Canada’s thriving visitor economy was the focus of the 18th Annual Public Meeting, held at Gatineau, Quebec, on 28 November 2018.
Introduced by Board Chair Ben Cowan-Dewar, President and CEO David Goldstein took the stage with a compelling presentation, featuring voices from Canada’s tourism industry highlighting the health of our tourism eco-system.
“When we talk about the visitor economy, we mean a simple act from one visitor, and the ripple effect that it has on Canada,” says David Goldstein. “Understanding our role in the bigger picture reminds us of our raison d’etre.”
Speaking on video from Northwest Territories, owner of Tundra North Tours Kylik Kisoun Taylor, speaks about the positive impact tourism has on remote communities.
“For people that have gone away, they could not come back to their community because there was no job,” says Kylik Kisoun Taylor. “It’s really important for me to create jobs. So, people can come back and say, “I’m a cultural guide now, that’s how I make a living" that is what I wanted to do.”
David Goldstein presented three ways Destination Canada supports a thriving visitor economy: Team Canada approach, data-driven marketing and the next era of travel.
He emphasized that the Team Canada approach proves we are stronger together, reflected in the marketing campaigns executed daily in our 10 markets, as well as trade and media relations and Canadian Signature Experiences.
For business owners, like Vancouver Foodie Tours owner Michelle Ng, a Team Canada approach helps them become export ready.
“One of the main benefits of being a Canadian Signature Experience is the opportunity to be part of Canada Shared and it gives us more credibility when we’re approaching restaurants,” says Michelle Ng.
David Goldstein noted that the achievements of 2018 reflect the successful data-driven marketing that shapes our strategies, by revealing areas of potential and trends in spending. He outlined the tools used to track how and where an international visitor spends within Canada.
Speaking to the next era of travel, David Goldstein pointed out that tourism is Canada’s largest service export, making up half of export revenues. With compression being a serious issue, he emphasized the need to maintain sell-out seasons, while shining a spotlight on all four seasons and lesser-known destinations.
“We know that the visitor economy is huge and we’ve only just begun to realize its full potential,” says David Goldstein. “We are working with partners in new and creative ways.”
Mitémo Chevalier from Le Carnival de Quebec is directly impacted by the health of the visitor economy and the strategies that Destination Canada will employ in the years ahead.
“For the Quebec Winter Carnival, more than 500,000 visits are at stake,” says Mitémo Chevalier. “There are 254 jobs that result from the Carnival, the economic spinoff amounts to $21 million.”
David Goldstein believes that through a Team Canada approach, focussed marketing and an eye on the future, Destination Canada will continue to be a voice for all tourism partners.
“The most life-changing experiences, and the spirit of Canada, come from the moments they deliver every day,” says David Goldstein.
A full video of the Annual Public Meeting will be posted in December.