Nearly all of the Canadian travel advisors who attended Travel Market Place West earlier this month in Vancouver are seeing an increase in sales and bookings over 2022. In fact, according to responses to a survey question put forward on the conference app, nearly 40% (37.9%) are seeing an increase in business of more than 50%. Nearly 25% are seeing business up 30% over 2022, while 20% are seeing business up more than 20%.
Despite business being good, some Canadian advisors still report struggling with finding clients (34.8%) and closing the sale (5.8%). Other challenges stymying advisors are handling administrative duties (17.4%), creating efficiencies (21.7), needing more staff (8.7%) and figuring out how to make more money (11.6%).
Advisors responded to survey questions throughout the two-day conference, including lighthearted ones like which would you rather do: spend a week in Italy on your own or a week in Italy with a guided tour. The overwhelming majority (61.7%) said they'd rather go with a guided tour.
As for who they'd rather visit Antarctica with (Silversea Cruises vs. Quark Expeditions), advisors were pretty evenly divided, with 51.39% opting for Silversea.
Most Anticipated Ship of 2023
Speaking of cruise ships, when asked which new cruise ship of 2023 they're most excited about, the overwhelming winner was Explora I, with nearly 70% of the votes. Oceania's Vista and Virgin Voyages' Resilient Lady tied for second, while Seabourn Pursuit came in third.
Destination Comfort Level
The vast majority of Canadian travel advisors attending Travel Market Place are most comfortable booking travel for their clients in Europe, as well as the Caribbean and Mexico. Surprisingly, only 20% are most comfortable booking travel in the USA and Canada.
Sustainable Tourism More Popular with Suppliers
You can't go a week without a supplier talking up its sustainable practices and why what they're doing is important for travelers. While sustainability is critical to the long-term survival of the travel industry – and the world in general – advisors say it's not something they're clients seem overly concerned with.
When asked if clients ask about sustainable or responsible travel options, nearly 50% of advisors said they've had one or two client inquiries in the past year. But 35% said they've never had a single inquiry. Only 16% said they get at least one inquiry a month.