The Road Explorer - Spring 2016 - (Page 7)

ROAD explorer THE INDUSTRYVOICE How Will You Deal With a Lower Canadian Dollar? Managing Editor Christine Loo Editor Laura Huether by Doug Switzer N Publisher Angela Caroyannis Naylor Editor Leslee Masters Project Manager SaraCatherine Goodwin Publication Director Tracy Goltsman Marketing Margaux Tomac Sales Representatives Maria Antonation, Bill Biber, Tracy Goltsman, Kenneth Harrison, Megan Stanley, Jamie Williams Layout and Design Gufran Khan The Road Explorer is published three times per year by 1630 Ness Avenue, Suite 300 Winnipeg, MB R3J 3X1 Tel: 800-665-2456 Fax: 204-947-2047 for the Ontario Motor Coach Association 555 Burnhamthorpe Road Suite 505 Toronto, ON M9C 2Y3 Tel: 416-229-6622 Fax: 416-229-6281 ©2016 Ontario Motor Coach Association. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the association. OMCA - Ontario Motor Coach Association 555 Burnhamthorpe Road Suite 505 Toronto, ON M9C 2Y3 Tel: 416-229-6622 Fax: 416-229-6281 MCC - Motor Coach Canada 555 Burnhamthorpe Road Suite 505 Toronto, ON M9C 2Y3 Tel: 416-229-9305 Fax: 416-229-6281 PUBLISHED MARCH 2016/OMC-T0116/2295 CANADIAN PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT #40064978 ow well into 2016, it's pretty clear that the dominant factor affecting Canadian-U.S. tourism is the disparity in the value of the dollar. Depending on your point of view, it can be good news or it can be a challenge; but regardless of where you stand, it's a factor you won't be able to ignore. For U.S. tour operators, the low value of the Canadian dollar is an opportunity to offer high value tourism experiences at relatively low cost. From coast to coast, Canada offers some of the best theatres, attractions and destinations in the world. Now is the time for U.S. operators to capitalize on their ability to offer these experiences at a lower price point and build up a solid book of business in Canadian tours. But to do so they have to make the effort to get to know more Canadian destinations and suppliers than the traditional big city destinations. They need to come out and meet with some of the suppliers that are a bit more off the beaten track to find those genuinely unique travel experiences that make tours successful. If they do so, the rewards can be significant - and sustainable. For Canadian suppliers, the influx of new U.S. travellers represents an opportunity to make more and more people from south of the border familiar with their product. U.S. travellers looking for new destinations will be attracted by the low dollar. And given that many of the issues related to crossing the border (security lineups, documentation, passport issues, etc.) have been largely removed, now is the time to jump back into the U.S. market. To take advantage of this growing market opportunity, Canadian suppliers need to redouble their efforts to reach out and market their product. U.S. marketing efforts abandoned during the past decade because of border concerns and the parity of the dollar need to be renewed. We all know that the tourism industry is highly competitive, and despite the advantage that the low dollar offers, you still have to market aggressively. On the other side of the good news/bad news equation are Canadian tour operators and U.S. suppliers. Canadian tours to the U.S. are getting harder to sell because of the dollar's impact. But the fact is that while 10 or 20 percent of Canadians may not go to the U.S. this year, 80 or 90 percent will. The U.S. is still a favorite travel destination for many Canadian travellers, and despite the price impact, many will be undaunted. It's a tough market for sure, but it's still a market. And because it's a tough market, it takes some creativity to make money in it, but the money is there for those who refuse to give up and who come up with creative solutions. The key is recognizing the challenges, and tour operators and suppliers working together to find cooperative ways to overcome them. Many U.S. suppliers are willing to offer incentives to Canadian tour operators, one even branded a program of "meet me half way," where the supplier split the dollar difference with the operator. Tour operators also need to think about special and unique travel experiences that will entice travellers to go, regardless of price. Cooperation and creativity can overcome economics. As they say, change is the only constant. In order to be successful, we all have to be able to adapt quickly to change, including economic variables like the relative value of the Canadian and U.S. dollars. For some it's an opportunity; for others a challenge. But for everyone, it's a change that demands a response. ■ Read The Road Explorer online at

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Road Explorer - Spring 2016

Industry Voice
Issues Update
Adapting to Changes in Group Travel
Membership Do’s!
OMCA Marketplace 2015
Fare to Remember
Agritours Canada
Travel Highlights Marketplace
Index of Advertisers

The Road Explorer - Spring 2016