Midst a collection of the worst inbound visitor numbers ever, the company sends out its first group tour since … who knows when? No matter the size or the obstacles, the company managed to send out a small tour within western Canada in mid-October, and had plans to send out more tours this month.
The revelation came early into a Connect Travel virtual webinar– Connect with Domestic Tour Operators—from Stephanie Parr-Brooks, director of contracting, the Globus family of Brands. She had been discussing how Globus had spent a significant amount of time setting up “a lot of” new protocols for its tour products.
They were incorporated into the tour, which was marketed in, and took place in, the Rockies in an itinerary that included Banff and Calgary. The mention triggered a number of questions that were posted on Zoom screens of the hundreds of individuals who took part in the webinar. Asked by the session’s moderator, Shari Bailey, vice president, Connect Travel, and general manager, Connect Travel Events, how the tour went, Parr-Brooks said that it was well-received: “The travelers were excited just to be out and exploring again.” The first group Globus tour since the beginning of the global pandemic that has effectively shut down travel to and from Canada, it also provided staff with an opportunity to introduce passengers to the company’s new protocols.
(Note: The Globus family includes Globus, Cosmos, Monograms and Avalon.)
The upbeat glow that attendees might have felt in listening to, and watching, the webinar, might have helped them cope with the relentlessly challenging news that the inbound tourism industry in Canada has to do deal with—mostly it has to do with the government’s ban on travel to the country from the USA (Canada’s largest inbound market) as well as a notice to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents that they are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice to limit the spread of COVID-19. Both measures are in effect through most of this month. And they will probably be renewed for at least another month.
The impact of the shutdown of travel to Canada from abroad—at least, from Destination Canada’s Top 10 international markets in the most recent month for which complete figures are available, August 2020, is seen the graphic below:
Canada: August 2020 Overnight Arrivals at a Glance*
* The COVID-19 pandemic has affected data availability and the regular process for collecting and distributing data. While this information can provide a baseline to monitor arrival performance going forward, it does feature notable difference compared to data normally published by Destination Canada. This month’s infographic shows all travelers from long-haul (non-U.S.) arrivals, including same-day trips from non-US countries (i.e. air passengers in transit to other countries), which are normally excluded. Destination Canada estimates that these same-day trips account for 3 percent of total arrivals. US travel excludes same-day trips by land, as usual. Data on mode of entry at the country level is not available, so only the total long-haul arrivals by mode of entry is provided. For more information, visit https://www.destinationcanada.com/en/