The Tourism Town Hall followed the energizing Partnership Summit on June 3. Hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), Destination Canada (formerly the Canadian Tourism Commission) and the Canadian Tourism Human Resources Council (CTHRC), it was also the first look for many industry operators at the new approaches taken by Destination Canada in international markets.
Jon Mamela, the Chief Marketing Officer at Destination Canada outlined his organization's point of view: "We've got to compete aggressively in a way that's creative and innovative."
These include producing a Japanese reality show, content for the Chinese market that features Chinese-Canadian supermodel Godfrey Gao, and creating content around 150 Great Canadian Journeys to inspire young Canadians to travel their own country.
He commented on the massive changes in consumer behaviour, the significant shifts in the use of technology, the importance of collaboration, and the strength of the Canada brand in supporting the development of great content.
Travel Manitoba is partnering with Destination Canada on its upcoming content initiatives in the US and German market. Read more about those initiatives here or see Destination Canada's Town Hall presentation here.
Rob Taylor, the Vice President of Public and Industry Affairs with TIAC reiterated its support for increasing Destination Canada's marketing budget, which did see a $30 million increase for US consumer marketing over the next three years, and for simplifying the process of moving people across our borders. He also urged the tourism industry in the room to make the tourism industry a talking point in the next federal election.
"There is a strong need for grassroots movement, sitting down with your MP to tell them the value of tourism. Hold your candidates accountable," he said. Find an advocacy toolkit created by Travel Manitoba to help you share the value of tourism message with your region's elected officials on our website. See TIAC's Town Hall presentation here.
The final presentation from Vince Cartier of the CTHRC reinforced the importance of the people who work in the tourism industry.
"We are going to have difficulty in meeting the demand and living up to our brand promise," said Vince, without investing in human resources and staff training. He added that 10-20 hours of training results in a 1.8 ROI.
"Certified staff tend to be more loyal to their current employer," said Vince, especially important considering the high ratio of youth employees in Winnipeg's tourism industry.