Focus Canada Japan, a bi-annual tradeshow hosted by Destination Canada, brings Canadian suppliers together with qualified buyers from all over Japan. Held in Osaka in late October, the program consisted of two full days of face-to-face meetings and networking opportunities to help build sales and business relationships.
There were 61 Canadian sellers at the show meeting with 60 Japanese organizations. Team Alberta had 12 industry partners at the show:
Deerfoot Inn and Casino
Banff Lake Louise Tourism
Best Western Premier Calgary Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre
Banff Lodging Company
Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola
VIA Rail Canada
Sutton Place Hotels/Sandman hotel Group
Fairmont Hotels and Resorts
Darlene Fedoroshyn, Director, Business Development at Travel Alberta shares some of exciting developments for our industry that are emerging out of Japan:
“The Travel Alberta team has been working closely with our Japanese partners for a few years to promote and educate them on winter experiences, and it’s paying off significantly,” said Fedoroshyn. “We’re now seeing tour operators promoting experiences and regions that we’ve never seen in their marketing materials before. It’s very exciting to see.”
Tour Operator HIS just created a new brochure that showcases Edmonton and Calgary in a way that’s never been done before.
“The added pressure of hotel compression in the Rockies is forcing Japanese tour operators to be creative in the way they promote Alberta,” said Fedoroshyn. “They’re being more proactive to find innovative itineraries and more likely to promote lesser known destinations.”
Alberta’s Dark sky preserves, (the Japanese prefer the term starry skies) and Elk Island National Park are being promoted near Edmonton while Drumheller, Dinosaur Provincial Park and Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park are being promoted as daytrips from Calgary. Winter festivals, restaurants and city attractions round out some of the trends we’re seeing, producing new interest and positive sentiment around our cities.