Growth in Japanese arrivals to Canada remains steady. In 2014, Canada received a significant gain in flight capacity with All Nippon Airways and Air Canada adding new direct flights from Tokyo-Haneda Airport to Vancouver and Toronto. This momentum continues with the introduction of air service between Osaka and Vancouver on Air Canada Rouge in 2015. Travel Alberta is working with Japanese tour operator partners to capitalize on this increased lift, while keeping support for the Air Canada Tokyo-Narita to Calgary flight a priority.
Japanese travellers took 19.4 million outbound trips and spent US$47.3 billion on international travel in 2012 according to ITB World Travel Trends Report 2014/2015. In 2013, the number of Japanese travelling outside of Asia grew by 2%. Japanese consumers remain cautious, despite the recent upturn in their economy. GDP forecast for 2015 is expected to stay at 1%.
The largest growing segment of Japanese travellers are young, well-educated, white-collar females seeking more value and looking for experiential travel. The influence of travel agents in this market cannot be overlooked with 60% of bookings coming from this channel in 2012, according to Global Tourism Watch. Canada’s top-of-mind presence is low in Japan, and the higher cost of airfare compared to similar destinations remains a challenge. Secondary school trips from Japan to Canada are growing year over year. We have the opportunity to showcase Alberta’s outdoor adventure product to this segment.
The entry of Brand USA into Japan puts Alberta in a strong position to leverage two-nation itineraries. We will also partner with Destination Canada and other provinces to sell Alberta as part of a Canada itinerary.
- Engage the digitally connected traveller through year-round marketing
- Leverage air access opportunities with NRT-YYC route and support marketing partnerships focused on the new HND-YVR and KIX-YVR routes
- Leverage the strong Canada brand by partnering with Destination Canada and provincial partners to promote Canadian itineraries
- Develop and promote Alberta export-ready products to increase offerings in tour operator itineraries
- Host key influencers to generate further awareness of Alberta’s vacation experiences
- Support tour operators and OTAs with Alberta-only programs targeting FIT travellers and student market
- Create, curate and share inspiring Alberta stories in all channels
- Grow and engage our social media communities by leveraging influencers to drive advocacy
- Increased awareness of Alberta experiences through travel trade partnerships
- Additional Alberta export-ready products sold in the market
- Well-educated sales force of tour operators and travel agents selling Alberta in the market
- Growth in room nights and passenger numbers to Alberta
- Positive media coverage for Alberta from targeted media outlets
- Growth and increased engagement in social media communities
- New FIT itineraries for the Japanese market