Canada has been rated the number one place in the world to visit for 2017 but what does that really mean in terms of how many visitors will actually show up? Destination Canada, our country’s tourism marketing board, has shown that on the path to purchase:
- 80 per cent of the world has Canada on their dream list
- 39 per cent are seriously considering coming
- 11 per cent are starting to gather information
- 7 per cent have a detailed itinerary
- 2 percent are finalizing the arrangements and
- 1 per cent have booked a trip to Alberta.
As a small business owner in the tourism sector, I ask myself what can our company do to increase the likelihood that more visitors will not only choose Canada but make Alberta their first choice. After more than a decade in business, I’ve realized that success for our food tour company will always come through our partnerships.
Having three different levels of partnership helps us reach the markets where our ideal guests live, plan and dream. Those partners are the tourism sector, the vendor partners that we choose to showcase and last but not least, our dedicated internal team.
The tourism sector is the partner who helps us reach global markets. Partners like Travel Alberta pay attention to global trends. Food has become a key reason to choose a destination and this is the area where Alberta Food Tours, Inc. can help leverage Alberta’s position amongst the broad spectrum of destinations competing for visitors.
Alberta Food Tours, Inc. has worked for many years with Travel Alberta and our destination marketing partners to develop the necessary relationships with global tourism buyers so that we can capture this line of business. We’ve been ahead of this trend and now that guests are asking for food tours in their itineraries we are ready where many companies are still scrambling to respond.
This level of partnership is vital to the volume of business needed for our long-term growth. But, in all honesty, we would have nothing to offer the world without our local business to business partnerships.
From inception, our business has been built on choosing great local partners to showcase. Alberta Food Tours, Inc. currently has nearly 100 direct partners in the food, hospitality, agriculture, arts and culture business sectors of this province. Excellence in our vendor partners creates excellence for our tour guides to showcase and for our guests to enjoy. We offer a premium experience built on solid relationships.
Our team of tour guides also determine our success. They are vibrant and mature individuals who are tourism ambassadors and charming hosts. Because they play such an important role in delivering the mission and vision of our company, this year we will also make them partners with a profit-sharing mechanism that will reward them for word of mouth marketing, sales and promotion of our company.
As we do our part to expand and build food tourism in Alberta, the strength of our partnerships will be something we will always treasure and strive to nurture. Long may we dance. Long may we enjoy creating authentic connections for our visitors to Alberta.
-Karen Anderson, president Alberta Food Tours, Inc.