Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada 150 Proved to Be a Big Draw for Tourism Operators Coast to Coast

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada 150 Proved to Be a Big Draw for Tourism Operators Coast to Coast

Article excerpt

Canada 150 proved a big draw for tourism operators

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FREDERICTON - Canada celebrated its 150th birthday in 2017 but it was the tourism industry that got to collect the presents.

Tourism operators from coast to coast were planning for big events and extra visitors, and in many cases the numbers have exceeded expectations even before the year draws to a close.

"Double digit increases in every part of the country," said Gary Howard of the Canadian Automobile Association.

"It's not just international travellers, primarily it was a lot of Canadians who wanted to see more of their country that they hadn't seen before."

Destination Canada, a federal Crown corporation, ran a campaign aimed at millennials in an effort to instil a "sense of pride" in the country and have them become lifetime ambassadors for Canada both at home and abroad. The organization reported a 16 per cent increase in the number of Canadian millennials who vacationed within the country this year.

Jantine Van Kregten, director of communications for Ottawa Tourism, said Canada 150 promotions and advertising did a lot to attract people from other countries, as did Lonely Planet and the New York Times naming Canada as the No. 1 place to visit in 2017.

"I think it did lead people to make the decision, out of any year to visit Canada, this is going to be the year. Canada has always been one of those dream destinations for a lot of overseas visitors," Van Kregten said.

Howard said there was a lot of preparation leading up to Canada 150 and tourism operators were ready.

"Cruise lines had larger ships, there was an increase in rail capacity, and tour operators created more Canadian-ized packages," he said. …

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