On November 9-11, our Travel Trade team, along with our media colleague, participated in the first virtual World Travel Market (WTM) travel and tourism expo, along with Destination Canada, Travel Alberta, Air Canada and WestJet. WTM is the world’s leading travel and tourism expo that allows the chance to share innovations and unlock opportunities. Usually held in the UK, this year’s theme was Recover, Rebuild and Innovate.
We held 25 trade and 10 media appointments. The majority of these were with UK partners followed by the US, Germany, India and China.
In addition, we had productive meetings with Destination Canada representatives from the UK, India and France. Key takeaways include:
- Major operators are able to stay in business as a result of financial reserves and government support.
- Operators are reducing product development and prioritizing sales with a focus on proven best sellers and iconic destinations. As a leading iconic destination that will sell, this is great news for Banff National Park.
- Canada is seen as safe - international travellers, especially those in the UK, will travel as soon as the borders are open and restrictions allow.
- Canada has a high rebooking rate (60-80% of 2020 bookings rebooked to 2021).
- Accurate and up-to-date product information and flexible booking and cancellation policies by suppliers are very important for business recovery.