Q. What is your plan for the Indian market as
Canada is celebrating 150 years in 2017?
A. Canada is celebrating 150 years in 2017, which
is a great opportunity to showcase Canada to
the world. We invite everyone to come and be a
part of this celebration throughout the year and
while our nation’s capital will be a focal point
there is much to be enjoyed from coast to coast
to coast. With regards to the Indian market, we
registered a significant growth in tourist arrivals
up to August, which is 10% when compared with
that of 2015. We still have few more months to
complete the year, which means there is further
scope for growth.
We foresee a greater number of tourists from
India in 2017 as our partner Air Canada has
started operating direct flight from New Delhi to
Vancouver. We are working closely with Indian
travel trade and media to accelerate the growth
Q. India is a vast country, which cities are you
A. Traditionally our focus has been Delhi,
Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru, however,
looking at the potential, we have started focusing
Tier-II and III cities from the last two years, and
the result is also encouraging.
Q. Who are your target audience?
A. Our target audience is affluent Indian families,
primarily who have seen and experienced other
dynamic cultural cities of the world. To be more
precise, people who are really keen to see the
beauty of a country and also visited countries like
France, Australia and regions like South Asia. We
also target tourists who want to visit the USA and
Canada on dual-nation vacation. Another area of
our focus is people who have relatives staying in
Canada who could be their hosts.
Q. Aren’t you targeting young Indians who are
not necessarily very affluent?
A. I am not saying that we are not targeting them.
Rather we are recognising them in other markets
around the world. As far as India is concerned,
since Air Canada has started direct flights we are
collaborating with them on marketing Canada.
Once young travellers are here, they will find
Canada to be an affordable destination.
Q. Are you increasing Budget for Indian market?
If yes, elaborate on the spend.
A. India is to get an incremental budget increase
for 2017. There is not an iota of doubt that this
will predominantly be used for travel trade and
media engagement. We are finalising our plans
for the Indian market for 2017 and another area
of focus is to train agents in India. Since we are
also targeting Tier-II and III cities of India and
promoting new destinations as well, hence it is
imperative to train our agents in India. Proper
training of agents about our various destinations
will facilitate the growth of tourist arrival.
Q. How do you view India as a source market
two years down the line?
A. There are many indications that the Indian
market will continue to grow for Canada. We
believe that Canada will realise positive arrivals
growth from India and other South East Asia
markets in the months to come. Year-on-year
growth of tourists from India is a testimony of that.
Moreover, Air Canada’s investment will further
provide momentum in this direction.
Q. Any comparison between India and China
with respect to tourist arrival?
A. As far as the tourist arrival is concerned, China
is quite ahead of India by almost five times. But,
certainly India is an emerging market and has
Q. Visa processing for Canada takes longer time.
Have you raised the issue with the government?
A. Yes. We are monitoring visitor visa processing
times very closely because we know that impacts
on people’s travel decisions. Destination Canada
has met with senior staff in the Government of
Canada in September to flag the issue of Visa
processing times. We certainly hope that working
together we can find a solution soon.