A prolonged economic recovery is expected in the U.S. due in part to consumer worries of a double-dip recession. The travel industry will continue to face challenging times. Americans will continue to take vacations, however on reduced budgets. The importance of value for money will remain the number one consideration for Americans planning international travel. The Free Spirit segment of the travel market is very responsive to the value proposition of the Alberta brand.
U.S. outbound air traffic for the first six months of 2010 increased five per cent when compared to the same period in 2009, but Travel Alberta has an uphill battle to fight when it comes to gaining share of the U.S. market. Current awareness levels tell us at the most basic sense where our challenge resides. Building blocks including the formulation of the Alberta brand promise and positioning will provide focus to our marketing efforts. This is where we will begin to make traction towards our mission of growing tourism revenues through compelling invitations to experience Alberta.
In July 2010, the CTC advised that they will cease all traditional consumer marketing and trade activities for 2011 in the U.S. market. In light of this development, increased interest in partnership marketing and expanded marketing activities is anticipated.
- Air access to Alberta from most major U.S. gateways
- Favourable relations with the travel trade, media and MC&IT
- In-market representatives (MC&IT, media)
- Alberta product aligns well with the top interests of the targeted EQTM segments
- No provincial sales tax in Alberta
- Alberta has not yet been able to build tangible brand equity in key U.S. markets
- Alberta’s location north of the Canada/US border creates the perception that Alberta is remote, lacks service and is a cold place to visit
- Limited direct air access to Eastern United States
- Largest international market
- Promote new air access and potential for codeshare expansion allowing more air access
- With CTC no longer in the U.S. market, Travel Alberta has an increased need to have in-market representation
- Social media continues to play a growing role
- Extend the stay of MC&IT travellers resulting in increased
- Reduced Canadian national tourism presence
- Safety and terrorism, passport requirements, border crossings and airport issues influence U.S. travellers to stay closer to home
- Decreased cost of overseas travel, making long-haul trips more affordable
- Strength of Canadian dollar makes travel to Canada more expensive