of the KOL has received 229,000 views in one week. Link to the video: http://miaopai.com/show/i080tS03l9owfeEqlRNkVA__.htm
Tourism Chilliwack presentation: How to Work with Travel Trade
On April 13th, Monica Leeck, Heather McGillivray (Destination BC’s Vancouver, Coast and Mountain rep) and Alice Lin (CAL Travel) presented at a seminar organized by Tourism Chilliwack for their stakeholders. The subject was “How (and Why) to work with Travel Trade”. The travel trade distribution channel can be complex, and this session was intended to present the costs and benefits for tourism suppliers to sell their products through the Tourism Supply chain. As well, we shared information on “who are the travel trade”, which includes Receptive Tour Operators, Tour Operators, Wholesalers, Travel Agents and Online Travel Agents (OTAs). We also discussed what it takes to be “Export Ready”, and shared information on the specific requirements for the Asian travellers.
Each year, Destination BC plans and executes marketing activities to motivate potential travelers to consider, plan and book a BC vacation. Our 2016-2017 Global Marketing Activities Calendar provides a high-level view into our current and planned activities by market. For more information on how you can benefit from or participate in these activities, please contact us.