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Canada hits 7-year tourism high—How to prepare your business for popular seasons

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|Aug 25|magazine11 min read

Summer is coming to an end. And while you may be preparing to go back to school or work, it’s still interesting to learn that US tourist trips to Canada hit a seven year high this past June. That’s quite impressive, considering that the act of traveling has become both hassling and expensive.

However, due to the fact that the Canadian dollar averaged around 80 cents US during the summer month, Americans seemed to be inclined to take almost two million trips to Canada, which is noted for being the highest level since passport requirements came into effect seven years ago.

And the tourist trend is only expected to continue!

RELATED TOPIC: Air Canada and WestJet set an all-time single day passenger record on July 31

Depending on the specific city and type of business, tourism trends can vary. For example, a particular city or store that is popular around Christmastime may not have the same attraction during the spring or summer months, and vice versa.

We’ve put together a list of tips that can help small businesses prepare for tourist season, no matter what time of year it might occur. Winter, fall, spring or summer, these pointers can come in handy.

Plan your marketing strategy ahead of time

As a business owner, you’re probably well-aware that the act of planning is very important. This idea is particularly true when it comes to marketing. If your “busy season” is during the fall, then you need to give yourself an adequate amount of time to advertise and showcase why your business is an attraction that shouldn’t be missed.

For example, Vancouver’s Stanley Park is a popular destination. Therefore, surrounding businesses that include the Vancouver Aquarium, the Stanley Park Pavilion and the Rose Garden should get ready for an increase in attention.

Do you need seasonal workers?

 Depending on the popularity of your city or business, you may need to consider hiring seasonal workers. Again, if you plan to hire more people to assist with the tourist season, then you need to do so before the season actually starts. After all, you need to give yourself time to train the new workers.

During winter months, the famous ski resort and village of Whistler becomes a common place to visit. Known for being one of the locations for 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the area offers world class skinning, hotels and dining.

Therefore, businesses that could possibly benefit from seasonal help include the Whistler Museum, Squamish-Lil’wat Cultural Centre and Peak 2 Peak Gondola.

Create an event for the tourists

If you already have tourists coming to see or enjoy your business or location, then create an event for them! What better way to show customer appreciation (and generate even more buzz for your business) than by hosting your own event? These events can be holiday themed, or you can even consider teaming up with similar businesses to your own to form one huge event.

The Calgary Stampede is one of the most widely anticipated events in Western Canada. The 10 day affair takes place in July and attracts both locals and travelers. While this event already has a following, local businesses in the area could jump on the bandwagon and offer special prices or products to go hand-in-hand with the theme.

For the latest buisness news in the United States, visit our sister brand Business Review USA

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[SOURCES: CBC News, PlanetWare, sba.gov]

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