13 FEB 2019: Britain’s national tourism agency, VisitBritain, has launched its new Canadian Tourism Advisory Council. The aim of the council is to provide strategic advice to help steer VisitBritain’s Canadian strategy by providing industry knowledge and expertise from an unbiased and independent point of view.

“We are excited to announce the formation of this council in Canada, and to confirm the participation of this group of top leaders from the tourism industry,” says Gavin Landry, Executive Vice President, Americas, VisitBritain.

“We met for the first time in Toronto, where insights were shared and a robust discussion took place.”

The Canadian Tourism Advisory Council includes members from Ensemble Canada; Globus Family of Brands; Kensington Tours; Travel Professionals International; Transat; TravelBrands and Air Canada Rouge.

Members on the council from VisitBritain include: Gavin Landry, Executive Vice President, Americas; Paul Gauger, Senior Vice President, Americas; Sheelagh Wylie, Chief Marketing Officer, Americas; and Carl Walsh, Director of Travel Trade, North America.

‘’The global travel and tourism industry is more competitive than ever thanks to steady growth from international travellers. The council’s insights and expertise will further strengthen Britain’s role as a world-class destination,” says Landry.

The council will next meet at ExploreGB, May 8-10, 2019, in Harrogate, Yorkshire. ExploreGB is VisitBritain’s flagship event providing British and Irish tourism suppliers and destinations with an invaluable opportunity to meet and do business with over 200 hosted international travel buyers from more than 30 countries.

The launch of the Canadian Tourism Advisory Council follows the successful debut of the US Tourism Advisory last October at Destination Britain North America (DBNA) in Austin, Texas, the annual business-to-business event which attracts British tourism businesses and North American buyers for meetings, networking opportunities and educational seminars.

Canadian visitor numbers to Britain remain strong. In 2017, Canada visits increased to 835,000, the highest since 2006. For 2018, visitor numbers and spend are tracking ahead of 2017, according to data from the International Passenger Survey.


Back row from left: Carl Walsh, Director of Travel Trade, North America, VisitBritain; Kevin McGurgan OBE, British Consul General Toronto; Zeina Gedeon, CEO, Travel Professionals Int’l; Frank Demarinis, President,TravelBrands; Gavin Landry, Executive Vice President, Americas, VisitBritain; Lynda Falcone, Travel Trade Manager, Canada, VisitBritain; Sheelagh Wyle, Chief Marketing Officer, Americas, VisitBritain; Paul Gauger, Senior Vice President, Americas, VisitBritain.

Front row from left: Erin Oddleifson, Director, Commercial Marketing, Transat; Alison Hickey, President, Kensington Tours; Stephanie Bishop, Managing Director, Globus Family of Brands; Franca Iuele, Sr. Director, Marketing & Product Development, Ensemble Canada; Cathy Stapells, Marketing & Communications Manager, Canada, VisitBritain. Absent: Duncan Bureau, President, Air Canada Rouge.

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