The last quarter of the year has been an exciting period for Tourism Richmond. Carol Yeh, Director, Operations and Travel Trade, took over the helm of travel trade activities and has been representing Tourism Richmond at different tradeshows and showcases, in addition to hosting familiarization tours (FAMs) for receptive tour operators (RTOs) and tour operators.
Here’s a recap of what Carol has been up to since October 2019:
On October 10th and 11th, Tourism Richmond partnered with Destination BC to host a half-day FAM for 5 tour operators from Mexico. We noticed that most Mexicans enjoy shopping, which made McArthurGlen Designer Outlet a great destination for the group.
On October 24th, Tourism Richmond hosted a one-day FAM for 11 top travel agents from the Lion Travel Taiwan branch. The travel agents were very interested in bringing their customers to experience Steveston Village’s beautiful scenery and rich heritage. The Olympic Experience at the Richmond Olympic Oval was also perceived as a very attractive option for their Taiwanese visitors.
On December 6th and 7th, in partnership with Destination BC and Tourism Yukon, Tourism Richmond hosted a half-day FAM for 7 tour operators from China. From the conversations with the tour operators, we learned that Chinese travellers enjoy both Asian and Western cuisine when traveling abroad.
Canada’s West Marketplace
Tourism Richmond was the host destination for the 32nd annual Canada’s West Marketplace (CWM) tradeshow, an event connecting Alberta and BC suppliers to national and international travel and tour operators. Carol scheduled 45 appointments with potential buyers. This resulted in over 140 stakeholder referrals, and greater overall awareness of Richmond as a travel destination.
One of the trends that has been identified at CWM is that due to declining business from China market, receptive tour operators (RTO) in Canada are starting to target national residents instead of international tourists. For example, RTOs in Alberta, Ontario, Quebec are selling Greater Vancouver and Richmond packages to their residents, and vice versa. This is a positive in promoting travel within the country, and hopefully will help boost Richmond’s profile within Canada.
Sales Mission and Jonview Training in Toronto
On November 25th, Tourism Richmond, Indigenous Tourism BC, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Destination BC visited five clients in Toronto for a full day sales mission. The purpose of the sales mission was to build awareness of Richmond. This was vital in putting Richmond on the map as a travel destination, since most of the clients were not aware or familiar with Richmond before the meetings.
On November 25th, five additional British Columbia DMOs and organizations -- Northern BC Tourism, Destination Greater Victoria, Tourism Whistler, Kootenay Rockies, Vancouver Coast Mountains -- joined us to give presentations to 88 agents from Jonview Toronto. The presentations focused on providing destination and product training to the agents.
The Jonview agents expressed specific interest in the following Richmond based experiences and products:
- Richmond Night Market
- Authentic Asian cuisine and Dumpling Trai
- Layover itinerary. They were particularly happy to learn that the transit between YVR Airport and McArthurGlen Designer Outlet is free of charge for passengers.
We also had the opportunity to present our destinations to Jonview’s Montreal agents via online webinar on December 16th.
Canadian Inbound Tourism Association Asia Pacific (CITAP) Winter Function
On December 3rd, Tourism Richmond participated in the CITAP Winter Function at Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel. The winter function is a full day with educational sessions, a trade show, and networking reception and dinner. During the trade show, known as the Winter Marketplace, Carol distributed over 200 branded bike lights to RTOs across Lower Mainland and other parts of Canada. The RTOs were interested in activities such as birding, biking, and the Dumpling Trail.
RTOs Year-End Visits
In December 18th and 19th, Carol visited 14 RTOs in Richmond. All RTOs have primarily Mandarin-speaking agents, and target the China, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia market.
Carol provided a brief overview of Tourism Richmond’s 2020 marketing plan and discussed how we can support each other to build on the strength of Team Richmond. As a result of the meetings, Tourism Richmond has been able to provide more introductions between the RTOs are our stakeholders. In 2020, Carol will continue to visit RTOs in Richmond on a regular basis and ensure that Team Richmond continues to collaborate well together.
Upcoming: Chinese New Year Event at Aberdeen Centre
To celebrate the year of the rat, Tourism Richmond has partnered with Destination BC to a host a Chinese New Year lion dance and dinner reception at Aberdeen Centre on January 29th. It is estimated that there will be approximately 150 visitors from China attending this event.