If you're like me, then there are times you've probably asked this question: "how do international travellers view Canada? And what motivates them to visit?" Why choose Ottawa over Washington? Why pick Calgary as a travel destination over Buenos Aires? These are questions that the Canadian government must ask as well if our country is to be a competitive draw for travellers.
Stability, peacefulness, politeness and a welcoming atmosphere go a long way when considering a nation in which to settle down and raise a family. When you are contemplating flinging free on vacation, those qualities aren't as enticing. So, what do you do if you need to become more attractive? Here are some thoughts.
In the face of relentless competition and staggering budget cuts, the Canadian Tourism Commission has deployed a strategy that involves provincial and municipal tourism boards and agencies focusing on traditional markets. The Canadian tourism industry grew 4.2% in 2012, increasing its revenue to $81.9 billion.
When the World Tourism Organization revealed statistics this month that showed China was the new No. 1 in travel, the implications became clear. Chinese travellers primarily visit neighbouring Asian countries like Singapore and Japan. When they do take long-haul flights, their preferred destination is Australia. It is that country that could potentially help Canada attract more Chinese tourists.
The World Economic Forum's 2011 Travel & Tourism Report, which rates nations on their attractiveness for tourism, ranked Canada ninth in the world. Canada has fallen behind Mexico, Turkey, Singapore, and even Malaysia in annual global tourism rankings, dropping to 16 in 2011 from a high of seventh overall in 2002.