Canada, which witnessed a record number of visitors from India last year, is eyeing 7 per cent growth in tourist arrivals from the sub-continent. “We saw a record number of 2.5 lakh Indians visiting Canada in 2017, which was 17.37 per cent increase from 2016. However, this we would like to be cautious while projecting growth and expect 7 per cent rise in footfalls from India in 2018 compared to last year,” Destination Canada Regional Managing Director, Europe, Australia and India, Rupert Peters told PTI here.
In 2016, a total number of 2,13,000 Indians travelled to Canada, according to Destination Canada data. The increase in number of direct weekly flights and also focus on promoting Canada as an aspiring destination helped in the surge in number of Indians visiting the land of maple, Peters added. There are 15 flights weekly connecting Delhi and Mumbai directly with Canada. He said Canada is a multi generation tourists destination and can be visited all around the year.
“We are promoting Canada as a four season destination, with lots going on for visitors to enjoy and make memories,” he added. In India, Destination Canada, he said, is targeting millennial as well as people over 45 years. “The millennial fit into Canada with so much adventure, experience and wildlife and the mid-aged (over 45 years) can also enjoy the country as a leisure destination offering beauty, culture, food, shopping and much more,” he added. He said, Canada has been positioned as an affordable long haul destination in India, catering to a wide range of audience.
“We want to build Canada as an aspirational destination. We want our country to be in the bucket list of every Indian who wants to travel abroad,” he added. Destination Canada is also eyeing the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Events (MICE) segment in India. “We see huge potential in the growing MICE market in India. With increase in connectivity, we expect this segment to grow,” he added.
India is the ninth largest source market for Canada and going forward it is likely to move forward in the rank, he said. “With the growing number of Indians visiting Canada, we expect the sub-continent to be at the number fifth or sixth spot going forward,” he said without give a time frame. The US, UK, China, France and Germany are the top five source markets of Canada.