VANCOUVER — Destination Canada (DC) issued an update and message to the Canadian tourism industry on March 16, outlining its current plans to address uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.
In its marketing approach during the current public-health climate, DC highlighted a domestic campaign underway, which promotes winter and spring travel, noting “we will support the industry through the vital summer season and beyond with renewed domestic-marketing activity.”
The release also indicated plans to extend marketing efforts to “key U.S. travellers,” including extending “the spring campaign with Expedia.”
“For all other markets, our teams are re-evaluating efforts,” the statement reads. “While we want the Canada brand to maintain market-presence, we also want to ensure we’re managing our resources and efforts efficiently.”
Additional plans include ensuring data and intelligence is broadly accessible and updating the consumer-facing Keep Exploring website to include guidance for travellers in and to Canada. An industry webinar is also in the works for later this week (details to be announced) and regular meetings of Destination Canada’s provincial, territorial and city destination-marketing co-investors (NorthStar partners) will continue on a weekly basis.
“Now, more than ever, is the time to take the ‘Canada. For Glowing Hearts’ brand to the next level,” reads a statement from Ben Cowan-Dewar, chair of the board, Destination Canada. “Launched last year, it speaks to the transformational power of travel — extending both to visitors as well as the one in 10 Canadians whose livelihoods are connected to the tourism sector. Our brand is about people. And we’re here with and for you…Together, we’ll tackle this day-by-day, looking for opportunities to ensure that when this passes — and it will — we’re stronger, more resilient and more successful as a sector.”
Additionally, DC, along with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), announced the cancelation of Rendz-vous Canada 2020, which was scheduled to take place in Quebec City May 5, 2020. In regard to this news, Destination Canada stated:
“We cannot stress enough how much thought has been put into making this decision. Rendez-vous Canada is very much a lifeline for the Canadian tourism sector — generating leads and sales with key markets around the world — but the health, welfare and safety of our delegates is paramount.”
Destination Canada will work to refund those who had registered for the event and will provide further details. It’s also looking into offering virtual appointments between buyers and sellers to help mitigate the impact of this cancelation. More information is available at rendezvouscanada.ca.