Canadian tourism suppliers and international/domestic tour operators descended to Toronto on May 24 -27, 2022 for the first in-person Rendez-vous Canada since 2019. RVC 2022+ was a hybrid event where both in-person and virtual appointments were conducted.
More than 1,250 delegates participated including over 500 buyers (tour and receptive operators) from key markets, 450 seller organizations (Canadian tourism suppliers) and more than 750 seller delegates attended from coast-to-coast-to-coast, all making it abundantly clear that Canada is open for business.
Hosted in Toronto, Ontario tourism sellers had a strong presence with 254 delegates from organizations across Ontario, each conducting 15-minute appointments with buyers, media and the Destination Canada team. Buyers and media represented countries globally, including the 10 key international markets identified by Destination Canada and Destination Ontario – United Kingdom, Germany, France, Mexico, Australia, China, Japan, India, United States, and South Korea
The Heart of Ontario (RTO3) attended both the signature marketplace and RVC networking events, inspiring buyers to choose Ontario in product development, for the coming planning years. As the event was hybrid-focused, all sellers were also provided a virtual booth for buyers and media to independently source sales sheets, collateral, and videos, by a simple click of the keyboard.
A RTO3 record, 67 scheduled one-on-one and virtual appointments were conducted over the 3-day sales marketplace environment, promoting travel experiences, destination awareness and continuing to build rapport with buyers while presenting 10 export-ready regional tourism business operators and their market-ready products and experiences. Along with our regional “A Place to be Canadian” experience brochure, export-ready partner profile flat sheets were encouraged by each operator and distributed on a USB at sales opportunity. Our leave-behind was created as a unique way to include two key heritage products. We designed custom postcards with a keepsake lapel pin of Hamilton’s Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum’s Avro Lancaster and Brantford’s Bell Homestead National Historic Site. Each postcard told a story of iconic significance and provided a platform to showcase these inspiring heritage and unique experiences, that are only found within the region of Hamilton Halton and Brant. One featured a blueprint of the Avro Lancaster, and the other featured Alexander Graham Bell’s hand drawn invention on paper! Talk about a lasting impression, the buyer’s loved them, and we were able to weave these incredible stories into the sales meeting.
Steadfastly, we continue to work to engage the travel trade audience in Canada and the United States, while we invest in our targeted approach of Europe and Mexico as key markets proving a strong recovery, post-COVID-19. Asia markets (India, Japan, China, and South Korea) are emerging markets as they are currently experiencing difficulties through the recovery process. Notably, Chinese Receptive Tour Operators are shifting to North American affluent Chinese domestic markets.
Our integrated sales approach included a Destination Ontario hosted post-FAM tour. This regional participation was leveraged together with visits to Blue Mountain and Niagara Falls. Buyer and media participants were introduced to key Southern Ontario tourism destinations and discoveries. Through partnerships, we featured Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Burlington and Hamilton. A total of 8 regional tourism partners were showcased during the one-night FAM tour event. The highlighted overnight stay featured Chiefswood Park Cabins where our special guests enjoyed the beautifully appointed rustic Indigenous cabin experience while being situated along the banks of the Grand River. Overall, nine delegates, representing the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, France, South Korea, Canada, including one delegate from Destination Canada attended, each enjoying some of our key demand generator experiences coupled with delicious regional tastings and flavours.
Our objective is to continue to build, support, and promote export-ready travel products, connecting our significant landscapes and culturally authentic stories. Leveraging our location and its close proximity to Toronto and Niagara Falls and their iconic experiences is paramount.
With the demand for slow travel and immersive-authentic for both F.I.T. and group audiences, our region lends to answering the call of this trend of each market demand, providing products that speak to our iconic land assets, sharing the stories of First Nations, all while blending food, flavours and plenty of lasting memories. We aspire to expand our offerings and integrate a focus on sustainable and regenerative tourism that address the demand for transformative tourism.
A special thank you to our FAM tourism business operators and destinations for your participation in opening the doors of your business to our special buyer and media delegation and showcasing your best-bets experiences.
Please contact Bev Scott, Manager, Business and Visitor Experiences Development to learn more about Travel Trade market development and to leverage your business for international leisure audience. Bev.firstname.lastname@example.org