Any time a country or region imposes any sort of visa stipulation - even if it’s a waiver - the travel industry sighs a collective groan, knowing the obstacles and headaches to come.
TORONTO — Brand USA has named Colin Skerritt as its new regional director in Canada.
Based in Toronto, Skerritt will focus on promoting U.S. travel destination to Canadian travellers and will oversee travel trade outreach, consumer marketing, consumer public relations, and partner marketing.
Skerritt’s 15+ years of industry experience includes a two-year stint from 2016 – 2018 as Director of Tourism in Canada for the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority (ABTA). Skerritt led Antigua to an 85% increase in arrivals from Canada, which led all tourism growth from Canada to the Caribbean during 2018.
From 2010 to 2016 Skerritt led corporate and leisure sales and marketing programs for Air Canada, where he was the global accounts manager with responsibilities for travel revenue growth in North America, Latin America, the Caribbean and the UK. From 2007 to 2010, he was the manager, regional sales for Virgin Atlantic Airways.
“We are pleased to welcome Colin to the Brand USA team and are confident he will contribute greatly to our efforts in Canada, the number one inbound travel market to the USA,” said Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer of Brand USA. “Canada is a critically important market to the United States’ international travel and tourism marketing strategies — accounting for more than 26% of all international arrivals to the United States. We are committed to expanding our marketing efforts with travel partners and the travel trade, as well as expanding our consumer facing initiatives to further increase the number of Canadian travelers we welcome to the USA each year.”
Skerritt reports to Cathy Domanico, VP, Global Trade Development and will work with Brand USA’s global trade development, marketing, and corporate communications teams to develop and execute the organization’s strategic objectives, key initiatives, and plans to expand Brand USA’s global opportunities in the Canadian outbound travel market.
“I am honored to be part of the Brand USA team and I look forward to promoting travel from my home country, which I love, to one for which I have a strong passion and affinity,” said Skerritt.
Some 20.2 million Canadians visited the U.S. in 2017 and early numbers for 2018 show that number increased by 5% from 2017 to 2018 when the U.S. welcomed 21.2 million Canadian visitors, according to the National Travel and Tourism Office at the U.S. Department of Commerce (NTTO).
The NTTO forecast points to a 22% increase in arrivals from Canada from 2017 through 2023, bringing the annual arrivals to an expected 24.6 million.