Why 2017 Is a Banner Year for Canadian Tourism
Tourism numbers are up thanks to the country’s 150th anniversary.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation and Montreal’s 375th, the country’s tourism board has put together a host of activities and promotions, including free admission to national parks for the year. Travel authorities are taking note—The New York Times named Canada the top destination to visit in 2017—and travelers are as well. Last year Canada welcomed its largest number of visitors since 2002, and this January saw a cumulative 125 percent increase in arrivals from Latin America, China, Australia and the United States. Warren Smith, executive vice president of Law Development Group (LDG), tells us how all this buzz is impacting vacation ownership.
“We’ve definitely noticed an increase in occupancy year over year, with this year being no different,” Smith says. He credits the surge of the U.S. dollar, as well as an increase in domestic travel. “Canadians are staying more within their own provinces to explore and travel.”
Unlike Caribbean destinations, which have a year-round temperate climate, Canada experiences all seasons, each with its own activities, from wakeboarding to snowshoeing. To Smith, this makes for broader appeal. “The four seasons allow Canada to market to different generations and their interests,” Smith says. He has seen that growth at the resort level at Cranberry Village in Collingwood, Ontario, an LDG property. In the past three years there has been an increase in multigenerational family travelers, a shift the resort is taking into account for future developments: “This trend has been a major factor in the design for new property expansions and recreational facilities.” (For more on expanding a property to cater to different generations, check out “How to Reach New Owners Through Savvy Expansion.”)
Another perennial draw for travelers: the friendly residents. “Canadians are known for being caring and compassionate,” Smith says. “We feel Canada has something to offer everyone.”
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