Foreign and domestic visitors spent a record $30.8 billion in Canada in 1995, according to a report released late last year by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC). This represents a $2.06 billion increase over 1994. With 2.97 percent of the global tourism market share, Canada now ranks 11th in the world for global tourism, according to the CTC.
Moreover, of the 16.9 million international tourists to Canada in 1995, more than 13 million of them were from the U.S., representing a 3.7 percent growth in U.S. visitors over the previous year.
It is likely that Canada will continue to benefit from the success of the CTC's ongoing efforts to partner with the private-sector tourism industry, a partnership that resulted last year in an estimated $44.25 to $48 million in private-sector contributions to tourism campaigns. That figure is expected to grow to $51.6 million in 1997, according to the CTC.
One such partnership has helped to fund the CTC's new merchandising program, which is aimed at travelers, in particular, business travelers. The CTC logo will be carried on a variety of merchandise-from golf balls to umbrellas to outdoor wear-in an effort to boost awareness among U.S. travelers of Canada as a travel destination. The merchandise will be included in an annual catalog that will be sent to industry partners, travel and meeting trade publications, as well as consumers. "We want to create a brand for Canada, to develop brand recognition and loyalty," says Greg Smith, a member of the Partnership Network, a Toronto firm that is providing the expertise for developing the merchandising program.