Prestige Holidays has bolstered its Canada programme as tourism opportunities to the country from the UK continue to grow.
The tour operator’s new brochure has included the Canada Arctic for the first time with a variety of wildlife and activity holiday options, alongside small ship in the Arctic and new motorhome breaks.
Denise Hunn, Canada specialist at Prestige told Travel Daily the tour operator is riding off an increased awareness of the destination amongst travel agents and clients, as well as Prestige’s specialist knowledge in the country.
The tour operator has seen sales to Canada increase 25% year-on-year, with forward bookings for 2014 also looking positive.
“Canada is definitely one of the star performers in the Prestige brand and we’ve seen substantial year-on-year growth that reflects in our expanded brochure and increase agent database,” Hunn explained.
“Knowledge of Canada is getting better and the Canadian Tourism Commission has been very active in training alongside us and other specialists,” she added. “We want to give travel agents as much information as possible to get bookings and also remind them this is a high spend holiday that offers them more commission too.”
To coincide with the brochure launch Prestige will hold a fam trip to Canada this weekend and also host an agent dinner on 22 October, with other initiatives in the pipeline.
Tailor-made self-drive options are fuelling the Canadian growth at Prestige, with its older clientele now not so afraid of heading out on their own.
“The growth for us has definitely come from the tailor-made self-drive path with perhaps a city break and then other spots along to the west coast, with excursions along the way,” Hunn explained. “Rocky Mountaineer is seeing strong growth; lots of clients opt for holidays start in Calgary and end in Vancouver with the chance to see bears and whales along the way.”
With so much on offer Prestige is also seeing clients staying longer, with the average stay up from 14 nights to 17 nights. These customers are also making the use of flight times by choosing itineraries that maximise their time in the country.
“There has been so much good publicity about Canada that it can be hard for people to pick what to do, so the tailor-made option allows agents to meet their expectations. The self-drive element means they have the security of a hotel and flights booked, but they can do what they want in between. The 60-70 age group are not afraid to make up their own tours now instead of the escorted or packaged options because they know they have the security behind it,” Hunn added.
The brochure also features Bermuda for the first time and Prestige’s USA product with New York as a new addition.