A trip across the pond produces great results.
Building on last fall’s successful German in-market business to business sales program that featured tour operators from Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, Destination Northern Ontario recently presented Northern Ontario to British and Irish travel planners and agents.
In just one year we have seen Northern Ontario product featured by an additional 13 European tour operators for sale to overseas visitors.
These business-to-business missions, while highly productive, are certainly demanding as they involve intense itineraries following long flights and of course a difference in time zones. In most cases days are filled meeting with senior product managers and travel planners for some of the largest tour operators in the world, as well as training for front-line agents and sales staff. In the evenings, Northern Ontario product is presented to retail travel agents usually wrapping up by 10:00pm.
Destination Northern Ontario is pleased to have Northern Ontario represented by Ian McMillan, International Market Specialist, who recently retired as Executive Director of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie and who has extensive experience selling to overseas markets.
The driving factor for our overseas initiative is the high potential of this market to significantly increase tourism in the region. Overseas markets are a low volume but very high yield.
Currently 0.1% of all visits to Northern Ontario are from overseas markets (not including USA); however, those visitors represent 2% of overall tourism receipts. Increasing this to just 2%, the provincial average, would provide an additional $500 million (+) in new tourism revenues to the North.
Our overseas sales activities culminate each year as Destination Northern Ontario, along with key partners, participate in Canada’s tourism marketplace, RendezVous Canada where we sell the North to the world.
With RendezVous Canada coming to Toronto in the spring of 2019 we look forward to making a good impression with international buyers from both Europe and Asia.