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Doubling up – Canada’s West Marketplace investment delivers 50 per cent jump

Canada’s West Marketplace (CWM) scholars, graduates of the Travel Alberta-funded program, doubled the number of international contracts signed at the 2017 Canada’s West Marketplace travel trade show, contributing directly to further growth of the Alberta tourism industry on a global scale.

“We see the CWM scholarship program as a success, especially when funding through Travel Alberta sees this kind of return on investment, delivered by our exceptional industry partners,” said Shelley Grollmuss, Travel Alberta Vice-President, Industry Development. “Our funding supports one-on-one coaching and financial support to help Alberta tourism businesses take part in the trade show and ultimately sell their product to the international market. This is one of many ways we invest in the development of Alberta as a truly global destination.”

The annual CWM trade show–a partnership between Travel Alberta and Destination British Columbia—brings together a select group of international and domestic buyers to meet with local tourism industry suppliers. The location alternates between provinces annually, with last year’s event being held in Victoria, British Columbia.

Travel Alberta’s CWM scholarship program supported 14 participants at the 2017 event. A total of 51 new contracts were signed between scholars and international buyers, which more than doubles 2016 numbers. This represents incremental annual revenue of $511,000, a 126 per cent increase from the previous year.

Participants highlighted a variety of benefits from taking part in the program including:

  • Gaining a stronger understanding of the travel trade industry and how it all works.
  • Value of mentorship and coaching opportunities with Travel Alberta team members.
  • Acess to international buyers they would never otherwise meet.
  • Learning ways to customize products to meet demand from different markets.
  • Importance of forming partnerships with other operators to grow their business.

The 2018 CWM trade show takes place November 18-21 in Banff, Alberta. It is expected that 550 delegates will be attending this exclusive event. Information on applying to join the scholarship program can be found on the Travel Alberta industry website and questions can be directed to [email protected] The deadline to apply is May 18, 2018.

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