Get fresh with new Canada training modules

by Steve Hartridge

Destination Canada will launch its revamped training programme for agents in November.   

Adam Hanmer, the tourism organisation's Manager, Travel Trade, said: "We are delighted we have been able to redesign our Canada Specialist Programmme (CSP) and bring it bang up to date to support agents selling Canada.  

"We’ve not simply adapted what we had; we’ve gone back to basics and started again for the modern agent and agency and provided a fresh take on training." 

Thirty years ago, Destination Canada, then called the Canadian Tourism Commission, was one of the first national tourist offices in the UK to launch a specific agent training programme. 

The refreshed 2021 version, which will eventually number 40-plus modules, will be officially launched at a special Canada Specialist Virtual Xpo evening for the trade on November 23. 

It is designed to help agents take advantage of a surge in interest in Canada, which reopened its doors to UK travellers on September 7.  

Several research studies put Canada near the top of many Brits' list of the first places they most want to travel post-pandemic, for bucket list tick experiences such as viewing the northern lights, spotting whales and bears, iconic train journeys and experiencing the Rocky Mountains in both summer and winter.  

"The new CSP will allow agents to capitalise on this interest by showing their expertise, newly acquired or refreshed, and clinching that sale," said Hanmer.  

The modules will cover the 'foundation' topics like getting there, travelling around, introduction to the cities, parks, culture and history, food and drink, adventure and activities, wildlife watching, how to make the best of winter, unique accommodations, Indigenous culture and road trip itineraries. 

There will also be dedicated destination modules from the likes of Whistler, Banff/Lake Louise and Montreal.   

The programme is mobile-friendly and downloadable as an iOS or Android app.  

"The modules are short in length, with content and video that agents can use on the app.in their own own time. They are designed to inspire and help agents sell this great destination from any device, anytime and anywhere," added Hanmer.  

"And once they become a Canada Specialist we will take that relationship further and support them more."   

Agents who complete the training will be eligible for fam trip opportunities in 2022.  

They will also have full access to a ‘Retain’ section of the programme, which condenses product knowledge from training into a 24/7 resource or as an impromptu sales presentation with clients.  

Hanmer said the Canada Specialist Virtual Xpo event next month will be "a fun evening" organised in association with key Team Canada partners.   

"Agents will receive all the latest product offerings and news from Canada, from coast to coast to coast. We hope they will join us to really kick-start their Canadian knowledge to secure some of those 2022 bucket list bookings. 

"We will have some fun prizes to give away, including 50 Maple cookbooks to the first 50 agents that sign up and complete the four foundation roll-out modules by December 31, 2021."  

 Currently Brits heading to Canada must be double-jabbed and pass a negative PCR test within 72 hours of travelling.  

Those aged between 12-17 must also be double-jabbed, which due to the UK's policy of giving just a single jab to this age group, presents challenges for families, admits Hanmer.  

For the latest travel advice and regulations on entering Canada, see:  

https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid/travel-restrictions/exemptions

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