David Goldstein David Goldstein is the newly-appointed CEO and President of the Canadian Tourism
Commission, charged with overseeing the growth of tourism to Canada. Here he outlines his plans to convert a huge ‘interest’ in visiting Canada into 'real numbers'
What are your main responsibilities? In short, my stated role is to increase tourism to Canada and provide essential platforms for our industry partners – such as our Canada stand at World Travel Market, our travel agents training programme and our media relations programme.
Where do you hope to see Canadian tourism and the CTC positioned five years from now? I'm one who believes the glass is two-thirds full. I believe in aspirational goals. Five years from now I’d like to see us looking to boost international travel by 5% to match global growth rates.
Why should travellers put Canada on their ‘Visit Now’ list? Our industry has created award-winning products that make Canada stand out. We’re in a great position to capture pent-up demand for this country. We are hosting world-class events like the PanAm Games and the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will put us front of mind. Canada’s 150th birthday is just around the corner (in 2017) and there’s going to be tremendous opportunity for all of us to drive visitation around the festivals, events and culture that will be part of the celebration.
How important is the UK market in reaching and exceeding your growth targets? The UK remains one of Canada’s core markets. Tour operators have told us that bookings for 2015 for Canada are looking positive and we certainly aim to reach or exceed our targeted 5% growth. Brits are born explorers and love to explore all of Canada – and all-year round – which sets them apart from some of our other markets. The UK has some of the best air access to Canada of any market, and new routes this year will make it easier for our trade partners to sell more of Canada.
Canada has developed a line-up of export- ready products and experiences through the Canadian Signature Experience(CSE) programme. How important are these to your global marketing plans? The CSE programme has rolled into its fourth year in 2015 and remains an important part of our
competition in the global marketplace but we can compete because Canada is blessed with the basics of a tremendous brand and exceptional experiences
global marketing plans. Research has told us that holidaymakers want more ‘real experiences’ and the CSES's help us differentiate Canada
from other destinations and to tell the Canadian story. We will continue to work with our tour operator
partners to introduce these experiences into their programmes.
What do you identify as your crucial marketing channels? Our research shows that up to three million Brits actively consider (visiting) Canada annually. To try to reach these potential travellers we will continue to work across several platforms: direct consumer activity, the trade and our media relations programmes. We strive for a balanced approach, however the increasing use of the internet by our target customers to research their travel, their use of social media to share their holiday experiences with others and the evolution of digital platforms open up additional opportunities for a new dynamic content marketing approach which we will implement towards the end of 2015.
How excited are you about the prospect of welcoming travel agents from all over the world later this year for your Mega Fam?
Nothing beats experiencing a destination first hand and having travel agents come to Canada and experience it for themselves is a vital part of our award-winning Canada Specialist Training programme. I know that all those involved at the CTC around the world in pulling this event together, in partnership with our provincial and
territorial hosts, are always proud and excited to
showcase our country. I’m certainly excited that I will see this event first- hand for myself.
I know that Halifax, Nova Scotia
(pictured above), the host city for the fam’s finale, will lay on an amazing finishing event.
Bring it on!
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