Canada’s Tourism Industry Highlights Enormous Potential of Indian Market during Trade Mission to India
Several members of TIAC’s leadership took part in a unique trade mission to India organized by Industry Canada late last month, meeting with government officials and tour operators in the Asian state.
TIAC representatives included President and CEO David Goldstein, Michael Hannan, President and CEO of Brewster Travel Canada and a member of TIAC’s Board of Directors, and Julie Canning, President and CEO of Banff Lake Louise Tourism, a former member of TIAC’s Board of Directors.
The mission was intended to capitalize on the compelling growth opportunity represented by the Indian tourist market. The Indian middle class represents one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets in the world, and it is expected that visits to Canada will continue to increase in the years to come. However, the competition for this emerging pool of Indian travellers is fierce, with Canada’s major competitors all stepping up their international marketing investments.
Indian tour operators told the delegation that Canada has great potential, but requires a stronger media presence in India and increased air lift.
“Building awareness among Indian travellers requires a serious investment in marketing Canada as a destination,” said David Goldstein. “A competitive marketing effort coupled with more options for air travel is the key to help us welcome more Indian visitors.”
The federal government has made significant improvements to its visa-processing capacity in India. The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism) recently highlighted the fact that Canada issued more than 130,000 visas to Indian citizens in 2012. This represents a 58-percent increase in visas since 2004, which reaffirms the fact that Canada continues to be a destination of choice for Indian travellers.
"The record number of visas issued last year is a great signal to Indian travellers that Canada is open for business," said David Goldstein, President and CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada. "We support the efforts of the government in facilitating the visa process for these potential visitors and in helping grow our share of this vital emerging tourism market."
Indian travellers spent over $160 million in Canada in 2011.