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Travel Agents

 November 28, 2001
700 Influential German Travel Agents Visit British Columbia

 BC will host approximately 700 travel agents as Germany's DERTOUR Travel Academy, one of Europe's most influential tour operators, visits Vancouver from November 28 to December 10. Germany's second largest tour operator and its top seller of North American product, DERTOUR agents will experience products locally, around BC and across Canada. Perhaps the most recognized and reputable leisure travel convention in the world, DERTOUR has a history of considerably increasing destination awareness and sales to the host city and country. As a result, Vancouver and British Columbia are expected to realize a significant increase from the German market between 2002 and 2005. "When DERTOUR visited Toronto in 1992, Ontario experienced a 33 per cent jump in visitation from Germany the following year," said Stephen Pearce, Tourism Vancouver's vice-president of Leisure Travel. "Given the uncertain tourism impacts due to September 11th, we are especially looking forward to welcoming these agents from our key European market. We are optimistic that this visit will prove extremely beneficial for tourism."

Germany is BC's fourth largest global market and the second largest in Europe representing 2.1 per cent of global visits and 21.9 per cent of European visits. Germans are also the biggest spending visitors in British Columbia representing 44 per cent of all European revenues.

Along with Tourism Vancouver and Tourism BC, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) is a major sponsor of the Academy's visit to Canada. "We couldn't be more pleased with DERTOUR coming to BC," said Jim Watson, president and CEO of the CTC. "The CTC is committed to working with the industry; and hosting this important visit represents one of the on-going activities undertaken to support the travel trade. Tourism is a resilient industry. DERTOUR's visit is an excellent example of the industry pulling together to help maximize Canada's immense potential."

The objective of the DERTOUR 2001 Travel Academy is to provide advanced training for select German travel agents that are actively involved in the selling and promotion of holidays and business travel world-wide. "The DERTOUR Travel Academy provides us with a tremendous opportunity to educate and entertain such an influential group, allowing us to showcase the wonderful tourism products of Vancouver, BC - as well as Canada," said Geoff Sturgeon, Tourism BC market development manager for Europe. "Having this group in BC is a major coup. The two years spent acquiring this Academy will really pay off. DERTOUR's visit will allow us to maintain an important presence in this vital market, which is especially important in light of limited budgets and resources."