Selling Travel July-August 2022

Page 48

selling canada

46 / Show report canada

Rendez-vousing in Toronto Selling Travel joined the first in-person Rendez-vous Canada since 2019. Held in Toronto, global buyers and sellers engaged in 48,000 appointments. Jessica Pook rounds up the news

Canada to invest in remote tourism A new Federal Tourism Growth Strategy will focus on facilitating travel to more rural parts of the country, Selling Travel was told at Rendezvous Canada 2022 in Toronto. The flagship event for Canada’s tourism industry, which hosted over 700 delegates, celebrated in-person meetings and the country being “open for business.” The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, spoke of Canada’s successful but challenging tourism recovery, saying: “Confidence and demand for travel to Canada is strong and we saw arrival figures in March recover to 58% compared to pre-pandemic levels.” Canada’s hotel industry is also projecting

an increase in revenues, with some expecting a 20% increase over 2019. Boissonnault added: “Now is the time to be bold. We have built a long-term resilience plan which includes improved infrastructure, engaging with the community and preventing labour shortages.” He added: “We’re serious about rural and remote tourism because Canada is not known for its urban experience, it’s known for its great outdoors.” Speaking to Selling Travel at the show, Maureen Riley, VP International at Destination Canada, agreed, saying: “We now have a business strategy to increase air access into Canada as well as within Canada. We will combine that growth and infrastructure with the stories that we can

tell about our rural communities.” Some key new Indigenous experiences include the Metis Crossing, Alberta’s first major Métis cultural interpretive destination; the Klahoose Wilderness resort in British Columbia and Madaahoki farm in Ottawa. Rendez-vous Canada 2023 will be held in Québec City. rendezvouscanada.ca

viking

Viking to cruise the Great Lakes Viking Cruises has added a collection of Great Lakes itineraries for 2022, including a sailings between Toronto and Duluth. Designed specifically to reach the Great Lakes region, the Viking Octantis will remain in the Great Lakes until October 2022. Viking Octntis is the first expedition cruise ship to be introduced by Viking Cruises under its Viking Expeditions brand and will accommodate 378 guests in 189 staterooms and have a modern Scandinavian design. During Viking’s inaugural 2022 season, the company is operating four new itineraries in the Great Lakes. These are: Undiscovered Great Lakes, an eight-day journey from Thunder Bay to Milwaukee; the eightday Great Lakes Explorer, which sails the reverse route from Milwaukee to Thunder Bay; Niagara and the Great Lakes, an eightday sailing from Toronto to Milwaukee, and

Canadian Discovery, journeying from New York to Toronto. On the cruises guests will have the chance to see Niagara Falls, glide in a kayak through the UNESCO Biosphere of Georgian Bay, discover Toronto and learn about the Anishinaabe indigenous heritage of the Thunder Bay area. A second expedition vessel, the Viking Polaris, will debut later this year and will join the Viking Octantis in the Great Lakes for the 2023 season. This will be accompanied by a new 15-day voyage, a 15-day Great Lakes Collection sailing from Toronto to Duluth. “This region has been historically undiscovered by cruise lines and we are pleased with the strong demand. Our expedition ships were designed with the Great Lakes in mind,” said Torstein Hagen, Viking Chairman. vikingcruisescanada.com

sellingtravel.co.uk

RVC show report V9.indd 46

7/5/22 03:03 PM