Learning the Tricks of the Travel Trade

News release

Market Readiness Workshops Helping Tourism Businesses Seize Opportunities and Prepare for Growth

June 12, 2018 – Charlottetown, PE – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Canada’s vibrant tourism industry employs one in ten Canadians who eagerly welcomed a record 20.8 million international visitors to our shores in 2017. Investing in tourism projects in both big cities and small communities throughout Atlantic Canada supports local businesses and creates good middle class jobs in local communities.

Recognizing the importance of the tourism industry, the federal and provincial governments announced $24.5 million in July 2017 for initiatives to support enhanced tourism marketing and product development under the Atlantic Growth Strategy (AGS).

The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, together with the Honourable Chris Palmer, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today outlined the results of the first series of six Travel Trade Market Readiness (TTMR) workshops designed to help tourism stakeholders attract more visitors to the Atlantic region. These workshops attracted over 120 tourism stakeholders from across Atlantic Canada during the spring of 2018.

The Atlantic Canada TTMR Program was developed by ACOA and the four Atlantic Canada provinces, in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick (TIANB). The program provides concrete tactics, processes, and best business practices on how to develop and expand distribution to increase visitation by working closely with the travel trade. The toolkit provided to participants, along with the accompanying workshops, webinars, and mentoring, help tourism industry stakeholders confidently interact with the travel trade market. The TTMR Program will be promoted broadly to industry at the provincial level, with a second series of workshops being planned for the fall of 2018.

These workshops build on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic Provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy by helping the region’s tourism industry attract more visitors and create new jobs across the region. This bold new approach is in line with Canada’s Tourism Vision, which seeks to make Canada a top-ten global tourism destination by 2025.


“Tourism is an important industry that offers a tremendous economic opportunity for further economic growth in Atlantic Canada. That’s why growing the region’s tourism industry is a key goal of the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which is all about doing things differently. We’re applying new thinking and a new level of collaboration to target economic growth, and our innovative approach to tourism development is creating new growth for the tourism industry and good middle-class jobs for years to come.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

“Tourism is our largest service export, supporting tens of thousands of jobs right across Canada. 2017 was our best tourism year ever. In addition to the significant investments our government has made to market the Atlantic region as a world-class tourism destination, we are also committed to helping tourism operators create the experiences visitors are seeking, and to prepare for future growth. I encourage all Atlantic tourism operators to learn more about how the travel trade can help them grow their businesses by reaching out to new markets, such as China.”

  • The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism

“It is vital that federal and provincial governments collaborate with industry to maintain or increase the incredible momentum we are seeing in tourism today. By helping tourism operators acquire the skills they need to maximize their marketing potential we help them better reach receptive audiences and increase the possibility of  potential international visitors choosing Prince Edward Island as their vacation destination now and into the future.”

  • The Honourable Chris Palmer, Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Prince Edward Island

“In today’s business environment, tourism operators are continually faced with having to adapt to new trends, emerging sector innovation and technologies that challenge existing business models. The Atlantic Canada Travel Trade Readiness Program will bridge gaps to develop and expand industry business distribution by working with travel trade. The tourism industry in Atlantic Canada plays an important role in supporting provincial economic growth. TIANB is pleased to contribute through this important initiative.”

  • Mr. Dan Myers, Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick

“The Travel Trade Market Readiness workshop was as informative as it was helpful. As a seasonal resort in the Cavendish area that has been participating in the Travel Trade market for years, it was very beneficial to compare our approach and systems to the ones laid out by this program. The ideas, pricing structures and helpful suggestions will be carried forward by our company as we are constantly looking to keep up with the demands and expectations of our Travel Trade partners. With this knowledge we hope to continue to grow our off-season.”

  • Lilla McDonald, General Manager, Kindred Spirits Inn and Cottages

Quick facts

  • In July 2017, federal ministers, Atlantic premiers, Atlantic Canada’s tourism industry and Destination Canada announced a joint investment of $24.5 million under the Atlantic Growth Strategy to position Atlantic Canada as a top tourism destination. This investment includes:

    • The Atlantic Canada Agreement on Tourism (ACAT), a new three-year $19.95 million federal-provincial-industry marketing partnership to promote the four Atlantic Provinces as leading vacation destinations in key markets in the United States and the United Kingdom;
    • The Tourism International Marketing Expansion (TIME) Program, a new three-year $4.5 million federal-provincial marketing partnership designed to take advantage of growth opportunities from emerging and developing markets, beginning with China and Germany, and;
    • The Travel Trade Market Readiness (TTMR) Program, a $250,000 federal-provincial-industry partnership to help tourism operations better understand the travel trade business model, and how to access and benefit from opportunities in developing markets. 
  • Two tourism development firms, Bannikin Travel and Tourism and Twenty31 Consulting, were contracted to develop the Atlantic Canada TTMR Program. These firms conducted significant consultations with travel trade stakeholders and industry in the program development.

  • Rendez-vous Canada 2018 was recently held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, bringing over 1,800 Canadian and international tourism leaders to Atlantic Canada. 

  • Rendez-vous Canada 2018 was a four-day business-to-business marketplace that connected international travel trade buyers with Canadian tourism industry sellers through a series of one-on-one appointments, motivating travel to Canada.

  • ACOA provided $215,000 in assistance to Tourism Nova Scotia to ensure that Atlantic Canada was front and centre at this recent national event, and to support a series of thirteen familiarization tours throughout the Atlantic region for 190 international buyers.

  • Tourism operators should contact Craig Sulis, Manager Trade and Sales, Tourism PEI at 902-368-5794 or cdsulis@gov.pe.ca for information on the Atlantic Canada TTMR Program.


Chris Brooks
Director of Communications
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Andrew Sprague
Senior Communications Officer
Prince Edward Island Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Shelley Munn
Communications & Marketing Manager
Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick

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