11 November 2007

CanadaeConnect Conference YVR Nov 7-9

I have just returned from this excellent conference. I moderated a panel on Evolution vs Revolution. For the first time in many years, I was able to catch up directly with what is going on in the great white north. I can assure you that innovation is alive and well up there. http://www.canadaeconnect.com/

A couple of brief highlights:

Canada really does have a good handle on the Public Private Partnership model in Tourism. The Team at Tourism Canada are pushing the envelope in getting the whole market involved. Check out http://www.canada.travel/

Canada is still lagging behind the US market in adoption of online but they are tracking nicely and this is not a bad thing.

The USA could take a large leaf out of the Canada Tourism playbook. Even the "joining of forces" of TIA and TBR is not going to be enough to pull this together. As Canada has shown a strong combination of direct Government funding, focused and sane visitor policies, industry participation and standards is a must not a goal.

A strong currency does not help your tourism quotient. The rise of the Looney is going to hurt the travelers from south of the border. Increased security restraints - mostly on the US side make travel (particularly by Road) a less than positive experience.

Jens and his team over at Tourism Canada should be very proud of their work in putting on one of the best shows in Travel and Tourism in a long time. Great Content, well manage show and 300 very engaged attendees made it work well. If you get the chance to go next year - I recommend it highly.

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