Canada eyes 7 % growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2018

Mumbai (PTI): 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 250,000 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 213,000 Indians travelled to Canada, according to Destination Canada data.

The increase in the number of direct weekly flights and also a focus on promoting Canada as an aspiring destination helped in the increase in number of Indians visiting Canada, Peters added.

There are 15 flights every week that connect 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 is targeting millennials as well as people over 45 years of age.

“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.

“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.