1) Market snapshot - Tourisminsights.info


1) Market snapshot - Tourisminsights.info


Market & Trade Profile

Updated January 2006


Market & Trade Profile

Updated January 2006



1. Market Snapshot

2. General Market Conditions

• Population / Languages

• Economics / Politics

• Holidays / Annual Leave

• General Emerging Consumer Trends

3. Access Overview

• Political, Passport & Visa issues

• Gateways / Access to Britain

4. Market Size / Share

• Current and forecast overall market size / Britain’s % share

• Current volume / value statistics and trends for UK

• Key Competitor Destinations – actual & aspirational

5. Market Shape / Dynamics

• Purpose of visit

• Length of stay

• Regional spread / top towns

• Seasonal spread

• Type of Accommodation – where do they stay?

6. Britain’s Brand Image in Canada

• The bigger picture – Britain as a nation brand

• Britain as a tourist destination – DEPTH, HEART, VITALITY

7. Product / Market Fit

• What products / experiences are most attractive to Canadian visitors?

8. Who is the Canadian Visitor to Britain?

• Demographics (age, gender) / key market segments / travelling group

• 1st timer / repeat markets (and demographic differences)

9. Caring for the Canadian Consumer

• Language / information provision

• Food & Drink

• Accommodation

10. Reaching Canadian Consumers

• Deciding, planning & booking patterns for travel

• Online environment / Internet access

• Media habits


11. The Trade

• Overview of Trade structure

• Reaching the Trade

12. Business Visits & Events

• Statistics & Trends

13. VisitBritain in Canada

• Working in partnership with VisitBritain

• Overseas contacts

• London contacts / Further information

• Information sources used to compile this report

1) Market snapshot









• Population 32.5 million – growing & aging

• IMF Forecasts 2006: GDP (based on PPP per capita) USD$35,989.

GDP Growth Rate 3.2%. Unemployment 6.7%. Inflation 2.5%

• NO visa required

• 20 million outbound in 2004. UK has 3.7% market share

• UK ranked 2nd outbound destination for Canadians (USA is top destination)

• 740,000 visits in 2004 (+14% on 2003)

• £477 million spent in 2004 (+39% on 2003). AEV £642; AED £53

• 45% are VFR visitors; 31% HOLIDAY

• 51% stay 1-7 nights

• 56% visit between July – December

• Top Towns = London, followed by Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and York

• History, Heritage, Culture

• Youth & University Students, Mature Travellers, Affluent Boomers and

Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR)

• Internet access 77%

2) General market conditions


Population / Languages

The US Census Bureau puts the population of Canada at 32.5 million in

2004. According to Statistics Canada projections, Canada’s population of

32.2 million will grow to 33.4 million by 2011.

More than 80% of all the people in Canada live in towns and cities within

250 kilometres of the United States border. 86% live in four of the ten

provinces and three territories, namely Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario

and Quebec.

45% of the population live in the six largest metropolitan areas of

Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton.

Language: English is the official language in the all provinces and

territories except Quebec where French is the official language. French

is the mother tongue of 5.6 million Canadians living in Quebec.

Economics / Politics

Canada has a diversified economy. Natural resources industries, such as

forestry, mining, oil and gas extraction, farming and fishing, are

important sources of jobs and export earnings. Canada is also a world

leader in the fields of telecommunications, biotechnology, aerospace

technologies and pharmaceuticals. More and more jobs involve work in

service industries or in information technology. Along with the United

States and Mexico, Canada is a partner in the North American Free Trade


Canada has seen slower economic growth than its neighbour to the

south, with typical growth rates a shade below 3% per annum in recent

years – a trend that the IMF expect to continue through to 2006.

Twelve years of Liberal government in Canada ended in late January

2005 with the Conservative Party winning the general election brought

about by a confidence vote following a corruption scandal. The

Conservatives under Stephen Harper will need the support of smaller

parties to form a working government.

High gas prices and warnings to prepare for higher heating bills this

winter resulted in the index of consumer confidence plummeting in

September 2005. While the there was a recovery in consumer

confidence in October of 3.2 points, confidence remained lower in

October 2005 than during the past four Octobers. Fewer than half of

Canadians believe that now is a good time to make a major purchase like

an appliance, house or automobile. It appears that the combination of

higher gas prices and a boost in interest rates is serving to slow down

consumers’ desire to spend.

Holidays / Annual Leave

Canadian employees are entitled to a minimum of two weeks by law.

However, Britain’s ‘best prospects’ are primarily high income managerial

/ professional Canadians with four to six weeks annual leave.

Statutory Holidays 2006:

January 1st – New Years Day

April 14th – Good Friday

April 17th – Easter Monday

May 22nd – Victoria Day

July 3rd – Canada Day

General Emerging Consumer Trends

August 7th – Civic Holiday

September 4th – Labour Day

October 9th – Thanksgiving

December 25th – Christmas Day

December 26th – Boxing Day

Outbound Travel

Canadian outbound travel has been growing at impressive rates through

2004 and 2005. Out-of-country air travel grew by 11.8% during the first

eight months of this year. Air travel to the US increased by 13.8%, while

air travel to overseas destinations increased by 10.3%. Total outbound

travel by Canadians through August 2005 grew by 9.3%. All provinces in

Canada are experiencing positive growth in outbound travel, with

Alberta experiencing the largest increase, up 20.6 per cent. Canadian

visitors to Britain increased 14% in 2004 and January through August

2005 grew a further 7% over 2004. Travel economic indicators remain

strong for continued growth in outbound travel in 2006.

Life Stage Age Wave

The Canadian population is projected to grow 3.5% between 2004 and

2011. However, the 55+ population is forecast to grow 15% compared to

a decline for aged 15 to 44. The population age trend bodes well for

growth in Canadian visitors to Britain as trips by 55+ in 2004 represented

33% of Canadian visits to Britain.

3) Access overview

Visitors to Britain by Region (000)












British Columbia



Nova Scotia



Canadian gateways to Britain






Quebec City

St. John’s




Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow


Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow

Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester

Heathrow, Gatwick, Glasgow



Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff,

Exeter, Birmingham, Newcastle, Edinburgh

Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester, Glasgow, Cardiff


Political Situation

No political issues currently exist to restrict travel to Britain from Canada.

Passport and Visa Issues

Canadian visitors do NOT require a visa to visit the UK.

Canadians must hold a valid Canadian Passport, which is valid for the

duration of their stay in the UK. Visitors must travel with a return ticket to

show when they intend to leave the country. The maximum stay in the

UK is 6 months.

The "Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative" (WHTI) will force Canadians

wishing to visit the United States to carry a passport by 2007. The

initiative is bound to have a negative impact on travel between Canada

and the US in the short term. Currently 41% of Canadian adults carry a

valid Canadian passport. In the next eighteen months this percentage

will increase substantially for travel to US and therefore more Canadians

will have travel documents for potential international trips.

Gateways / Access to Britain

In 2004 (IPS), 91% of visitors from Canada travelled to the UK by air, 6%

by sea and 4% by tunnel. Average flight times from Canada range from 5

hours from St Johns through to 9 hours 30 minutes from Vancouver.

Ontario represents 48% of all Canadian visits (IPS 2004). Other main

provinces are Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.


Air Canada operate one flight a day to Heathrow

Zoom operate one flight per week to Gatwick


Zoom operate one flight per week to Gatwick

Air Canada operate a daily flight to Heathrow via St Johns


British Airways operates a daily flight to Heathrow

Air Canada operates twice daily to Heathrow

Zoom fly once per week to Stansted


Air Canada operate one flight per day to Heathrow


Zoom operate one flight per week to Belfast and Cardiff, 3 flights per

week to Glasgow, 3 flights per week to Gatwick and 1 flight per week to


Air India operate 3 flights per week to Birmingham

Air Transat operate a daily flight to Gatwick

British Airways operates 17 flights per week to Heathrow

Air Canada operate 35 flights per week to Heathrow


Zoom operate 1 flight per week to Belfast, 2 flights per week to Gatwick

and 1 flight per week to Glasgow

Air Transat operate 3 flights per week to Gatwick

British Airways operate 10 flights per week to Heathrow

Air Canada operate 21 flights per week to Heathrow

Zoom Airlines has announced the introduction of scheduled transatlantic

service from Vancouver to Cardiff and Belfast. Zoom Airlines is the only

Canadian air carrier to provide non-stop service from Vancouver to these

cities. The new service begins June 12, 2006 and will be available every

Monday up to October 30, 2006.


Zoom operate 1 flight per week to Gatwick

4) Market size/share

Current & Forecast Market Size

Global Insight estimates that there were 20 million outbound overnight

visits from Canada in 2004. There are forecast to be 27.4 million such

trips by 2010, an increase of 37%. UK currently accounts for 3.7% of

outbound trips from Canada.

2003 2004 Change

year on year

Total Visits 652,000 740,000 +14%

Visits Rank (League 10 10 No change

Table No. Visitors to UK)

Total Spend £343m £477m +39%

Spend Rank (League 9 8 Up1 place

Table £ Spend in UK)

Average Spend per Visit £524 £642 +23%


AEV Rank 29 25 Up 4 places

Average Spend per Day £46 £53 +15%


AED Rank

Outside top 30 rankings

Current Volume and Value Statistics / Trends

Key Competitor

1 USA 6 Dominican Rep.

Destinations – actual

Global Tourism Navigator

2 UK 7 China

shows us that UK was 2nd in 3 Mexico 8 Italy

the actual ranking of top

destinations (short and long 4 France 9 Hong Kong

haul included) for Canadian

5 Cuba 10 Germany

outbound travel in 2004, and

that France would appear to be our key European competitor.

Key Competitor

Destinations –


1 Australia 6 Spain

2 Italy 7 Sweden

According to the Anholt-GMI

Nation Brands Index (Wave 3

2005), which surveys a



New Zealand






representative n=1000 sample

of the online population in

5 UK 10 Ireland

Canada, UK is ranked 5th out of 24 (i.e. not all potential are asked about)

destinations that would be likely for a leisure visit "if money were no


We have several key European competitors from an aspirational point of

view – Italy being the key one to watch.


5) Market shape/dynamics

Purpose of Visit

Trend of Visits (000) by Purpose of Visit - Canada








45% of the visitors from Canada to the UK come for the purpose of

visiting friends and relatives (VFR).

31% come for a holiday and 11% come for business.

Length of Stay

1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004






The GMI Nation Brand Index research asked 1,000 Canadian

respondents about their awareness of the regions of Britain. Canadians

know London by far the best out of all the regions, followed by Britain

overall, Scotland and then the rest of England excluding London. Wales

is the least well-known region. Looking at the 244 Canadians who had

ever visited Britain the mean scores increase for all the regions,

particularly for England excluding London (up to 5.1).



England (Other)

England (London)

Britain (Overall)

Seasonal Spread






3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5 7


Trend of Visits (000) by Duration of Visit - Canada








1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Over half of Canadian visitors stay in the UK for less than 8 nights with

27% coming for a short break (1-3 nights). 1/4 come for 15 nights or


27% of Holiday visitors stay in the UK for 4-7 nights. The Holiday shortbreak

market accounts for 26% of Holiday visits and the 8 + night stays

for 45%.

VFR visitors tend to stay longer with 64% staying in the UK for 8 nights or


Regional Spread / Top Towns

Nil nights

1-3 nights

4-7 nights

8-14 nights

15+ nights

We have seen that visiting friends and relatives is an important segment

for visits from Canada and this ensures that there is a good regional

spread of destinations visited.

83% of visitors from Canada stayed in England, 50% in London, 20% in

Scotland and 6% in Wales in 2004. (IPS)

Taking advantage of the fact that a fifth of all visits from Canada included

time spent in Scotland and 6% included time in Wales, the Canadian

airline Zoom are set to expand their network of flights to the UK, with a

good mix of regional airports such as Glasgow, Manchester, Belfast and


Top Towns for Canadian visitors in 2004 were:

Visits (000)

1 London 369

2 Glasgow 68

3 Edinburgh 46

4 Manchester 28

5 York 18

Trend of Visits (000) by Quarter of Visit - Canada








1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

The summer months July-September are the most popular period for

Canadian residents to visit the UK (35%).

The summer months are even more popular for Holiday visitors as 40% of

them travel to the UK in July-September.

VFR visitors also prefer the period July-September to visit the UK (35%).

Accommodation Type





Due to the high numbers of VFR visitors, 58% of Canadian visitors stay as

a free guest with friends and family when they visit the UK, which

accounts for 57% of nights spent.

60% of Holiday visitors stay in Hotel/guesthouse, 41% as free guests and

15% in a B&B.

91% of VFR visitors are free guests.

87% of Business visitors stay in Hotel or guesthouse.

6) Britain’s brand image in Canada

The bigger picture – Britain as a "nation brand"








Canadian respondents perceive the US and China to make a major

contribution to innovation in science and technology, with the UK in 5th

place. Products made in the UK are well perceived by Canadians who

place the UK in 3rd place behind the US and Japan.


The countries Canadian respondents would be most willing to live and

work in for a substantial period are Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland

and the UK. The US is considered the best place to study for educational

qualifications followed by the UK.

Britain as a Destination Brand – DEPTH, HEART &



The Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index (Wave 3 2005) is an online panel

survey of 1000 CANADIAN respondents. The 6 points of the hexagon

are made up of several different questions, which compare 25 countries

as Nation Brands.

Overall, the Canadian panel find the British people welcoming and

friendly and rank the UK in second place after the Australians on the

PEOPLE aspect of the hexagon. The UK is also somewhere the

Canadians would like to live and work, ranking in second place after the

US on INVESTMENT. Products made in the UK are well perceived by the

Canadians who rank the UK 3rd for EXPORTS (US and Japan in the top

two positions). UK CULTURE is ranked 4th and the UK is in 5th place for

TOURISM. The UK is ranked in 6th place for GOVERNANCE.


Italy is considered to be the country with the richest cultural heritage,

with the UK in 7th position. Canadians perceive the UK to offer more

in the way of contemporary culture and rank it in third place behind

the US and France as a country that has an interesting and exciting

contemporary culture such as music, films, art and literature.

Canadian respondents rank the UK in 6th place as a country that

excels at sport, with the US, Russia and Germany in the top three



If they were to visit the UK, Canadians feel the British people would

make them welcome, with the UK in fourth position behind Australia,

New Zealand and The Netherlands. Canadians would also like to

have someone from the UK as a close friend and perceive a British

person as a good choice when filling an important employment

position (2nd place for both attributes behind Australia).


If money were no object, Canadians would like to visit Australia followed

by Italy and New Zealand (in joint second place), Switzerland and the

UK. The UK is perceived to be a country rich in built heritage/historical

heritage (4th), rather than rich in natural beauty (11th) compared to the

other countries surveyed.


Canadians see the UK as well governed. It is ranked in 3rd place for

behaving responsibly towards international concerns over the

environment and world poverty and in 4th place for being both

competently, honestly and fairly governed and a country that respects

the human rights of its citizens and treats them with fairness. The UK is

ranked in 7th place for being a country that behaves responsibly in the

areas of international peace and security.

As an update to 2003’s Brand Tracking, Wave 3 2005 of the Anholt-GMI

Nation Brands Index included questions to measure perceptions of

Britain as a holiday destination on attributes related to Britain’s brand


In the NBI, 1000 CANADIAN participants rated Britain on a scale of 1-7,

where 1 was "poor" and 7 was "excellent" and overall, they gave a range

of mean scores from 4.96 – 5.80 across the 16 attributes.

This is a simplified diagram showing the relative strengths of the different

brand attributes. People were asked to rate Britain on each attribute

using a scale of 1-7 (where 1=poor and 7=excellent). As nobody rated

below 4 or above 6, the diagram below has a mid-point of 4 and an outer

rim of 6. Basically, the closer the shading to the outer rim, the better the

perception of Britain on that attribute!

Traditional (D)

Modern (V)

Cultural A&E(D)

Lots Experiences (V)

Stories (D)

Vibrant Cities (V)

Sociable (V)

Energetic (V)

History (D)

Discovery (D)

Scenic (H)

Fun (V)

Relaxing (H)

Humour (H)

Friendly (H)

Welcoming (H)

Canadians give Britain’s DEPTH brand values of traditional, history and

fascinating stories the highest scores and this effect increases even more

for those Canadians who have visited Britain.

Natural scenic beauty is the highest-ranking HEART attribute, followed

by friendly and welcoming. Britain is not perceived to perform as well on

the HEART values of relaxing and good sense of humour. However,

perceptions of all these HEART attributes improve when rated by the 244

Canadians who have actually visited Britain. Good sense of humour

shifts the most, moving from a mean of 5.1 when rated by all Canadians

to 5.4 when rated by those who have visited. Although these shifts are

not significant they certainly give a positive message that those who have

visited Britain have better perceptions of the British people.

From the VITALITY values, Britain is perceived as having lots of

experiences in one destination, sociable and fun with vibrant and

exciting cities. The British are not thought to be an energetic nation.

7) Product/market fit

What products / experiences are most attractive to

Canadian visitors?

A qualitative European Travel Commission (ETC)/ Menlo study of the

image of EUROPE (generally) in North America, found that American and

Canadian travellers hold fairly similar perceptions of Europe. Above all

else, Europe is associated with HISTORY, CULTURE and

GASTRONOMY (although from other research, this latter is unlikely to

be as associated with Britain as other European destinations).

Europe’s history is by far its most compelling feature – more than

anything else it differentiates Europe from the United States and Canada

and is a defining element of Europe’s identity. A historical backdrop to

modern day living is enormously appealing.

Culture is another defining element, although it means different things to

different travellers and for most the performing and fine arts are a core

component. For many, culture also equates with lifestyle. Amongst

Canadians generally in the research, there was a desire to observe and

experience the way that Europeans live. Young Canadians in particular

wanted to understand local culture and even to blend in / live like a local.

Older travellers were more likely to speak of exploring museums,

galleries, music and the arts.

In The Canadian Conference Board December 2004 survey, cultural

attractions were at the top of the list amongst the images that first come

to the mind of Canadians when thinking about Britain as a vacation

destination. Quaint villages and country scenery were second on the list

of images. Visiting historical and cultural sites was also seen as the most

important experience to have when visiting Britain.

In the ETC report, in addition to HISTORY, CULTURE and

GASTRONOMY, Europe is also strongly associated with scenic beauty –

in landscapes, small towns, villages and even cities. Interestingly,

Canadians do not seem to share Americans’ fascination with icons quite

so much (e.g. Big Ben, Eiffel Tower).

VB Canada Database Interest Profiles

Over the past five years a rich database has been developed on our

consumer customer product interests / experiences. In order of

customer preference:

Castles /historic houses, countryside, museums / galleries, gardens,

cities, walking (not hiking), theatre / musicals, ancestry, TV / movie

locations, history / heritage, pageantry / royalty, restaurants / dining,

churches / cathedrals, football, literary Britain, golf and opera / ballet /


There are a number of shared symbols between UK and Canada:

Commonwealth country / Queen – head of state / royalty; similar

language / law / political structure; icons – Big Ben, pipe bands,

guardsmen, gardens, fashion, history / heritage / culture.


8) Who is the Canadian visitor?


Trend of Visits (000) by Age of Visitors - Canada








1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

Age Male Female

Group % %

0-15 5 5

16-24 6 12

25-34 15 14

35-44 18 17

45-54 20 22

55-64 21 18

65+ 14 12

9) Caring for the Canadian consumer

Britain is a home away from home for most Canadian visitors, sharing a

common language, culture, tradition and heritage. There are very strong

ties with both countries. Canadians are experienced, well travelled

international visitors.

No language issues exist, however there are some variations in word use

and meaning. Detailed information is appreciated.

Interaction Tips

Some of Canada's standards for public behaviour may be more

conservative than you are used to, while others may seem more liberal.

For example, Canadians may seem impersonal and cold to some

newcomers; to others, they may seem overly friendly.

Social practices – not laws – govern many types of behaviour in Canada.

Some traditions are well established and are politely but firmly enforced.

For example:

• Lining up, or queuing: People normally line up or queue

according to the principle of "first-come, first-served." They will be

angry if you push ahead in a line-up instead of waiting your turn.

• Not smoking in private homes: Most Canadians do not smoke.

When you are in people's homes, you should always ask their

permission to smoke.

• Being on time: You should always arrive on time. People who are

often late may be fired from their jobs or suspended from school.

Many Canadians will not wait more than 10-15 minutes for someone at

a business meeting. For social events, it is expected that you will arrive

within half an hour of the stated time.

• Respect for the environment: Canadians respect the natural

environment and expect people to avoid littering.

• Bargaining: Bargaining for a better price is not common in Canada,

but there are some exceptions. People who sell things privately may

also bargain.

• Smart shopping: Stores compete on price with one another to

attract customers. Note: The price marked on goods in stores does not

include taxes, which add from 7-15% to the cost of an item, depending

on the province.

• Canadians often identify themselves as Canadians by wearing a

maple leaf pin, or a maple leaf on clothing, etc. Acknowledge they are


• Shaking Hands: It is customary that you always shake hands at a

first time meeting and always in business situations.

• First Names: Canadian’s are always on a first name basis; especially

in social situations and informal business environments.

The Canadian visitor to Britain is not an American. Many in Britain

treat Canadians as Americans even though they are quite different from

their American neighbours.

69% of Canadians are repeat visitors to Britain. Therefore they are well

travelled and knowledgeable about Britain. They seek new experiences

and destinations within Britain to explore.

Accommodation / Food & Drink

Canadians are used to a high standard of living and good quality of

service. If something is wrong, they will be extremely polite when they

complain, almost apologetic, however they will expect an immediate

remedy to the situation.

Canadians are used to space and lots of room and would expect this in

cars and hotel rooms.

Canadians will always tip (10-15% standard).

Canadians are used to being served by waiting staff as opposed to at the


10) Reaching Canadian consumers


Canadians book primarily through retail agency distribution channels

whether it is in-person, telephone or online. Growth in e-commerce in

Canada over the past year has been fuelled predominantly by travel

spending (ComScore). 73% of consumers planning to visit Europe will

search the Internet to help plan their trip and 48% plan to buy at least

some part of their Europe trip over the Internet (CTRI).

Canadians are knowledgeable independent travellers who are

accustomed to a high standard of living, a quality service and expect

value-for-money product. Therefore, they require many products geared

towards FIT such as car hire, rail, coach transport, accommodation

ranging from Bed and Breakfast to 3-4 star hotels, cultural and heritage

attractions, museums and galleries and events.

Deciding, planning & booking patterns

Canadians, due to growing empty nester demographics, are more able to

make "last minute" trip decisions with 42% of international travellers in

2005 deciding one to six weeks prior to trip departure instead of 2 or 3

months. More than 8 in 10 summer trips to Europe were yet to be

arranged by March 2005. The collapse in time between arranging and

taking trips means that airlines, tour operators and destinations must be

prepared to advertise and promote throughout the entire year.

Canadians made a total of 4.6 million pleasure visits, which do not

include VFR (Statistics Canada). Europe remained the number one

overseas region for Canadians in 2004 with a 47% visitor share compared

to 21% for the Caribbean. However, stronger growth to Asia and the

Caribbean enabled these regions to grow market share. Visitors to

Europe are forecast to grow 3.1% per year in 2005 and 2006 following a

rebound increase of 10.5% 2004 (CTRI).

Canada’s wealthiest with annual household income of at least

CA$200,000 take an average of three vacations per year, expect to pay

$5,000 per person, per trip and are more interested in collecting

experiences and memories than possessions. 76% shop around for the

best price but the majority agrees that quality and good service are more

important than the price tag (Leger Marketing).

Consumer travel and lifestyle exhibitions remain popular for leisure

travellers to obtain destination trip planning information. In 2004, more

than 300,000 attended travel exhibitions while specific lifestyle interest

shows such as golf, gardening and home furnishing continue to grow

attendance (Print Measurement Bureau). Based on 2004 VisitBritain

evaluation, an average of 24% of respondents claimed that they were

definitely influenced to holiday in Britain having received information at


Online Environment

Nearly 3 in 4 Canadians travelling to Europe in 2005 will use the Internet

to help them research and plan their trip. When planning and/or booking

their international trip, travellers are most likely to use the following web

sites: airline 26%; Expedia.ca 25%; destination 21%; hotel 14%; other

22%; Travelocity 11% and Itravel2000 9%.

Canadians are amongst the most connected populations in the world.

The ETC estimate that 77% of the population is online, and 66% of

Canadian households now have a broadband connection (Canada

Internet & Broadband Usage Report 2004).

On-line travel e-commerce has become the fastest growing segment of

the travel industry (Statistics Canada). Research by comScore Media

Metrix indicates that Internet users with a high-speed connection, 5.2

million Canadian households, are more likely to purchase products online

than are dial-up Internet users. The Conference Board of Canada’s

summer 2005 travel intentions survey indicated 90% of summer travellers

planning an international trip have high-speed Internet and 62% are likely

to buy part or their entire summer trip to Europe on the Internet.

Media Habits

There has been a significant change in the growth and diversity of media

distribution channels. Viewership of speciality TV has doubled in the past

five years (Statistics Canada). Readership of community newspapers by

professionals has grown to 67% compared to 52% who read daily

newspapers (ComBase 2004 Study). Major daily newspapers and

magazines actively promote their on-line editions.

Canadian TV broadcasters are carrying more British programs in prime

time. Movies filmed in Britain continue to receive prominent media

coverage. Many high-end cultural institutions are offering an increasing

number of British exhibitions and cultural events.

Lifestyle magazines are widely read by Britain’s Best Prospects and

provide an excellent means of reaching these consumers with targeted



11) The Trade

Overview of trade structure

Product distribution to the customer has traditionally been through retail

travel agencies.

The rising importance and sophistication of travel Internet sites, together

with global uncertainty has led more Canadians to take a "wait and see"

attitude before committing to taking a trip. This trend has forced

fundamental changes in how travel is marketed, promoted and sold.

Travel e-commerce has grown rapidly with the entry of new web-based

companies and traditional agencies offering a web site booking facility.

Airlines and tour operators are placing more emphasis on direct sell. The

number of holiday travellers using a traditional travel agent has fallen to

51% in 2004 from 64% in 2002 (CTRI)

While more Canadians are buying their travel on-line, this has not

replaced the need for the storefront travel agent. What Internet travel

sites have done is change the role of the travel agent. Internet travel

websites perform a valuable service for Canadians looking for a flight,

hotel and/or car rental for a domestic or US business or leisure trip.

However, the same traveller will turn to a travel agent to help them with

booking a package vacation or a group tour to Europe or Asia. The more

complex and costly the trip, the more likely the traveller is to use a travel


Agencies using a multi-channel approach seek to get customers to visit

their website for product information and then either to book the trip

directly on-line or to visit their nearest storefront agent.

On-line retailers started out relying on selling air travel as their main

source of revenue. However, they had to branch out to selling higher

margin hotel, car rental, insurance and packages in order to churn out a

profit. While on-line retailers are getting good at capturing customer

information to sell more proactively (usually with emails offering late

booking specials), the storefront agent will continue to be relied upon for

the higher margin, more complex trips.

Canada’s major tour operators share more characteristics with tour

operators in the UK than with US tour operators. British travel companies

own two of Canada’s major tour operators, Signature Vacations and

MyTravel. Many of Canada’s major tour operators are vertically

integrated with their own fleet, tour operations and travel retailers. They

are also national in scope.

In the past five years the number of IATA approved retail travel agencies

has fallen by nearly 25% to 3,034 (IATA). The drop is a result of a

consolidation in the retail travel industry, agencies going out of business

and agencies being acquired or joining consortiums or becoming a

franchisee. The independent retailers have become specialists in group

travel and other niche travel products. Off-line agencies are beginning to

use the power of the Internet to develop personal relationships with their

clients through e-communications.

Tour Operators

The majority of tour operators are based in and around the greater

Toronto area with branch offices in other Canadian cities. The top twenty

tour operators offer air seats and a choice of add-on land products such

as gateway hotels, car hire, coach tours, fly-drive programmes, etc.

As Britain is the number one European destination, tour operators

normally title their product brochure "Britain and Europe". The

planning/buying is completed in September through November and the

brochure is printed and launched in January and February. Tour

operators are moving content to their web-sites and investing in e-

brochures, virtual touring, etc, while using print for image and branding

purposes and reach through traditional travel agencies.

British coach tour operators such as Contiki Holidays, Globus, Cosmos,

Insight Vacations and Trafalgar Tours have corporate offices in Toronto.

There are hundreds of small tour operators, often part of a retail travel

outlet, offering one-off group tours. The majority will use the services of

a UK ground handler.

continued overleaf

Travel Agencies

There are 5,000 retail travel agency outlets throughout Canada. The

number of IATA accredited agencies fell from 4,011 in August 1999 to

3,179 in August 2004 as a result of agency consolidation, bankruptcies

and changing business practices. The popularity of carrier Web based

booking systems has also reduced the demand for BSP accredited

agencies. Air Canada reports that half of its domestic bookings are now

made through its Website.

The number of holiday travellers using a traditional travel agent has fallen

to 51% in 2004 from 64% in 2002 (CTRI). While more Canadians are

buying their travel on-line, this has not replaced the need for the

storefront travel agent. What Internet travel sites have done is change

the role of the travel agent. Internet travel websites perform a valuable

service for Canadians looking for a flight, hotel and/or car rental for a

domestic or US business or leisure trip. However, the same traveller will

turn to a travel agent to help them with booking a package vacation or a

group tour to Europe or Asia. The more complex and costlier the trip, the

more likely is the traveller to use a travel agent.

Retail Agents

For lists of retail agents you can purchase the following publications:

Baxter - Personnel Guide

Travel Week – The Blue Book

There are 4,855 retail travel agency outlets throughout Canada. The

popularity of carrier Web based booking systems has also reduced the

demand for accredited agencies. Air Canada reports that half of its

domestic bookings are now made through its Website.

The major national retail chains, with Toronto head offices, are

Advantage Travel, T-Comm, American Express, CAA Travel, Carlson-

Wagonlit, Giants, Goliger’s, MyTravel, Thomas Cook, Sears, Uniglobe

and Vacation.com. They tend to have preferred agreements to enhance

their commissions and profitability.


VisitBritain can advise you on representatives. However, on-territory

representation is a declining trend.

• The Canadian climate varies enormously. There are four distinct

seasons. British Columbia has a moderate climate similar to Britain. The

rest of Canada has more extreme seasonal differences. Temperatures

range from bitterly cold winters and lots of snow to hot and humid

summers. If you do visit in the winter, do not be surprised by

temperatures of -35˚C.

• Avoid the holiday periods for your visit – most Canadian public

holidays are different to American ones.


Distances in Canada are measured in kilometres. Canada is over 7,000

kilometres from east to west. You would need seven days to drive from

Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Vancouver, British Columbia. By airplane, the

same trip would take about seven hours.

The distance from Toronto to Montreal is 546km – recommend flying.

The Greater Toronto Area covers a huge geographic area and there is a

lot of traffic congestion – getting from one side of Toronto to the other

during rush hour can take several hours.

Commitment to the market: You must be prepared to take a long term

view and persevere in the market for at least 2-3 years, and modify your

product to meet Canadian needs where necessary. Keep the visits going

and back these up with e-communications and a web presence in the

marketplace. Send messages and New Year cards.

Reaching the Press

Due to Canada’s vast area, newspapers tend to be more provincially

based, with all major cities having at least one daily paper. The Globe &

Mail and the National Post are national papers published in Toronto.

Community and ethnic newspapers are also very prevalent in most cities

and towns.

Four papers dominate the trade scene and are nationally distributed –

Canadian Travel Press, Travel Courier, Canadian Traveller and

Travelweek. In addition, openjaw.com, a travel trade web site, has

revolutionised the delivery of industry news, product, pricing, etc. to the

travel agents’ desktop.

British Incoming Tour Operators

Visit http://www.ukinbound.org/

Reaching the Canadian Travel Trade


One of the best ways to target the trade is to make contact with them

face to face via sales calls. VisitBritain can assist you in identifying which

operators are most suitable for your product. VisitBritain has developed a

range of marketing opportunities targeted at travel trade contacts in the

market which you can select to form a campaign approach to targeting

the travel trade.

Top Tips

• Canadians tend to use British and not American spelling, therefore

your literature and correspondence should reflect this.

• Office hours in Canada are generally the standard 9-5.

• Make appointments in advance with all the people you wish to meet.

• Dress code tends to vary with the season in Canadian offices. Normally

during the winter period business attire is worn and in the summer

months business casual wear (polo shirts) is worn.

• English is spoken all over Canada. Quebec is the exception, although

most in the travel industry will speak English as well as French. Montreal

is a bilingual city.

• Follow-up is very important. Canadians like prompt answers to

questions, whether by telephone, letter, fax or e-mail.

12) Business Visits / Events

Business Visits Statistics

During 2004, 11% of travel from Canada to the UK was for business

purposes, and this accounted for 25% of spend (IPS).


CANADA 2004 Business 2004 Business

(000) Visits (£m) Spend

Trade Fair/Exhibition 2 2.6 4 3.4

Conference/Large Meeting 18 22.2 21 17.6

Other Business 62 75.2 94 79.0



Trade Fair/Exhibition 1875 333 5.6

Conference/Large Meeting 1137 128 8.9

Other Business 1509 160 9.4

Canadian Business visits are made up of 25% Conferences, Large

Meetings, Trade Fairs or Exhibitions and 75% individual business travel.

Business Visits Trends

Based on research and evaluation conducted by VisitBritain Canada in


The average number of clients sent was 86. 82% said they send groups to

North America. 49% sent groups to Britain in the past 4 years. Of those

that sent groups to Britain in 2001, 2002, and 2003, the average number

of people in a group was 75. Of those that travelled to Britain in the past

4 years:

92% visited London

44% visited Scotland

24% visited South of England

20% visited North of England

16% visited Central England

12% visited Wales

64% of respondents said they worked with a UK based DMC in the past

4 years.

Those who had organised groups said they booked:

City centre hotels 82%

Luxury hotels 75%

Resort hotels 55%

Countryside hotels 51%

Moderate hotels 47%

Country house hotels 29%

About 10% said they were planning groups to Britain in 2005, with the

average number of people they intended sending being 93.

About 4% had confirmed plans for groups for Britain in 2006 and 4%

were planning groups for that year. About 2% said that they were

planning groups to Britain in 2007.

Current BT Trends in Canadian Market: (CM&IT Magazine 2005

Market Report)

Companies are spending as much money as they ever have, sending the

same size or even larger groups, but there are fewer companies using

incentive travel to reward top employees.

23% chose group incentive travel as part of their incentive mix last year,

down from 31% in 2003. 10% of corporate buyers indicated their

companies used individual incentive travel as reward in 2004, down from

15% in 2003. The reasons for the decline vary, but corporate buyers

suggest the most common reasons were other incentives were used

(41%), it was against company policy (17%) and cash rewards were

preferred (15%). Interestingly, political instability and the threat of

terrorism were not mentioned as a factor.

36% of survey respondents organised a trip for less than 10 winners in

2004, up from 33% in 2003. 21% of respondents organised a travel

program for 100 to 299 winners, while 17% said their group fit into the 20

to 49 attendee range. 10% of respondents planned travel jaunts for

groups of more than 300.

Almost three-quarters (72%) indicated their incentive travel group in

2004 was the same size as the previous year, while 18% indicated the

group size was larger. 10% reported a decline in the number of winners

on the trip.

In 2005, 87% of companies surveyed with an incentive travel budget will

spend the same amount and 9% will have an increased budget. $24.9m

was spent on incentive travel programs in 2004 – the same as they plan

to spend in 2005.

Average spend per participant:

13) VisitBritain in Canada

Working in Partnership with VisitBritain

There are many ways of working in partnership with VisitBritain in any of

our 37 global markets. We deliver numerous marketing campaigns and

produce various targeted guides and publications which are seen by

millions of potential visitors throughout the world – offering excellent

advertising and partnership opportunities.

We undertake both print and online advertising, and produce e-

newsletters communicating with both consumers (via our substantial

databases) and our trade partners on-territory whilst the exhibitions,

workshops, sales missions and media events we organise provide the

perfect platform to promote your product firsthand to trade, press and

consumer visitors.

In some markets where the travel trade remains a crucial element of the

booking process we produce Agents' Sales Guides and offer Agents' online

training programmes to ensure both the destination and range of

British tourism product is at the forefront of the travel agent's mind.

For more details on these and other diverse opportunities in markets of

interest to you, please visit our UK Industry Website and read our

worldwide marketing prospectus, or contact your VisitBritain

representative in London or overseas.


Overseas Contacts

VisitBritain Canada

5915 Airport Road


Ontario, L4V 1T1

T: 001 905 405 1720

F: 001 905 405 8490

Val Schroder

Press and PR Manager

E: valarie.schroder@visitbritain.org

T: 001 905 405 1720 ext 225

Raymond Mathias

Marketing Manager

E: raymond.mathias@visitbritain.org

T: 001 905 405 1720 ext 226

London Contacts / Further information

For any further information relating to Canada, please contact the

London-based International Markets Team:


Alternatively, visit VisitBritain’s dedicated website for the UK tourism

industry: www.visitbritain.com/ukindustry

Why not sign up to our Industry E-Newsletter, or register with

VisitBritain to be kept up to date with all that’s new in Canada

and other markets worldwide?

Information Sources used to compile this report

• International Passenger Survey figures (IPS) 2004 (Office for National


NB: Data from International Passenger Survey has been made available

by the Office for National Statistics and has been used by permission.

The ONS do not bear any responsibility for the analysis or interpretation

of the data reported here.

• Anholt-GMI Nation Brands Index – Waves 2 & 3 2005 (Quantitative)

• Foresight – June 2005

• ETC / Menlo "The image of Europe in North America" 2004


• IMF / Economist / US Census Bureau

• BBC websites

• Global Tourism Navigator

• FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office)

• ETC (European Travel Commission) and ETC New Media Review

• VisitBritain CANADA Business Plans, Insights and Intelligence Reports


• The Conference Board of Canada

• Statistics Canada

• Meetings & Incentive Travel Magazine annual survey 2005


Printed in England

Published by VisitBritain, Thames Tower, Blacks Road, London W6 9EL

in partnership with England’s tourism industry.

Telephone 020 8846 9000


© British Tourist Authority (trading as VisitBritain) 2006

Conceived by Britain International Market Research, International

Partnerships and Industry Relations

Photography supplied by britainonview.com

Copyright in all images and text is the property of the respective copyright

holders. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited.

Important note: The information contained in this publication has been

published in good faith on the basis of information submitted to

VisitBritain and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy.

However, where appropriate, you are strongly recommended to check

prices, opening times, dates, etc before making final arrangements.

All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or damage caused by

reliance on the information contained in this publication is hereby

excluded to the fullest extent permitted by law.

The opinions expressed by contributors to this publication are not

necessarily those of VisitBritain.

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines