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Corroboree delivers vivid new Canada insights to agents

February 18, 2014 Destination North America, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59This years’ Canada Corroboree, which showcased “new and amazing experiences in Canada”, has updated some 800 Australian travel agents on Canada’s key signature experiences for 2014/15.

To illustrate the calibre of those participating in this year’s Canada Corroboree roadshow, here’s a little story.

Canada's phenomenal Northern Lights

One of the Yukon delegates, Mike Nixon, mentioned to me at the Sydney Corroboree lunch in Sydney last week that temperatures in the Yukon sometimes dropped to minus 40. The Yukon (whose marketing motto is “Larger than Life”) is thinking of setting up booths with minus 40 degree temperatures inside, as a way of letting would-be visitors experience it, Nixon said.

I told him that seemed an excellent idea. Perhaps the concept could be developed into an ice bar.

Canadian Tourism Commission managing director Australia Donna Campbell

Canadian Tourism Commission managing director Australia Donna Campbell

When I looked at Nixon’s card later, I realised that he is the Yukon’s Minister of Tourism and Culture, Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Not only does he have the ideas, he has the power to carry them out.

Great ideas and fabulous Canadian signature experiences underscored this year’s show, organised by Canadian Tourism Commission managing director Australia Donna Campbell and her team.

Agents heard how people sometimes cry when they first lock eyes with the eyes of a polar bear.

“Imagine falling asleep under the Northern Lights,” they were asked to imagine. Now’s the time for clients to see the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) in northern Canada. The lights are approaching a 12 year peak.

Sydney agents at Canada Corroboree roadshow

There was even mention that a new thrill experience, bungy jumping off Toronto tower, was “even scarier than Rob Ford” – a light-hearted reference to Toronto’s larger-than-life mayor, who was embroiled in sensational controversy after a video surfaced last year alleging to show the mayor smoking what appeared to be crack.

Ford famously told reporters: “Am I an addict? No. Have I tried it, probably in one of my drunken stupors a year ago.”

Fortunately for visitors, you don’t need to smoke crack to have a sensational time in Canada.

The two-week Canada Corroboree roadshow featured about 20 Canadian partners participating in events in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth.

Signature experiences included Shangri-La, Rocky Mountaineer, Canadian provinces such as Yukon, Via Rail, Echo Valley Ranch, Fairmont Hotels, Frontiers North and Sun Peaks.

The CTC’s strategy for Australia focuses on high-yield travellers – who spend more, stay longer and are less influenced by exchange-rate fluctuations and market pressures.

Some 48% of all visits to Canada from Australia include a side trip to the US during the journey. An additional 29% of travellers visit Europe and Canada in one trip – opening the door for the creation of dual nation holidays.

Written by : Peter Needham

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