At the time of writing the Canadian dollar is around 69 cents to the US dollar with banker chatter saying it could go down to 59 cents. Okay, so before anyone leaps off any tall buildings, here’s how you can carry on selling those much-needed vacations to Canadian travellers through the dip.
Your outbound clients will be wondering whether or not they can afford a vacation this year— and the answer is yes… Followed by one or two lines of large print written by you. The large print, as opposed to small print, will contain all of your ideas for helping your client achieve maximum return on their travel spend.
Start looking for supplier promotions. Hotels and airlines are introducing pricing deals to attract Canadians south of the border. Your tour wholesalers will be shaving their prices here and there, and the same promotional mindset is also happening with cruise suppliers. All of this is to help the Canadian traveller offset their extra costs due to currency fluctuation.
What a difference a day makes
Right: calculators in hands everybody. Total up your clients trip to the US. Calculate the exchange rate. Divide it by the number of days they travel and then calculate that figure into Canadian funds per day:
Total US$: $3,540 x 30 percent = CAD$4,602 ÷ 12 days = $383.50 per day.
Once you know the numbers you can start selling your client the same trip—only trimmed back by a day or two—until you reach a price they can afford. For instance if they only want to spend around $3,800, that would mean cutting back just two days. So they can still have that wonderful vacation, spend the same amount of money they had planned to spend—and all it is costing them is two days less vacation.
The end result: a nice 10-day vacation in the states is waiting for them.
If you do not show your clients the facts and figures then all they hear about in the news is the fact that our dollar is dying and they should not be travelling. Be sure to practice your calculations and plan how you will explain the concept to them.
From package to FIT
Some packages are priced to include air, hotel, car and transfers etc, and they can’t truly be broken down. When the package your client wants is overpriced, suggest a customized travel arrangement (FIT) and then you can build their vacation using the same per day idea above and make their trip fit into their budget.
The so-called ‘staycation’ is another offer you can make. Travelling in Canada means tours of the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and of course the Maritimes, staying in Quebec City might entice your foodies, and for your open expanse landscape photographers, the Prairies cannot be beat.
Now, the key thing to note is this: it isn’t cheap to travel across Canada—unless there’s a special round of low cost airfares available that your clients can take advantage off. Once again, you’ll need to do your research to find out where the savings are.
Question: are you up to speed on your Canadian landscape? Canadian travel agents are renowned for travelling overseas more than at home which means your local geography may be a little light.
The answer? Have a chat with Tourism Canada to see if they have any funding initiatives to help you market stay-at-home vacations. Order brochures for each province and visit each tourist board’s website to watch the videos posted there.
Plan a consumer event
It takes time to send emails and post to your social media, so the best thing to do is to attract as many clients as you can to attend your event. Rent a hotel room for a midmorning seminar of 90 minutes. This way you are not on the hook for breakfast or lunch—just coffee. If you have a supplier or department of tourism chipping in, perhaps they will help fund the coffee and treats. Theme your event around the low Canadian dollar and how to travel wisely as it continues to dip.
However, never forget that what goes down must come up. And when that happens, you must be ready to sell, sell and sell some more!