Japan, the third largest world economy, is one of the highest-spending international travel markets to Canada. However the earthquake/tsunami disaster on March 11 has hugely impacted long haul travel. Japan’s government encourages overseas travel as a way to cut down the power consumption during the summer as well as to deliver welcome messages for foreigners to visit Japan.
Travel Alberta has been working closely with CTC Japan, Air Canada and major tour operators to introduce extended stay packages, education tours and MICE tours to Alberta through a series of campaigns. AC load factor has since increased from 50% to over 80%, showing a strong rebound in inbound travel from Japan. The trend seems to continue into the fall and winter season as TA reveals fall/winter campaigns.
Travel Alberta will continue to work closely with CTC Japan to incorporate a brand message that will promote the Canada and Alberta travel experience with “authentic experiences in breathtaking landscapes” to Social Samplers and Free Spirits. Travel Alberta will also work closely with Air Canada and Japan National Tourism Organization to promote two way tourism in order to sustain the direct flights between Tokyo and Calgary in 2012.
- Broad range of attractive products that will appeal to Japanese visitors. Natural wonders such as wildlife viewing, Rocky Mountains, lakes and geographical history of the Badlands, as well as active pursuits such as hiking, skiing etc.
- Nature close to cities and international airports
- Favourable relations with the travel trade and media and close relationships with the CTC and Tourism B.C.
- Identification and marketing of key icons as a draw card – Alberta product beyond the main icons is under represented in receptive tour operator tariffs
- Statistics Canada not measuring road traffic from British Columbia entering Alberta, which represents a large number of Japanese
- Low destination awareness
- Summer seasonal, direct non-stop flight from Tokyo to Calgary
- Potential for developing iconic travel, through packaging/promotion of new and enhanced product offerings for all four seasons
- Educate and strengthen relationships with travel trade and media
- Potential for codeshare/common rating expansion on year-round flights to Vancouver
- Customer profile is predominantly high-yield
- Tourism B.C. partnership for strong Canada’s West presence
- More affordable flights to the U.S. vs. direct Canada flights
- Competing national tourism offices are targeting Japanese consumers
- Strengthening yen reduces our marketing purchasing power
- Japanese are sensitive to health and safety issues