July / August 2016

Destination Canada – Canada Specialist Program (CSP) UK Roadshows
The Atlantic Canada Tourism Partnership was a partner in the recent Canada Specialist Program (CSP) UK Roadshows held May 10-12 in Southampton, Leeds and Liverpool, United Kingdom.

The Canada Specialist Program is an educational program for UK travel trade professionals, which includes an online training program, opportunities to participate in familiarization tours to Canada and in-market roadshows. In the UK, 37% of visitors to Canada use a travel agent to book flights and 60% consider travel agents influential in deciding which destination to visit. Source: Global Tourism Watch UK 2014.

The events combined a networking reception in which Canada representatives each had a display table, followed by a casual dinner and Canada quiz. CSP independent travel agents and reservations staff from key UK tour operators attended. ACTP Overseas Program Manager, Kelley Keefe represented the region at the events.

Kelley Keefe, ACTP Overseas Program Manager speaks with UK travel agents at Destination Canada’s UK Roadshows

Kelley Keefe, ACTP Overseas Program Manager speaks with UK travel agents at Destination Canada’s UK Roadshows

Destination representatives included British Columbia, Whistler, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Ottawa, Quebec, Yukon and Atlantic Canada. Suppliers included Air Canada, Air Transat, British Airways, WestJet, Insight Vacations, Rocky Mountaineer, APT and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

At all three events, the Atlantic Canada mini presentations during the networking sessions were well received. Many guests commented that they were familiar with Western Canada, Ontario and Quebec, but they lacked knowledge of Atlantic Canada. The agents were very engaged and were especially surprised by the short flying time from the UK to the region.

In addition to the roadshows, Kelley Keefe delivered Atlantic Canada training for Canada specialist agents at the Canadian Affair offices in both Glasgow and London and the Barrhead Travel Glasgow office. In total, 238 UK travel agents were trained on Atlantic Canada during the week.

ACTP’s UK travel trade program also includes marketing partnerships with top UK tour operators to promote the region to the valuable UK market, in-market tradeshows and events, online and in-person training initiatives and advertisements in key trade publications.