With a growth of 21 per cent in May 2019, India has emerged as the fourth largest long haul inbound market for Canada.
India set new monthly arrivals records every month in 2018, a new annual arrivals record, and grew to become Destination Canada’s seventh largest inbound market overall in 2018. India was the only Destination Canada long haul market to consistently record monthly gains in air arrivals both direct from overseas and via the US.
In 2018, about 287,420 Indian visitors travelled to Canada, of which 51 per cent visited between May and August, the summer months. Most Indians travel to Canada for leisure (80 per cent) as part of an organised group travel package through a travel agent or tour operator. However, although a long-haul destination, interest is rising among Indian corporate incentive groups as Canada has multiple incentive activities and destinations to offer.
As part of its promotional activity in India, Destination Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) recently in Mumbai to jointly conduct presentation workshops to its members in seven cities across India. The purpose of this activity is to engage with senior members of the retail chain (travel agents, tour operators, OTAs, event specialists and meeting planners) and provide options on new product offerings serving leisure, luxury, MICE and special event segments.
Carl Vaz, ceo & strategy director of Destination Canada India GSA, said, “We are extremely excited to work with Travel Agents Association of India across seven cities to popularise Canada as a Fall and Winter Wonderland Destination. This second set of workshops follows an extremely successful ten city pan-India session. Going forward, Destination Canada, Air Canada and the Canadian High Commission will jointly address TAAI members across seven cities.”
Vaz added: “Destination Canada will be further exploring training workshops in Chandigarh, Punjab, Hyderabad and Kolkata in the coming months.”
Arun Pandeya, country head and general manager for Air Canada, said: “With Air Canada’s direct non-stop daily flights Delhi to Vancouver, Delhi to Toronto (re-starting in October) and the winter seasonal Mumbai to Toronto, it has become a great connectivity advantage.”