VisitBritain Launches Canadian Advisory Council

Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has launched its new Canadian Tourism Advisory Council.

The aim of the council is to provide strategic advice to help steer VisitBritain’s Canadian strategy by providing industry knowledge and expertise from an unbiased and independent point of view.

“We are excited to announce the formation of this council in Canada, and to confirm the participation of this group of top leaders from the tourism industry,” says Gavin Landry, executive vice-president, Americas, VisitBritain. “We met for the first time in Toronto, where insights were shared and a robust discussion took place.”

The Canadian Tourism Advisory Council includes members from the following companies – Ensemble Canada; Globus family of brands; Kensington Tours; Travel Professionals International; Transat Holidays; TravelBrands and Air Canada Rouge.

Members on the council from VisitBritain include: Landry; Paul Gauger, senior vice-president, Americas; Sheelagh Wylie, chief marketing officer, Americas; and Carl Walsh, director of travel trade, North America.

“The global travel and tourism industry is more competitive than ever thanks to steady growth from international travellers. The council’s insights and expertise will further strengthen Britain’s role as a world-class destination,” added Landry.

The council will next meet at ExploreGB, May 8-10 in Harrogate, Yorkshire. ExploreGB is VisitBritain’s flagship event providing British and Irish tourism suppliers and destinations with an invaluable opportunity to meet and do business with more than 200 hosted international travel buyers from 30-plus countries.

Canadian visitor numbers to Britain remain strong. In 2017, Canada visits increased to 835,000, the highest since 2006. For 2018, visitor numbers and spend are tracking ahead of 2017, according to data from the International Passenger Survey.

Pictured, back row (l-r): Carl Walsh, director of travel trade, North America, VisitBritain; Kevin McGurgan, British Consul General, Toronto; Zeina Gedeon, CEO, Travel Professionals International; Frank Demarinis, president,TravelBrands; Landry; Lynda Falcone, travel trade manager, Canada, VisitBritain; Sheelagh Wyle, chief marketing officer, Americas, VisitBritain; Paul Gauger, senior vice-president, Americas, VisitBritain.

Front row (l-r): Erin Oddleifson, director, commercial marketing, Transat Holidays; Alison Hickey, president, Kensington Tours; Stephanie Bishop, managing director, Canada, Globus family of brands; Franca Iuele, senior director, marketing and product development, Ensemble Canada; Cathy Stapells, marketing and communications manager, Canada, VisitBritain. Duncan Bureau, president, Air Canada Rouge (absent).