Canada bookings soar following border reopening
by Charlotte Flach
Tour operators are enjoying a wave of Canada bookings since the country reopened to fully vaccinated UK visitors on September 7.
Chris Hedley, Managing Director of Canadian Affair said: “From the beginning of September we have seen bookings and enquiries for next summer return to pre-pandemic levels. September to December is a key booking period and we will be working closely with our partners to ensure this trend continues and we can put this period behind us and look to deliver a fantastic 2022.”
Destination Canada also welcomed the news. “With the September opening of the Canadian international borders, combined with the UK adding Canada to the green list late August, we hope it means that those that had Autumn and winter holidays booked will be able to enjoy them as they have no doubt looked forward to and relished as the year progressed, said Rupert Peters (pictured), Destination Canada's Managing Regional Director, UK & Europe.
“Likewise for holidaymakers with 2022 bookings, we hope it will be reassurance that their plans will proceed as envisaged. We believe that the Brits will be amongst the first to reinstate travel plans and that with the UK being Canada’s second largest international market, this will boost Canada’s tourism recovery and provide much needed support to the travel industry both in Canada and in the UK,” he added.
Denise Hunn, Director – Canada Tour Operations at Prestige Holidays said: “We are so excited that the Canadian border has reopened to UK visitors. We had clients depart on the very first day that it opened. We know there’s pent-up demand for travel to Canada and will be actively working with our agents over the coming weeks with a variety of marketing initiatives including road shows and destination webinars.
“It’s important that our agents are given support to promote Canada and to take advantage of the increased level of interest we’re currently seeing for 2022. Our team is working from the office and are looking forward to showcasing, once again, their passion, product knowledge and personal service.”
Dan Gathercole, Managing Director at First Class Holidays added: “We have seen an appetite for late bookings in September and October, and conversion has nearly doubled overall.”
Any full-vaccinated foreign national can now travel to Canada for non-essential reasons, such as tourism - with caveats.They must show proof of eligible vaccines 14 days before entry, with accepted vaccines including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD, and Janssen (Johnson & Johnson).
They must also present a valid pre-arrival COVID-19 molecular test result, taken no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight or their arrival at the land border crossing, or a previous positive test result taken between 14 and 180 days before departure to Canada. Antigen tests will not be accepted.
Additional requirements are that travellers must be asymptomatic; submit their mandatory information via the ArriveCAN app or website, including proof of vaccination in English or French and a quarantine plan; and take a test on arrival, if selected.