Due to a 35 percent reduction in the value of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar and a consistent European marketing campaign–five years ago Destination Canada moved all of its marketing money out of the USA and into international markets, including Europe—Canada is back. And the temperature has changed.
At a recent Visit California marketing outlook conference, David Goldstein, Destination Canada’s CEO, revealed initiatives for the U.S. market for the first time since withdrawing from the market. Key moves made include the following:
- Destination Canada will focus on “yielding” for Millennials because, according to Goldstein, “baby boomers will be dead soon.” (For Inbound’s Baby Boomer editor-in-chief, this is sobering news, but Goldstein is right. Over my remaining life span, the Canadians may get only one trip out of Boomers, but as many as seven out of my millennial son.)
- The agency plans to change Canada’s perception from “Cold” to “Cool” by focusing on exciting outdoor adventure products, craft beer breweries, and cool attractions that resonate with younger travelers. Canada’s young Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (who was recently interviewed on a CBS “60 Minutes” segment that had high viewership) might help, too, in conveying this kind of coolness.
- For the first time in five years, Destination Canada will launch an extensive advertising campaign through all media platforms targeted to the U.S. traveler as the currency exchange rate renders Canada 35 percent more affordable to Americans.
It was a serendipitous bit of timing, but the increased brand awareness from five years of consistent marketing investment, coupled with a 35 percent reduction in the value of the Canadian loonie seems tour operators and travel agents looking at 2016-17 as the Year of the Canadians.