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Trade ‘more important than ever’, says Destination Canada

The travel trade has played an important role in Canada’s tourism recovery, according to representatives from the country’s tourist board.

Speaking to Travel Weekly at Rendez-vous Canada in Toronto, the flagship event for the country’s tourism industry, Maureen Riley, vice-president of international at Destination Canada, said agents play a key role in offering “clarity” to visitors.

“[People] want more clarity on where they can go and what they can do,” she said.

“And this is why our priority in our markets is to work closely with the travel trade to make sure they’re equipped to do what they need to do. So, they’re more important than ever before.”

Visitor numbers from international markets to Canada are picking up, according to Destination Canada’s latest quarterly tourism snapshot, which found March arrivals were at 58% of pre-pandemic levels.

Canada also dropped its requirement for pre-departure testing for those who are fully vaccinated on April 1, which is expected to boost tourism further in the country.

Riley hailed the restart of many direct flights from the UK, as the association encourages visitors to look beyond the bigger cities and into the more rural parts of Canada.

“From the UK, we’ve re-established most of our flights from London into Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, but now we’re looking at how do we get people to be able to access these more rural destinations.”

Rendez-vous Canada welcomed more than 700 delegates to its annual marketplace, both in-person and virtually. Next year’s event will take place in Quebec City.

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