With the start of the school summer vacation period in India, overnight air arrivals from that segment soared by 21% in May 2019, which propelled India as the 4th largest long-haul inbound market that month. Year-to-date growth for May 2019 for India at +14.4% ranked fifth among DC long-haul market in terms of air arrivals. 

(From L to R): Kamal Gill, Carl Vaz – CEO and Strategy Director, Destination Canada – India GSA, Prahlad Singh Patel, Christopher Kerr, and Kewal Gill – Chairman, Gill India Group

Destination Canada has also released data for 2018 indicates that that the number of Indians visiting Canada has gone up by 14.7 percent. India set new monthly arrivals records every month, a new annual arrivals record, and grew to become Destination Canada’s seventh largest inbound market in 2018. India was the only Destination Canada long-haul market to consistently record monthly gains in air arrivals both direct from overseas and via the US.

In 2018, around 287,420 visitors travelled to Canada of which 51% came between May and August, the summer months as demand for travel to Canada among Indian leisure travellers was higher during this period. 

Most trips to Canada by Indian leisure travellers (80%) are booked as part of an organized group travel package through a travel agent or tour operator.

 MoU signed by DC and TAAI

 As part of its promotional activity in India, Destination Canada has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) on 2nd August 2019 in Mumbai to jointly conduct presentation workshops to its members in 7 cities across India. The purpose of this activity is to engage with senior members of the retail chain (travel agents, tour operators, OTAs & event specialists) and provide for ideation on new product offerings serving leisure, luxury, MICE and special event segments.

Carl Vaz, CEO & Strategy Director, Destination Canada India GSA said, “We are extremely excited to work with Travel Agents Association of India across 7 cities to popularize Canada as a Fall and Winter Wonderland Destination. This second set of workshops follows on an extremely successful 10 city pan-India session with a team Canada approach. Going forward; Destination Canada, Air Canada and the Canadian High Commission will jointly address TAAI members across 7 cities.”

 Mr Vaz further commented, “Destination Canada will be further exploring training workshops in Chandigarh, The Punjab, Hyderabad and Kolkata in the coming months.”

Arun Pandeya, Country Head & General Manager – India Sub-continent, Air Canada said, “Air Canada is extremely happy to be partnering Destination Canada and TAAI for the multi city Destination Canada Workshops. With Air Canada’s direct nonstop daily flights Delhi to Vancouver, Delhi to Toronto (re-starting on 3rd Oct) and the winter seasonal Mumbai to Toronto, it has become a great connectivity advantage. Air Canada is a Skytrax award winning airline as the best North American airline.”

Sunil Kumar, President, TAAI said, “It was a great moment of pride for TAAI to sign this MoU for the second time in a row to conduct training programs in 7 cities across India between August and December 2019. TAAI has a strong membership base not only in TIER-1 cities but also in TIER 2 cities and this partnership initiative will give the members an in-depth knowledge of Canada which can now be sold as a stand-alone destination.”

The First MOU signed in June 2018 saw TAAI working with Destination Canada successfully in conducted workshops in 10 cities PAN-INDIA.

 Mr Kumar lauded the efforts of TAAI’s Tourism Council Chairman, Anoop Kanuga not only for co-ordinating the workshops done last year, but also ensuring that TAAI signs the partnership this year too.

 He presented Carl Vaz a plaque signifying the “Handshake of Partnership” between TAAI and Destination Canada.