More than 500 tourism professionals will gather at the Vancouver Convention Centre this week for the 24th annual 'Canada's West Marketplace', Western Canada's premier travel trade show.
The trade show brings together British Columbia and Alberta tourism suppliers with travel buyers from across the world. Since its inception in 1989, the trade show has proven to be an effective environment for tourism businesses to promote their range of products to tour operators and wholesaler representatives from Europe, the Asia-Pacific region and the Americas.
From Nov. 28 through Dec. 1, the trade show combines pre-scheduled appointments, social events and networking opportunities into an intensive but highly productive forum. This year's trade show includes more than 145 buyers from 16 countries, and more than 250 tourism businesses and organizations from across B.C. and Alberta-representing the largest attendance for the event in four years.
The 'Canada's West Marketplace' trade show is a partnership between the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and Travel Alberta. Each year the trade show alternates locations between B.C. and Alberta.
Why It Matters:
Tourism is one of the key economic sectors identified in 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan'. The Province's new tourism strategy builds on the jobs plan, providing a framework for government and industry to work together to attract more visitors and create jobs for British Columbians. In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues.
Tim McGrady, general manager, Spirit Bear Lodge -
"As a First Nations owned tourism business, operating from a remote community on the British Columbia Central Coast, we have had to be creative in reaching out to global markets. 'Canada's West Marketplace' brings to our doorstep international tourism buyers who are keen to embrace First Nations product. This tradeshow has been a proven success for us and has helped us to grow our business dramatically in a challenging economic climate."
In total, more than 14,000 10-minute appointments will be conducted at this year's event.
Each province has one-and-a-half days dedicated to their sellers (tourism businesses and organizations). Each session is comprised of 50 appointments - each 10 minutes in length with a two-minute changeover. Each buyer (national and international tour operators and wholesalers) will take a total of 100 appointments - 50 with B.C. sellers and 50 with Alberta sellers.
This year's trade show will feature:
- Over 150 B.C. businesses and organizations (over 200 delegates).
- Over 100 Alberta businesses and organisations (over 145 delegates).
- Over 145 North American and overseas buyers.
- Three delegates from the Canadian Tourism Commission.
- Two delegates from Air Canada
Sixteen countries are represented by buyers at this year's trade show including:
- Australia, China, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, the U.K., the U.S. and Canada.
B.C.'s tourism suppliers represent the breadth of tourism experiences throughout the province, including accommodations, attractions, destination resorts, transportation and sightseeing tours, recreation and activity sites, and destination marketing organizations.
After the 2010 trade show in Edmonton, 87 per cent of buyers planned to expand the Western Canada tourism product they carried in their brochures, and 87 per cent of B.C. sellers established business with buyers with whom they had no prior relationship.
Learn More at:
The Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation promotes the 'Super, Natural British Columbia' brand to the world.
For more information on B.C.'s tourism programs, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/jti/
For more information on 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', visit: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/
For more information on B.C.'s new provincial tourism strategy, visit: http://www.jti.gov.bc.ca/tourismstrategy/documents/MJTI_TourismStrategyReport_FNL.pdf
Ministry Jobs, Tourism and Innovation