IN PERSON Trade Support
Nico Fournier is the trade’s Mr Fix-It when it comes to Canada. If you’re looking for training or sales advice, new product or marketing campaigns, he’s your man. We ask him about his role at the CTC and experiences of Canada
Tell us how you came to be at the CTC? I joined the CTC three years ago after working at Destination Québec’s London office.
What is your role at the CTC? I handle the relationships with the UK travel trade through training, sales, product development and marketing campaigns.
NICO FOURNIER Travel Trade Manager Canadian Tourism Commission Tel: 0870 161 5151 Email: email@example.com
How important is the UK travel trade in helping CTC achieve its goals? The trade is vital to my role and a very important part of our plans and budget allocations. Our commitment is evidenced by the recent investments in our online training, the Super Fam and our UK road shows. We fully believe travel agents still have a role to play and do our best to support them where we can. Our joint marketing agreements with
tour operators are also important in ensuring that the Canada message is out there with a price-led package. These partnerships help us increase visitor numbers to Canada.
How can you help agents? First, we have an interactive training programme at www.canadaspecialist.co.uk
. Agents can learn at their own pace through eight
"The most rewarding part of my job is creating enthusiasm for Canada amongst the UK trade
through fams, training and marketing. I'm lucky to be promoting such an amazing destination."
modules. Once qualified, agents get free window display materials, discounts when travelling to Canada, e-newsletters, incentives, invitations to dedicated fam trips and more! We also have a dedicated trade support officer, Roger Harris, who can answer any questions (0870 161 5151 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org
). We’ve organised four evening training
road shows, with our provincial partners, in four different locations and are looking to
do this again next year. Lastly, we can support Canada Specialists with small contributions to Canada events and promotions.
What impact do you think the recent Super Fam will have on sales? The fam saw 40 agents travel to several areas of Canada in small groups before meeting up in Toronto to share their experiences with their peers. Fam trips provide agents with first-hand experience and enthusiasm to sell our destination. Some agents have created blogs or posted photos and discussed their trips online and with their clients. This is invaluable and showcases different ways to promote and sell Canada. Our participants have become ambassadors and have already made key sales!
What’s your biggest challenge? Not enough hours in the day! Also, Canada is a vast country and slightly overwhelming to agents and their clients. Unfortunately, you can’t do it all in one trip! Our role is to try to ensure that agents realise the distances between certain landmarks and advise of all that can be experienced within a relatively small part of the country. Oh, and we do have hot sunny summers, and we’re not that far away: Canada's east coast is just a five-hour flight from London!
What is your favourite place to visit in Canada? I am originally from Québec City so I like to visit there – it is steeped in so much history and has great regional cuisine. Within minutes you are in the mountains for hiking and wildlife.
Are there any region's of Canada you would still like to see? Next up on my long wish list is Newfoundland, to watch the icebergs and see the whales. I'd like to explore New Brunswick, too, with the Bay of Fundy. In central Canada Algonquin Park is perfect for canoeing and moose-spotting. Out west, I'd like to see the fossils at Drumheller and hike at Waterton Lakes National Park – and I'd love to drive around Vancouver Island.
Q: WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO MOST IN CANADA? NF: Eat! The local cuisine is awesome and I love the regional wines. I also went on a clam dig off Prince Edward Island recently and that was a real hoot!
SELLING CANADA • WINTER 2011 33
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