A delegation including ministers and investors community from Canada led by the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recently visited India on an official state visit. During the visit, Tourism segment was one of the key growth topics for the delegation. India has been one of the fastest growing growth markets for Canada. Last year close to 250,000 Indians visited Canada with a growth of around 18 per cent.
Speaking about the latest development Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Government of Canada said, “PM Justin Trudeau and our ministers are here on our first official state visit. People to people ties will further develop the relationship between Canada and India. Our tourism numbers have further increased from India in 2017. Tourism is a CAN$90 billion industry in Canada and is the largest service exports. Our primary source of tourists is the United States as we share a border. There are other countries around the globe that we are tapping into and India is one of the markets we see more potential. We spoke to MICE operators in India and we are looking at how to increase MICE tourism from India to Canada. People come to visit family as over half a million people in Canada are linked to India. We want to increase more business travel from India to Canada.”
With a high percentage of youth population, in 2018, Canada is aggressively focusing to tap the millennial segment from India. Also the destination is looking to tap the 55 age plus travellers from India.
Speaking about the target segment and growth from India Rupert Peters, Regional Managing Director, Europe, India & Australia, Destination Canada said, “We were 18 per cent up last year with close to 250,000 visitors from India. Next year our forecast is to see a good growth somewhere around seven per cent from India. In terms of leisure market, we have three key segments first millennial, which we haven’t tapped yet, we are aggressively looking at this segment. We are also interested in the family segment which includes the multigenerational travel segment. Lastly we are also looking to tap the 55 year old plus segment, the professional couples.”
Recently, Canada has invested significantly in developing the Aboriginal tourism or indigenous tourism segment. With this new investment, the destination is looking to cater authentic experiences to the global travellers. Chagger added, “As a federal minister, we work closely with all provinces. Indigenous tourism is a part of my mandate to work with underrepresented groups such as young and women entrepreneurs and indigenous groups. We are proud that we have invested money to develop indigenous tourism. Visitors are looking for authentic experience and we can serve that by developing products around indigenous tourism. We also want to build capacities and opportunity for indigenous community, one way is tourism. We want all the communities to benefit from this. Our job is to ensure opportunity exists there and we will work closely with destination Canada and develop products around this.”
Destination Canada is all set to promote the cities and urban tourism in India. Currently the open spaces and wildlife products are popular amongst the travellers.
Peters said, “We have been a little shy in promoting the cities. When people think about Canada they think about the open spaces and the wildlife. We want to educate the travel trade and the people more about our cities which are vibrant and have so much to explore. We will try and promote experiential tourism in the cities. We know that there is a lot of increasing demand from the Tier II and III cities from India. We will discuss this with our partners and finalise on these cities.”