Visit California On A Mission In Canada
Visit California hosted its 2023 Canadian Sales Mission in historic Niagara-on-the-Lake in late April.
The week-long event – held at the Pillar and Post — provided those attending with the opportunity for networking and relationship building; along with a chance to learn about the current and future state of the Canadian travel industry; plus, the group also had a chance to enjoy a Niagara Falls cruise, zip lining, wine and alcohol tasting tours, high tea, fine dining and lots more great hospitality.
In all, representatives from 14 California destinations were on hand for the event, with destinations represented including:
- Visit Greater Palm Springs
- Monterey County Convention & Visitor Bureau
- Marina del Rey Tourism Board
- Visit Temecula Valley
- Santa Monica Travel & Tourism
- Visit Pasadena
- Visit Ventura
- Visit Santa Barbara
- Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board
- Visit Santa Cruz Country
- Visit Newport Beach
- Visit Napa Valley
- Visit Huntington Beach
- Visit the Santa Ynez Valley
Key takeways from Visit California’s 2023 sales mission included:
- In 2023, the Canadian visitation forecast is expected to reach 99% of the pre-pandemic levels we saw in 2019. And, Canada’s travel spending forecast is expected to recover to 109% of its pre-pandemic levels in 2023.
- As a whole, the Canadian travel industry is expected to have largely recovered to pre-pandemic levels (and even exceed them in some categories as we see above) in 2023.
- Canadians are hungry for “revenge travel,” meaning luxurious trips to make up for the last few years. However, with the economy and inflation top of mind, they’re looking for ways to pursue these types of trips while simultaneously remaining as budget conscious as possible.
- Travellers want authentic, transformational travel experiences. Less of a focus on status quo trips and a new emphasis on adventure and truly unique itineraries.
- Topics like Indigenous Tourism and Responsible Tourism are trending in Canada and there is a heavy appetite for these experiences among travellers.
- Sustainable travel is trending in the media and on social and will continue to do so moving towards 2024. While Canadians strive to be sustainable and are interested in sustainability topics, it’s not a booking motivator.
- On social, there’s been an uptick in sustainability-related search terms, especially with the Z-Lennial audience (older Gen Z/Young Millennials). For example: Train travel is a theme for 2023 – this is driven by the lower carbon footprint of train travel vs car or airplane travel.
In the Photos
It was all smiles at Visit California’s 2023 Canadian Sales Mission in Niagara-on-the-Lake in early May.
From l to r, are Sana Keller, Director Public Relations, Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, Canada; Kurt Bjorkman, CEO The Ranch at Laguna Beach; and Sandra Costa, Systems and Operations Manager, Porter Escapes Inc.
Enjoying a taste of some fine wine in Niagara-on-the-Lake during Visit California’s 2023 Canadian Sales Mission.