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Skål Canada Readies For Next Chapter

Skål Canada president Susan Webb says the professional organization of tourism leaders around the world is ushering in some changes “to become a trusted voice in travel and tourism.”

Beyond focusing on networking and doing business with friends, she says the club will provide useful content during its meetings, which comes at the request of its members and will help drive new quality members to join.

Skål Canada, which now has 17 clubs across Canada with the newest addition being PEI, will also be rolling out new websites across Canada.

“They’ve realized we need change,” she said last night (March 27) at a meeting held at the University Club Toronto. “I’m really proud of what’s happening so far.”

During the gathering, guest keynote speaker Jennifer Hendry, Senior Research Associate, Canadian Tourism Research Institute, Conference Board of Canada, presented insights into how the Canadian outbound market is expected to perform.

Of note, she said Canadian travellers 65 and older are increasingly vacationing overseas as they are more mobile than their predecessors.

“We expect that outbound leisure travel will continue to grow at a fairly healthy pace – not as robust as what was experienced in the decade prior to the downturn of the dollar, but that shift in the demographics of travellers going to overseas destinations will be the primary boost for outbound travel in the coming years,” she says. “Yes, Canada-US tourism could be better, but the market weathered yet another downturn. Political and economic uncertainty aside, the activity is back on the upswing and we expect it to continue to perform well this year. Other countries are expected to capture a larger share of the outbound market in the short-term. For now, Mexico will remain the No. 1 destination outside of the US.”

While snowbirds helped maintain visits to the US, she says the visitor spread has expanded beyond Florida to California, Texas and Arizona, although Florida remains the top destination.

“I don’t know if it’s a Trump Bump, but it’s certainly not a Trump Slump,” she said.

In terms of Mexico and the Caribbean, she says Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba and Jamaica are the top draws. Of the four countries, all saw increases in arrivals aside from Cuba.

For more on the findings, stay tuned to an upcoming issue of Canadian Travel Press.

Pictured at the meeting (top) are Susan Lawson, Allianz Global Assistance; Nancy Drolet, Caribbean Tourism Organization, and guest speaker Jennifer Hendry.

 

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