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:
Monica Leeck, Asia Pacific
Stephanie Fielden, Europe/North America/Mexico
Team BC at World Travel Market
Destination BC’s UK team attended World Travel Market in November to meet with trade partners and key media to promote visitation to BC. In addition, the team also met with 38 tour operator partners to discuss market status, new itinerary ideas and joint marketing opportunities, focusing on geographical dispersion to regions and areas in BC with capacity. On the media side, the team met with travel media and freelance journalists from The Guardian, Daily Mail, BA Highlife, Sunday Times Travel Magazine, and Love Exploring.
BC’s winter comes to China
To promote winter travel to BC, the Destination BC China team is running an online consumer campaign sharing ski, winter and urban tours, as well as content for Chinese New Year and Spring Festival. The campaign uses WeChat advertising, social media posts and key word searches. To see the campaign on your mobile device or WeChat APP, follow this link
The WeChat advertising, social posts and key word search will be adapted to drive the campaign site traffic in early November. In addition, more than 20 tour operators will be selling BC tour packages for the winter season, and DBC will be launching a winter/spring campaign with online giant Ctrip this December. All of these activities support Destination BC’s goal to drive visitation to BC im areas of capacity during the winter season.
BC’s winter lands in Beijing
In early October, Destination BC held an event in Beijing to launch the 2018/19 BC Winter Campaign. With the support of partners Tourism Vancouver, Destination Greater Victoria, Tourism Richmond and Vancouver Airport, we hosted 100 Chinese tour operators, 50 BC tourism suppliers, and 40 media partners to an afternoon of informative presentations about winter travel opportunities in our province. The program featured interactive zones such as a ski simulator, Christmas cookie decorating, wine tasting, Afternoon Tea, and a multimedia lion dance as the finale.
Learning to Ski BC in the UK
In August, Destination BC UK representatives met with travel trade across the country, educating them on ski product and locations. They met with the Crystal ski team, including frontline sellers, content, digital and product specialists, to share BC product during their annual Canada Week, and to educate them on what BC can offer destination skiers. Additionally, they met with travel counsellors in Manchester to excited them about BC resorts and share information about which resorts would be best suited for their clients, and build their product knowledge on additional BC options.
Canada Day in Australia
Australian tour company Scenic celebrated Canada Day early with a comprehensive Canada training session for its 70-strong reservations team. Throughout the lively affair, agents were treated to presentations by DBC and other partners about new and updated tourism products, and those who dressed in their Canadiana best were entered in a draw to win coveted prizes. The event provided agents with key updates and product information to share with clients for the upcoming travel season.
Destination BC, in partnership with Tourism Vancouver and Air Canada, hosted a crew from Nine News Australia on the inaugural flight from Melbourne to Vancouver, which commenced year-round service on June 3. The lively crew covered the new service, Vancouver’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and local stories such as the skill of BC’s fire services in maintaining bush fires around the province.
Destination BC, in partnership with Tourism Vancouver and Air Canada, hosted a crew from Nine News Australia in Melbourne on the inaugural flight from Melbourne to Vancouver, which commenced year-round service on June 3. The lively crew covered the new service, Vancouver’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities, and local stories such as the skill of BC’s fire services in maintaining bush fires around the province.
Trade News from Destination BC’s UK Team
Flip through Scott Dunn Private Journeys’ “Seriously Special” book and you’ll see a feature on Compass Heli Tours’ glacial kayaking experience.
The team also hosted a FAM to Northern Vancouver Island comprised of six UK tour operators who experienced a wealth of wildlife viewing activities, then cruised on BC Ferries along the Inside Passage. The group also explored Smithers, Terrace and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary.
Finally, the team hosted a group of four UK media from Elite Traveler, National Geographic Traveller, City AM and The Sunday Irish Independent on a luxury FAM trip to Vancouver and Whistler. The media enjoyed Compass Heli Tours’ glacial kayaking journey and Head Line Mountain Adventures’ Heli Ice Cave Adventure, as well as whale watching, an e-bike tour in Stanley Park and more!
Destination BC Partners with The Telegraph to Launch Dedicated Microsite
Destination BC’s team in the UK has teamed up with The Telegraph
newspaper to launch a dedicated BC microsite, ensuring the province remains top-of-mind for UK consumers during peak booking season.
The site features 10 articles supplemented by high-quality visuals, and will be live for eight weeks with The Telegraph
committed to driving at least 9,000 unique users to www.HelloBC.co.uk
during that timeframe. Traffic has amped up even further thanks to a consumer contest run in partnership with key tour operator Discover the World and high-performance clothing brand Arc’teryx.
is the UK’s top quality news brand with an online platform that reaches 25 million users and boasts 166 million page views.
Kootenay Rockies Wow VIPs from Germany and Switzerland
Destination BC and Kootenay Rockies Tourism recently partnered to host a FAM tour for key decision-makers representing top German and Swiss tour operator accounts.
Participants included nine staff from major tour operators and a representative from Air Canada-Germany. The action-packed itinerary led guests to BC’s most spectacular regions, beginning in Cranbrook and continuing into Nelson, Ainsworth Hot Springs, Naksusp, Revelstoke, Golden, Radium, Fairmont Hot Springs and other communities. The group experienced a variety of tourism products, including the adrenaline-pumping Kokanee Mountain Zipline Tour and heli-sightseeing with Glacier Helicopters.
Destination BC and partners host memorable event for trade agents in Mexico City
On April 26, 60 of Mexico’s top travel agents joined Destination BC and partners at the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City for a lively evening of networking, trivia and a grand prize draw. The evening resulted in new and renewed connections, and helped to strengthen awareness of BC.’s brand in Mexico. The event was also covered by local trade media publication Invertour.
BC Agent Night
Aussie travel trade visit BC for snow and ski
30 Australian travel agents from Brisbane-based ski wholesale travel company Sno'n'Ski visited BC in March, visiting Big White, Silver Star, Sun Peaks, and Whistler over eight days. The travel agents skied, snowshoed, snowmobiled, and snapped photos along the way, with the goal of increasing awareness of and sales to BC resorts.
Agents were selected based on top sales over the previous 6 months to these resorts. Sno’n’Ski had a goal of increasing awareness of BC resorts and sales by 100%. They have reported that sales have well exceeded this target for forward 2018-19 bookings to BC. Agents skied, snowshoed, snowmobiled and snapped photos along the way. Over 215 Instagram posts were recorded as the agents went on to #exploreBC.
Australian travel trade explore BC ski resorts.
Destination BC at the world's largest travel trade show
Destination BC attended the world's largest travel trade show, Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin, which hosted 110,000 trade visitors and representatives from 186 countries during its run from March 7-11, 2018. As part of Team Canada, BC representatives conducted 35 meetings with tour operators and media, and co-sponsored the Canada Night event organized by Destination Canada at the Canadian Embassy.
International travel media chase powder in the Kootenay Rockies
Destination BC led a press trip to the Kootenay Rockies region for key media in March, including the Denver Post, Colorado Life Magazine, SNOW Magazine,
and adventure site, Mpora
. Media guests chased powder at Whitewater Ski Resort and RED Mountain, before taking their adventure off-piste on a cat skiing trip with Big Red Cats.
BC attracts UK media coverage and awards
At the recent British Annual Canada Travel Awards ceremony, a BC-focussed article, titled "Why Canada was the perfect destination for our final family holiday", won the Print Feature Award: Best Canada Media Coverage 2017
. Written by David Williams, the article in The Telegraph
described a family holiday to Vancouver Island and showcased BC's wilderness.
Thanks to familiarization trips, BC has recently been showcased in other UK media, including a feature on exploring Vancouver Island
by RV, and on the list of 20 best adventure holidays in Canada
, both in The Times
, as well as a story on tasting Okanagan wines on The Wine Show from Channel 5
Australian breakfast TV show Sunrise broadcasts live from the Kootenay Rockies
Australia’s Channel 7 Sunrise
breakfast TV show travelled to BC in mid-January to live-broadcast the weather from the snow-capped peaks of BC’s Kootenay Rockies region. In partnership with Destination Canada, Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, Panorama Mountain Resort, and Fernie Alpine Resort, as well as travel trade partners Sno’n’Ski Holidays and Flight Centre, Destination BC hosted the TV show crew to encourage ski travel from Australia. Enquiries, bookings and awareness of the featured ski resorts were reported to be up in the Australia market as a result of this coverage.
Australia’s Sunrise broadcasts live from Panorama Mountain Resort.
What’s App campaign introduces Germans to Canada’s West at Panorama Mountain Resort
Through a Canada's West winter campaign in Germany, Destination BC created a trip contest on the messaging platform, What's App. Working with German media partners Bergzeit, K2 Skis, Skigebiete-Test, Deuter, Schneehöhen, Bergfex, and Snowplaza, eight lucky German travellers visited Panorama Mountain Resort in January. The promotion enabled Destination BC to target German consumers to visit BC. The raffle was promoted on various other channels such as our consumer Facebook site, newsletters and consumer website, and through the media partners’ websites.
German contest winners ski Panorama Mountain Resort.
Destination BC attends UK’s largest specialist travel showcase to promote adventure activities
In late January, Destination BC's UK representative, Lisa Cooper, attended the Adventure Travel Show in London to promote adventure products in British Columbia, such as mountain biking, kayaking and canoeing, as well as connected driving routes. This was Destination BC’s first attendance at this show, the UK’s biggest specialist travel showcase, dedicated to unique adventures.
Lisa Cooper representing Destination BC’s adventure tourism offerings.
Tour promotes BC to Japanese school groups
Destination BC recently partnered with local Japanese receptive tour operators, Ministries of Education and of Jobs, Trade, and Technology, the BC Council for International Education, and BC destination marketing organizations to host an education-themed familiarization tour here. Participants included teachers and decision makers from Japanese high schools, Japanese travel agents, and their local receptive tour operator counterparts. The purpose of the familiarization tour was to promote BC as a travel destination for Shugaku Ryoko
The familiarization tour brought the group from Japan to the snowy heights of Whistler Mountain.
What is Shugaku Ryoko (school excursions)? Quick facts:
School excursions are generally undertaken by Japanese elementary, junior high, and high schools. In principle, all students in a given academic year participate, and the excursion should have educational purpose. School excursions may consist of domestic travel within Japan or international travel.
School excursions to Canada often take place during March, May, September, October, or November.
School excursions to Canada have an average stay of about five days.
Accommodations in Canada can be broken down broadly into three categories: hotel only, combination of hotel and homestay, and homestay only.
The number of participating students depends on the school, but usually ranges from about 80 to 300 students per school, or (for high schools) an average of about 150 students.
Students participate in school excursions during their second year of junior-high school and their second year of high school.
About 70% of these students visit (stay in) Vancouver or its suburbs. Other popular destinations include Victoria, Banff, and Toronto.
Among countries where English is spoken, top overseas destinations for Japanese student s in 2013 were the U.S. (38,615 students) and Australia (25,932) followed by Canada (9,742).
For the past couple of years, BC and Canada have been experiencing an increase in demand for school excursions from Japan (in part due to security concerns in other parts of the world). As the groups generally travel in spring and fall, this market also fulfills our goal to promote BC seasons where there is capacity.
Destination BC promotes Chinese New Year packages through Tencent
As part of Destination BC's Chinese New Year's media project, we've partnered with Chinese social media giant Tencent
. This marks the first time Destination BC's China team has partnered in this way with a third-party mobile platform. Tencent International Business Group is a leading provider of internet services in China and owner of WeChat (Weixin in China). The agreement is the first of its kind in Canada, giving BC a preferred marketing platform on the messaging social media app-which attracts over 900 million daily active users - making it one of the largest in the world. The partnership was announced during BC Premier John Horgan's recent trade mission to China. Read more about the announcement here
A large group, including BC Premier John Horgan (centre), Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture, Responsible for Sport & Multiculturalism Lisa Beare (left), and Destination BC staffers Monica Leeck and Jodie Hu (not pictured) gathered in Guangdong, China to celebrate the new agreement with Tencent.
London feels the warmth of Hut Magic
Visitors to the Arc’teryx Piccadilly store in London were recently able to experience the delights of Hut Magic. The immersive virtual-reality video allows viewers to discover the magic of rustic living in a remote mountain hut in BC’s Coast Mountains. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10k8SfFCj8E#action=share
A London shopper is transported to BC’s Coast Mountains.
UK team promotes BC at World Travel Market
Our team recently spent three busy days providing updates and answering queries at the World Travel Market in London. The team had close to 50 meetings with operators. Feedback highlighted the demand for more unique experiences across the province, as well as the need for alternative accommodation in areas where availability is reduced during peak season.
The team at the World Travel Market.
Raising awareness across the pond
Destination BC’s UK team put Western Canada on the radar in Wallington, London with a recent training day for staff at Newmarket Holidays. The session raised awareness to help sales staff feel comfortable and confident in selling BC products to customers.
Sarah Holmes-Siedle of Destination BC UK stands with Mandy McGlade of Newmarket Holidays.
Explore BC East event shines in Toronto
Last month, Destination BC's Global Marketing team hosted a biennial event called Explore BC East (formerly called Discover BC East) in Toronto. The event provides an opportunity for tourism regions, destination marketing organizations, and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC (AtBC) to update receptive tour operators in Eastern Canada and tourism partners. Overall, there was a focus on shoulder-season or need-period opportunities during the presentations.
Following the Explore BC East event, our BC team provided training to the largest receptive tour operator in Canada, Jonview, in both Toronto and Montreal. Meeting with over 100 staff, destination training will improve and refresh their knowledge of BC in turn, generating more revenue to BC via Jonview channels and bookings.
Our BC team takes Toronto by storm.
Media visit highlights sustainable wildlife & bear viewing
Sarah Marshall, editor of the Press Association, visited British Columbia in September 2017 to explore the wildlife and bear viewing opportunities in British Columbia with EcoTours-BC and Knight Inlet Lodge. Destination BC created the itinerary, and Destination Canada and Bridge & Wickers also partnered on the trip. Read More.
Destination BC hosts “MegaFam” tours for global media
Every two years, Destination Canada organizes a global “MegaFam” familiarization tour for their Canada Specialist Program achievers. This year more than 200 travel agents were invited to Canada from ten key markets. The tour itineraries are organized by provincial marketing organizations and their partners around the country. Destination BC hosted two major MegaFam itineraries (with agents from all markets), as well as three pre-familiarization itineraries for agents from Australia, UK, and Korea. In total, 75 travel agents experienced BC’s tourism products and destinations, including the Fraser Valley, Squamish, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Sun Peaks. The MegaFam participants visited the different BC areas and then united in Toronto on October 4th for presentations and a gala event.
Participants prepare to hit the trails in Whistler.
Tour of new Ocean House property delights media
Destination BC staff recently joined HaiCo
(Haida Enterprise Corporation) on a trade and media familiarization tour to promote Ocean House
, their new luxury property on Haida Gwaii. The property, set to open May 2018, will be located in a remote inlet off the west coast of Moresby Island, accessible by boat, seaplane, or helicopter. Along with the “sister” property, Haida House
, which is located on Graham Island, HaiCo will be actively promoting 2018 packages to each property, as well as combination Haida House/Ocean House packages. Destination BC supported the tour through the Visiting Journalists Program.
View from Ocean House.
Early bird ski campaign takes flight in China
Our team in China unveiled their 2017-2018 early bird ski campaign in mid-September collaborating with 20 Chinese trade partners to promote Whistler, Sun Peaks, and Big White ski experiences with pre and post stays in Vancouver. The campaign message was pushed out via the campaign site: www.wildwithin.cn
and featured 360° ski video, ski resorts, winter experience highlights and a call-to-action tour product page. For the first time, our team used WeChat "Moment" advertising, the most popular social media in China, to attract the target audience.
Destination BC partners with New Weekly
for Beijing event.
Destination BC partners with New Weekly for Beijing event
On October 15th, Destination BC held a media and trade event in Beijing in co-operation with the media outlet New Weekly
to showcase content from their recent visit to BC this summer. The October edition of the print magazine features over 80 pages of BC content, such as destinations, experiences, and interviews with several British Columbians, including Trevor Linden, Anne Murray from YVR, and Destination BC’s own Maria Greene. Learn More: http://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/2e3v-Jg-NxBmD6adFO7Eqw
Also at the event, Destination BC highlighted our upcoming activities for Year of Canada China Tourism 2018 such as our Chinese New Year promotion in co-operation with Tourism Vancouver, Tourism Victoria, Tourism Richmond and YVR. Visit www.wildwithin.cn
Chinese travel agents and influencers tour BC
Last month, Destination BC hosted winners of the “Follow Me to BC” contest on a familiarization tour in BC. The group included travel agents and Key Opinion Leaders who had designed winning itineraries in our contest. The group visited Vancouver, Whistler, Victoria, and the Thompson Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies regions during the 13-day trip. Most of the group was from key secondary city markets that have opened up with more direct flights to Vancouver and are a focus for Destination BC. This marks the third year that Destination BC has hosted this itinerary-design competition with the tour as a prize. It has proven be an effective tool in trade education.
"Cool Canada" anime commercial launches in Japan
Destination Canada has launched the “Cool Canada” winter campaign in Japan. The Anime filmmaker of “Your Name” worked with Destination Canada and partners to create a 30-second commercial. This will be promoted in a variety of ways, including video ads, partner channels, Destination Canada platforms, and will be linked to tour operator partner offers. This project was supported by Destination BC and Tourism Vancouver. Check it out on Canada.jp: https://www.canada.jp/movies/post-18869/.
Richmond stop showcases BC
Travel Yukon recently ran a product manager familiarization tour that included a stop at Vancouver International Airport. Tourism Richmond hosted the group for the evening, including shopping and watching the sun set over Steveston Village. Destination BC helped to co-ordinate the evening.
Celebrating Edelweiss Air
Destination BC’s Stephanie Fielden stands with the Consul General of Switzerland, Mr. Pascal Bornoz, Captain Christoph Zogg, and an Edelweiss flight attendant at a recent reception in North Vancouver. The event was to celebrate the season’s last direct Edelweiss Air flight between Vancouver and Zurich as well as upcoming increases in service for summer of 2018.
Mexican television crew experiences Okanagan orchards and more
Destination BC recently hosted the cast and crew of “Diario de Viaje “(Travel Diary) on a 15-day itinerary around the province to capture footage for four full episodes of the show, which will air in early 2018. The host of the show is Damian Alcazar, a renowned actor in Mexico, most recently known for his role in the Netflix show “Narcos.” This project was initiated in partnership with Destination Canada in Mexico and included filming opportunities in Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, and Kelowna before moving on to Alberta and other parts of Canada.
The cast and crew of “Diario de Viaje”
film in Davison Orchards in Vernon.
High-profile Aussie travel editors tour BC
Two of Australia’s most high-profile travel editors explored British Columbia in September and October. Jana Frawley, national travel editor for Escape,
joined our exclusive familiarization trip to Haida Gwaii. Her coverage is inserted in The Sunday Telegraph Sydney, Sunday Herald/Sun Melbourne, Sunday Mail Brisbane, Sunday Mail Adelaide and Sunday Tasmanian.
Anthony Dennis, national travel editor for Fairfax Traveller
(inserted into The Sun Herald
, and Sunday Age
plus digital sites smh.com.au and theage.com.au), explored a wider area of British Columbia--including Fairmont properties in Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler, plus the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino and Sparkling Hill Resort in the Okanagan.
Jana Frawley stands next to an ancient cedar on Haida Gwaii.
A Stellar trip to BC
At the end of August, Destination BC and our partners from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Tourism Kelowna, and Tourism Vancouver welcomed Jessica Prince-Montague, deputy editor of Stellar Magazine in Australia. Stellar is a high-end glossy magazine with a circulation of 1.4 million and reach of 2.9 million every Sunday across the entire eastern seaboard of Australia. It is inserted into the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Mail, and Sunday Herald Sun. Their travel stories run online at www.stellarmag.com.au on the same Sunday the print magazine is released. Their social media reach is as follows: Facebook: 158K likes; Instagram: 74.3K followers; Twitter: 18.7K followers; combined social reach: 251K . See links below:
Jessica Prince-Montague of Stellar Magazine enjoys time in the Okanagan.
Australian media sip and savour on tour of Victoria
Destination BC, with partners Destination Canada and Tourism Victoria, recently hosted Australian media for a “Canada 150” themed tour in the capital city. The group included representatives from Expedia, 2UE & 2GB radio, and Better Homes & Gardens.
The tour featured many culinary delights. Highlights of the trip included a stay at the newly refurbished Fairmont Empress Hotel and a visit to the Victoria Distillery (pictured).
Air Canada celebrates in Sydney
Destination BC’s Joanne Motta was on hand to help Air Canada mark its 80th birthday in Australia. Given the daily flights from Sydney to Vancouver, there’s a lot to celebrate.
Creative game brings BC awareness in England
Destination BC’s UK team used a creative way to put BC resorts top of mind for sales agents from Crystal Ski Holidays during the company’s annual Canada Week. The team used a “Super Human Fruit Machine” to give staff a chance to win Destination BC-branded prizes and a selection supplied by partners: Fernie, Panorama, Sun Peaks, and Whistler. Participants who hit the jackpot had their pick from the prize table, but everyone received a BC ski resort mousepad to remind them of our resorts. After the fun, the team conducted training sessions to educate Crystal’s staff and encourage them to sell BC resorts. Watch a video of the UK team in action here: https://www.facebook.com/KBCPRandMarketing/videos/10155339386625865/
Virgin Holidays staff learns about BC
Sarah Holmes-Siedle from Destination BC’s UK team recently trained 30 Virgin Holidays staff at their headquarters in Crawley, England. Sales staff learned about the wonders of BC—and even sampled our famed Nanaimo bars.
Making connections in Ireland and Scotland
Destination BC’s Sarah Holmes-Siedle took her BC show on the road in August to train frontline and supporting staff from various ski and leisure operators, including Ski Independence, Tour America, American Holidays and My Canada Trips/Stewart Travel. Her sales and training trip took her to Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin.
BC’s film industry featured in Chinese television show
Destination BC China recently arranged a media trip to BC for World Film Report, a Chinese television show that focuses on different destinations, covering the local film industry, history, culture, and talent. The show has aired for 15 years and runs on the China Movie Channel (CCTV6) with over one billion viewers. The media trip in early May resulted in four episodes which aired in July. Different themes were featured in the four episodes, including a general BC film industry overview and specific movies such as Finding Mr. Right, Twilight, and X-Men.
Find the episodes below:
Episode 1 Finding Vancouver in movies
Episode 2 Northern Hollywood and Super Heroes
Episode 3 Film industry and post production in BC
Episode 4 Twilight: Happy Ending in BC
New ferry to be named Northern Sea Wolf
BC Ferries new mid-coast ferry service is named Northern Sea Wolf. The name was selected following a community engagement process that included representatives from local First Nations groups, Ferry Advisory Committee members, BC Ferries employees and the Mid-Coast Ferry Working Group. Destination BC’s Stephanie Fielden and Amy Thacker of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association assisted in the process by providing information on the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, BC’s overseas markets, and Destination BC’s marketing plan. Amy Thacker also helped review options for the vessel name. Learn More: https://www.bcferries.com/bcferries/faces/attachments?id=1086138
Social media success in China
Destination BC's office in China took advantage of the heightened awareness of Canada's 150 celebrations last month by posting several stories on our social-media channels. This included 20 articles released through our consumer WeChat, of which four were related to Destination BC’s summer social-media campaign called “150 seconds, Wild at Heart.” The top post garnered 7,388 viewers. Destination BC had the second most popular Provincial Marketing Organization WeChat in China for the first week of July, according to Dragontrail, Destination Canada's agency. Find out more here: http://dragontrail.com/wechat-weekly-ranking-destinations-airlines-and-cruises-week-26-2-july/
Times travel editor packs in diverse outdoor experiences
Destination BC supported a recent visit to the province by Jane Knight, travel editor of The Times
in the UK. Knight hopped aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, and also visited Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast, and Vancouver Island from July 13 to 29, 2017. The intent was to promote Vancouver’s experimental food scene, as well as various outdoor experiences such as cycling in Stanley Park, a tour of Grouse Mountain, and Shangri-La’s new wilderness tour to Whistler. Knight experienced an RV tour highlighting what not to miss on the Sunshine Coast, as well as wildlife viewing activities on Vancouver Island.
A stunning BC image from travel editor Jane Knight’s Instagram feed.
Lufthansa article celebrates Aboriginal culture in Vancouver
Destination BC and Tourism Vancouver supported writer Katharina Kunath on her trip to Vancouver to experience Aboriginal culture and cuisine. The resulting multi-page feature ran in the August issue of Lufthansa. The feature included attractions such as Salmon ‘n Bannock, lelem’ Arts and Culture Cafe, the Museum of Anthropology, Talaysay Tours, Stanley Park, Cheryl’s Trading Post, the Bill Reid Gallery, and Skwachàys Lodge. The magazine has a circulation of more than 500,000. See the article here: http://magazin.lufthansa.com/de/de/travel/vancouver-first-nations-alte-voelker-neuer-stolz/
Australian television crew rewarded with wildlife sightings
An Australian crew from the television show Guru Explorer recently wrapped up filming at Great Bear Lodge, off Vancouver Island’s north tip. The show’s mission is to seek out pristine wilderness, and the group caught some incredible footage when a mother bear named Joy popped up view. The show will air later this year in Australia.
Australian media experience a taste of the Okanagan
Four Australian journalists recently toured the Okanagan as part of a Canada 150 themed familiarization tour in partnership with Destination BC and Destination Canada’s Australia office. The group checked out highlights of the region while being hosted by Howard Grieve of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association. Highlights included a visit to Sparkling Hill Resort, tastings at Summerhill Pyramid and Gray Monk Estate wineries (to name a few), as well as a visit to Davison Orchards in the Vernon area.
The journalists from Down Under soak in the Okanagan sunshine during a farm tour of Davison Orchards in Vernon.
Team promotes Canada at consumer expos in Australia
Destination BC, Destination Canada, Tourism Yukon, Travel Manitoba, Banff Lake Louise Tourism, and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts recently teamed up to promote Canada at consumer expos in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in Australia. Travel trade partner Flight Centre organized the “Discover the Americas” expos to promote travel to North and South America. About 30,000 consumers attended events in the three cities. Learn More: http://www.travelexpo.net.au/discover-americas
BC returns to spotlight on wildly popular Amazing Race Canada
For the fifth year in a row, Destination BC has proudly partnered with the production team at Amazing Race Canada to bring the show to British Columbia. Featuring BC in every season to date, Amazing Race Canada has filmed in Whistler, Vancouver, the Okanagan, Victoria, Tofino, Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert. In 2017, the crew spent two weeks in production in Vancouver, Nelson, and Castlegar. Destination BC provided funds to support the production—Tourism Vancouver, and businesses and volunteers in Vancouver, Nelson, and Castlegar also provided support. Amazing Race Canada is our nation’s number one TV show, with over 2.1-million viewers per episode—giving us an amazing opportunity to showcase BC’s stunning cities, natural assets, outdoor adventures and world-class hospitality.
Jon Montgomery hosts Amazing Race Canada, the nation’s top television show.
UK group brushes up on Cariboo Chilcotin offerings
A small group of UK product managers travelled to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast area last month to showcase the region’s product. The group stayed at Chilcotin Holidays and the Echo Valley Ranch and Spa, and tried activities such as lassoing, hiking, and bear viewing. The group also visited Tyax Wilderness Resort for horse-riding around Tyaughton Lake. The group travelled to Kamloops to experience the Kamloops Heritage Railway, before spending their final day in Vancouver.
The UK product managers take in the view during their time in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.
Time for a climb to promote Canada in London
A climbing wall set up in Trafalgar Square provided a creative and fun way for our marketing team and partner Arc’teryx to promote BC and celebrate Canada 150. The wall was set up in front of the Arc’teryx Piccadilly Store, where more than 500 climbers took the challenge. The event was a prime opportunity to promote our brand and our hashtag, #exploreBC, while celebrating Canada 150. The promotion connected with the climbing community and beyond, as passersby enjoyed the spectacle and a summertime smoothie.
Scenes from the celebration at Trafalgar Square in London.
Team hosts festive lunch to mark Canada Day Down Under
Destination BC, Destination Canada, the Canadian Consulate, and Air Canada recently teamed up to host a festive lunch in Sydney, Australia for 100 VIP clients, including travel trade, government partners, and key travel media. Guest speakers included prominent Canadians who now call Sydney home, including BC-born rugby player Mike Pyke, seen here with Destination BC’s Joanne Motta.
Travel talk at Sydney museum highlights BC
Destination BC’s Australian team also participated in a travel talk last month showcasing the Austra
lian Museum’s BC art collection. The event, a partnership between Adventure World and the museum, was attended by museum members who were potentially interested in a trip to British Columbia. The event focused on works from Kwakwaka’wakw artists, including Calvin and Richard Hunt.
Contest in UK raises BC profile among soft adventurers
Destination BC recently collaborated on a successful consumer promotion with specialist cycling manufacturer MAVIC, retailer Cycle Surgery, Air Canada and UK wildlife/adventure specialist Windows on the Wild. The promotion offered the chance for a UK consumer to win a seven-night holiday to BC which included stops in Cranbrook, Radium Hot Springs, Emerald Lake, Shuswap Lake, Whistler, and Vancouver. The main objectives were to promote soft adventure holidays and gather quality consumer data. The campaign ran for 28 days and reached a total of 2,159,488 consumers, thanks to collaboration from all the partners. The campaign also generated nearly 5,000 opt-in leads, which was above expectations.
Tour operators get taste of adventure travel in BC
Adventure travel is a growing niche market in BC, and we recently hosted a familiarization tour for seven North American tour operators who specialize in this product. Some of the operators on the trip were National Geographic Adventures, Off The Beaten Path, and Zegrahm Expeditions. The group visited Sooke, Pender Island, Salt Spring Island and Tyax Resort. The operators tried kayaking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, and mountain biking.
Ramping up for ski season in Australia and New Zealand
In Australia and New Zealand May is the month travellers start to plan their ski holidays to Canada for the 2017-18 ski season. A team from BC’s ski industry attended 12 consumer and travel agent tradeshows to connect with 16,000 consumers in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. BC resorts in attendance included: Whistler, Sun Peaks, Big White, Silver Star, Red Mountain (Big Red Cats), Revelstoke, Panorama, Kicking Horse, and Fernie. Early indication from the resorts and the ski-tour operators show BC bookings are ahead of last year.
Silver Star Resort from Vernon at the ski show.
Team trains travel agents in Chengdu, China
Destination BC visited Chengdu, China recently with Destination Canada China and other in-market provincial marketing organizations to train travel agents. Chengdu is considered a secondary city in China, and is serviced by two routes to Vancouver with Sichuan Airlines (Chengdu-Shenyang-Vancouver and Chengdu-Zhengzhou-Vancouver). Over 180 local travel agents attended the destination training seminar to learn about Canada. Jodie Hu, Destination BC’s market manager in China, delivered a 40-minute destination presentation on BC.
Jodie Hu teaches the group.
Hats off to a successful trip BC to Rendez-vous Canada
Destination BC staff and our partners from BC's tourism regions had a busy and productive trip to Rendez-vous Canada (RVC) May 9 to 13, held this year in Calgary. Our team scheduled more than 900 appointments in advance, and more on site, all to sell BC tourism products to buyers from around the world. RVC is Canada's premier international tourism marketplace lead by Destination Canada, connecting international tour operators with Canadian tourism businesses. The annual event had a record attendance with over 1,800 domestic and international tourism industry leaders brought together for a series of speed-dating style appointments. This year, more than 550 tour operators from around the globe and 567 Canadian tourism organizations attended.
Maria Greene, Director, Global Marketing Partnerships, is revved up to sell BC at Rendez-vous Canada.
UK roadshows put BC in the spotlight
A four-city roadshow organized by Destination Canada provided a prime opportunity for Destination BC's UK team to showcase our products to the local travel trade, including frontline sales staff. The stops included on the UK roadshow were Brighton, Newcastle, Glasgow, and Chester. Our Destination BC representative Sarah Holmes Siedle was joined by Corinna Hoverd of Tourism Whistler and Colin Brost from Sun Peaks Tourism.
Korean travel agents learn during whirlwind tour
Destination BC recently partnered with Destination Canada to host eight key travel agents on a familiarization tour of BC. The main goal of the tour was to showcase destinations in BC that are suitable for shoulder-season travel. The group explored Vancouver Island (Victoria, Parksville, Tofino, Nanaimo), as well as Whistler and Vancouver. The knowledge fostered on this trip will be complemented by joint marketing through the same consortium of agents.
The group delights in Hot Springs Cove, Tofino, on Vancouver Island.
Our United Kingdom team meets with media in London
David Ezra and Sarah Holmes-Siedle from Destination BC UK recently attended TravMedia International Media Market Place (https://www.travmedia.com/imm/) in London. The team met with more than 20 media representatives to pitch British Columbia story angles, as well as network with more than 200 journalists and influences – all in one day.
Destination BC hosts ski tour operators at BC resorts
Destination BC's Australia and UK offices recently joined ski tour operators from Australia and the United Kingdom for a familiarization tour of Panorama Mountain and Kicking Horse resorts before heading to the Mountain Travel Symposium (MTS) (http://www.mtntrvl.com) in Banff. The MTS trade exchange was a two-day session for the mountain resort industry with more than 8,000 face-to-face appointments between more than 600 buyers and sellers including 10 BC ski resorts.
Representatives from Destination BC's Australia and UK teams hosted ski tour operators at Panorama Mountain Resort for some spring skiing and snowmobiling.
Blossoms and snow tour promotes shoulder-season travel
Destination BC recently led a group of receptive tour operators from Alberta and Ontario who are active in the China market on a “blossoms and snow” themed familiarization tour. The group experienced Victoria, Whistler, and Vancouver with the theme of showing that in BC we can enjoy spring blossoms, rainforest, and snow—all in one trip. Destination BC partnered with Tourism Victoria, Tourism Whistler, and Tourism Vancouver on this tour, which was intended to promote shoulder-season travel.
The group photographs the magical Fan Tan Alley in Victoria's Chinatown.
Destination BC team attends ITB Berlin
Destination BC recently joined our partners at the Canada Pavilion of International Tourism Bourse (ITB) Berlin, the leading trade show of the worldwide travel industry. From March 7 to 11 Destination BC representatives met with top tour operator accounts and airline partners to develop BC’s product offerings and discuss marketing and promotional opportunities. This year, the team had about 45 scheduled trade and media appointments. Destination BC was also a sponsor of Canada Night, which was organized by Destination Canada and held at the Canadian Embassy. Learn More.
Tour operators Discover Vancouver Island
Last month, Tourism Vancouver Island hosted Discover Vancouver Island at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa—with support from Destination BC. Discover Vancouver Island is a networking event bringing together receptive tour operators (RTOs) based in Vancouver with Vancouver Island cities, communities, and suppliers. Accommodation site visits at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke, the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, and Villa Eyrie were also included, wowing the group. Destination BC staff joined 40 suppliers, 10 cities and communities, and 24 Receptive Tour Operators for an evening of great food and conversation.
Destination BC hosted nine receptive tour operators (RTOs) who are active in the Asia market on a familiarization trip to Cowichan and Salt Spring Island to develop low-season products and itineraries for the area. Here, they visit Salt Spring Island Cheese with owner Daniel Wood.
Major Japanese travel show visits Vancouver
As part of the promotion of Canada 150, Destination Canada negotiated with a major Japanese broadcaster to feature Canadian destination content in an upcoming TABI Salad episode in April. Supported by Destination BC and other Team Canada partners, the crew visited Vancouver, Banff, Quebec City, Magdalen Islands and Niagara. TABI Salad has been airing in Japan for the past 25 years. The popular show runs 90 minutes in Japan and 20 minutes overseas. The show broadcasts on Saturday morning to 10-million viewers worldwide.
The TABI Salad film crew wrapped up their Canadian filming with a shoot in Vancouver.
Collaboration key in promoting “Cool Canada” to Japan
Team Canada Japan is working with tour operators to help them experience, package, and promote Canada’s off-season tourism products. The team—which includes Destination Canada, Destination BC, Travel Alberta, and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership (with the support of Air Canada)—recently created a new joint marketing strategy with the goal of 10% year-on-year growth in off-peak season travel for the next five years. This will be achieved through the development of new products and itineraries, promotion of the tagline “Cool Canada,” as well as promotion through Destination Canada’s content marketing and Team Canada co-operative marketing programs over the next few years, kicking off with the increased awareness drummed up by Canada’s 150 celebrations.
Team Canada Japan hosted six key Japanese accounts in Alberta last month.
BC welcomes Korean influencers
Korea is one of the most wired countries in the world, which has led to a rapid increase in FIT, or Fully Independent Travellers, who want detailed information to plan their own trips to Canada and are seeking something a little different. Destination Canada has run a Korean Influencer Program since 2009. They select bloggers from the search platform Naver based on specific criteria. Bloggers are invited to attend their annual media familiarization tour. The selected bloggers are provided with an air ticket, accommodation, suggested itinerary, attractions pass, and rental car. They then explore the partner province as a true FIT guest. Destination British Columbia has partnered on this program for the past few years and recently welcomed two bloggers to BC, JeongSeon Ham and Ji Eom. Their visits included trips to Vancouver, Richmond, Victoria, and Parksville.
The influencers gather at a launch party.
Destination BC launches new trade WeChat account in China
Destination BC just launched its new China WeChat service account “BC travel trade updates.” Users can now easily find destination updates including festival lists, flight information, and familiarization-tour itineraries. Travel agents and travel media can also download and save electronic versions of all Destination BC’s brochures and PowerPoint presentations for training on their mobile. Destination BC is the first provincial marketing organization to launch a travel trade service account. Scan the QR code (see image) and follow our posts on WeChat!
Hundreds attend travel-trade seminars in China
Destination BC recently partnered with Vancouver International Airport and Tourism Vancouver to hold three travel-trade seminars in Nanjing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen. The roadshow to these “secondary cities” provided an opportunity to introduce Destination BC’s new 2017 marketing strategies, themed routes, integrated marketing campaigns, flight-route updates, and latest promotional offers.
The goal is to attract more tourists to explore BC during Canada 150. Each trade seminar was supported by China Eastern Airlines, Capital Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines. China continues to be a growth market for Canada, with a 28% increase in air capacity in 2016, and an 18% increase in visitor arrivals to BC for year-end 2016. The origins of outbound traffic have shifted from first-tier cities and coastal areas to second and third-tier cities as well as China’s western regions.
Destination BC’s China team engaged in joint sales calls to key agents and met with media for interviews during the recent roadshow in China.
Each city saw attendance of more than 150 local travel agents and industry partners. This group shot is of the Shenzhen session.
New Canada 150 campaigns launch in Tokyo
Destination BC was on the scene for the recent Canada 150 kick-off event at the Canadian Embassy in Japan. Destination Canada and partners introduced the LOVE Canada 150 campaign and other tactics to more than 250 guests, including representatives travel trade and travel media. This was followed by a talk from the actress, Saki Yasuda who was featured in Destination Canada’s Mosaic Canada docudrama, and the comedian Dainagon-Mitsuko, who will be featured in the LOVE Canada promotion."
Yasuda spoke about visiting the Great Bear Rainforest and searching for the Spirit Bear, and how it was the most memorable and touching experience of the episodes filmed for Mosaic Canada.
Actress Saki Yasuda and the comedian Dainagon-Mitsuko at the Canada 150 festivities in Tokyo.
Updates from our UK team
Destination Canada recently threw their British Annual Canada Travel Awards 2017 (BACTA) at Canada House in London. Destination BC’s UK team attended to represent British Columbia.
Tracy Long (left) makes a connection while representing Destination BC at the British Annual Canada Travel Awards.
BC featured in “30 Best Holidays in Canada”
Travel writer Aaron Millar included 10 sections on BC in the “30 Best Holidays in Canada” article he wrote for The Times. The article, which ran February 25, 2017, included Vancouver, Whistler, and the Great Bear Rainforest. Destination BC’s UK team assisted with the writer’s trip planning. Learn More.
Whistler trip for winners promotes BC ski in China
Winners at the 10th annual Nanshan Mogul event in Beijing received an enviable prize: trips to Whistler. Destination BC China, Tourism Whistler, and Whistler Blackcomb collaborated to sponsor the trips. As the premium place to ski in Beijing, Nanshan has been Destination Canada and Destination BC China’s key marketing partner to promote ski traffic to Canada. As well as on-site exposure, the sponsorship return also includes coverage from online and print media outlets before and after the Whistler trips.
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 International Media Marketplace 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.
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.
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.