TORONTO — In typical fashion most Canadian travellers are more concerned about the value of their dollar than politics. So far Brexit isn’t having an impact on Canadian visitor figures to Britain and in fact, in 2016 when the ‘yes’ vote for Brexit came in, the pound sterling dropped and visitor figures shot up 24%.
Canadians may pay more attention to Brexit as the UK-EU ‘divorce date’ – March 29 – rapidly approaches but so far visitor numbers from this market are strong, says Lynda Falcone, Travel Trade Development Manager – Canada for Visit Britain.
Falcone says Visit Britain keeps tabs on the Brexit situation, surveying travel agents and tour operators in Canada, “and we haven’t seen any impact.”
Falcone updated the trade yesterday at Globus family of brands’ ‘Undiscovered Britain’ event in Toronto. Globus and VisitBritain want agents to help their clients explore “the cobblestones less travelled” with the new Undiscovered Britain itineraries available through both Globus and Cosmos.
Stephanie Bishop, Managing Director for the Globus family of brands, says Globus’ numbers to Great Britain just keep climbing, with the destination firmly in the top three for the travel company, along with Italy and France. “Great Britain has delivered time and time again and now with ‘Undiscovered Britain’ we’ll see that again.”
The idea is get Canadians past London – as wonderful as London is – and into other cities and regions in Great Britain, including Scotland and Wales.
A stand-alone mini-brochure outlines the Undiscovered Britain itineraries, including the 12-day ‘Britain Uncovered’ to London, Exeter, Cardiff, Warwick, Liverpool, Glasgow, Inverness and Edinburgh, and the 6-day ‘Hidden Treasures of Southern England’ to London, Stratford-upon-Avon, Bath and Southampton, both with Globus, and the 7-day ‘Scottish Outlander Adventure’ to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Strathpeffer with Cosmos. More than half a dozen itineraries are available in all.
Globus has also, for the first time, produced a stand-alone Britain & Ireland brochure this year. Racking space at agencies is always a concern when splitting off product into a new brochure but Bishop says the decision was the right one. “When a client is looking for Great Britain, they’re looking for Great Britain. They’re not looking for Italy.”
Touring offers so much flexibility these days, adds Bishop. “The beauty with touring is, it’s all included … and you earn great commission,” she told agents.
With Globus’ private touring concept, clients can choose any itinerary in the brochure and get separate transportation and guiding. “For many years travel agents were asking us for solutions for small groups. This is the solution,” says Bishop.
She also reminded agents about ‘Cosmos Lite’, the budget-minded brand’s off-shoot touring style. Cosmos Lite offers touring a la carte, with a combination of cities, multiple night stays, later wake-ups, included breakfasts and “amazing price points.”
Bishop ended her presentation with a reminder about the company’s resources for the trade (including agentlingo.ca and the 2019 Travel Agent Guide) plus a few helpful tips for agents…
- “Average selling price is on the rise”
- “Average stays are on the rise”
- “Selling beyond iconic places demonstrates your value”
- “Be curious and qualify clients”
- “Avoid selling with your wallet in mind”
- “Up-sell, add on and cross-sell”