It was a luncheon complete with fresh oyster shucking and paired wine tasting as Tourism Australia hosted a group of travel trade personnel at The Chase, Fish & Oyster Lounge in Toronto yesterday.
Following a round of canapes that included avocado stuffed with shrimp, scallops, braised beef and tuna tartare, Chris Maggio and Jane Whitehead (pictured below) of Tourism Australia met with the group and updated them on all things Australia.
Maggio spoke with PressToday and said the numbers from Canada are very positive, up 7.6% year over year.
He attributed this to easy access with Australia seeing 140 direct flights from North America, including 17 from Canada (primarily with Air Canada).
“There are a lot of deals out there, competitive rates,” said Maggio. “Air lift to Australia is incredible.”
Since 2015, Air Canada has increased its seat capacity to Australia by more than 140%. Service includes Vancouver-Sydney, daily year-round aboard Boeing 777-200LR aircraft; Vancouver-Melbourne, up to four times weekly year-round, 298-seat Boeing 787-9; Vancouver-Brisbane, up to daily year-round, 255-seat Boeing 787-8.
Air New Zealand offers another easy connection with flights from Vancouver to Auckland, and access to eight Australian cities, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Cairns, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.
Air Canada will launch a new Vancouver-Auckland service on Dec. 12, with four B787 flights a week.
Signature experiences attracting Canadians to the land “Down Under” include Cultural Attractions of Australia; Australian Wildlife Journeys; Discover Aboriginal Experiences; Great Fishing Adventures of Australia; Great Gold Courses of Australia; Great Walks of Australia; Luxury Lodges of Australia; and Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia.
Pictured in the top photo is Simona Cercel, tourism and sales development manager for Air Canada.