Marketing our Canadian conference management services to international clients just makes sense. With the under-valued Canadian dollar, US-based clients can realize significant savings by hosting their conferences and conventions in Canada, and by hiring Canadian companies, like Dragonfly Meeting Solutions Inc., to plan and execute their events.
A recent article in the Globe and Mail highlighted the increased investment by the Federal Government into Destination Canada, the Crown Agency responsible for marketing Canada as a tourist destination. The increase in budget will further market our great country and our conference and travel industry to potential international clients.
Here are some highlights of Richard Blackwell’s article:
“Destination Canada, formally called the Canadian Tourism Commission, is the Crown Agency responsible for marketing Canada as a tourist destination, was given an extra $50 million over two years in the budget tabled by federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau. The organization has been operating for several years with restraint but that is changing. The money was not earmarked ear marked for specific projects but will be used “to seize opportunities with partners by augmenting marking initiatives in important international markets, such as the United States and China”. The United States is Canada’s biggest source of international tourists and China is among the fasting growing sources.
In 2012, Destination Canada’s budget was cut by 20% to about $58 million which resulted in eliminating the promotion of Canadian leisure travel to U.S. markets. With the falling Canadian dollar, the budget was increased in 2015 to take advantage of the lower exchange rate specifically targeting the U.S. Market. However, even with the increased investment, the budget was still lower than before the 2012 cuts.
David Goldstein, President of Destination Canada said, “Tourism marketing is a very important extension to a country’s international brand, and this is consistent with the new government’s approach to enhancing the Canada brand around the world.” He noted that tourism is often a catalyst for broader trade and investment, because people who travel to a country are more likely to do business there. A 2014 Deloitte study suggested that a 1% increase in travel to Canada generates a $817 million increase in exports.
While the increased budget will not drastically change the way the Destination Canada promotes the country, it will allow for more flexibility in its methods and extend the marketing efforts in the countries it is already active. The organization does significant direct-to-consumer advertising as well as attending tradeshows. They work together with provinces, municipalities as well as travel agencies and tourist companies. Destination Canada also provides information to travel media in other countries.
The Tourism Industry Association of Canada, which represents Canada’s Tourism businesses, said it is crucial that this country boost its marketing efforts, particularly in the U.S. to take advantage of the low Canadian Dollar. However, the industry association also noted that the low dollar has made it more expensive to market Canada around the world so the increased budget will help address this.”
Destination Canada has some promoting to do, and we are right behind them targeting international clients to partner with Dragonfly Meeting Solutions Inc. for their upcoming conference and convention needs.
Source: The Globe & Mail: Richard Blackwell