The number of Aussie tourists deciding the time is right to jet off to Canada has spiked significantly in recent times, with visitation in the 12 months to December 2017 increasing by 12.58% on the previous year.

Donna Campbell, managing director at Destination Canada, told travelBulletin one of the primary drivers for this upturn had been the increasing popularity of previously untapped markets.

“For many years visitors have known about places like Vancouver and the Rockies but there is so much more to Canada to explore and that’s really one of the things that we are looking at,” Campbell said.

“Australian visitation to the Yukon for example is booming right now to the point where they are bordering on being the number one group of visitors to the territory…Australians have gone from being not even on the radar to one of the top contenders for visiting the Yukon,” she added.

Although many of the less traversed provinces and territories clearly represent important growth opportunities for Canada’s tourism industry, some of the findings of recent research conducted by the body were unexpected. “The number one attraction on the bucket list for people when they travel to Canada is the Northern Lights, which surprised us a little actually,” Campbell said.

“And then you have the Atlantic provinces like Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia which have started to be packaged, we are beginning to see more and more exposure for these areas… the TV shows that we take over are focusing on those areas as well, so we are starting to see a real awareness grow.”

Outside of a curiosity for some of the less explored delights of Canada, Campbell believes much of the future success of the Canadian market for Australia rests in improved access.

“Air Canada’s nonstop services out of Brisbane and Melbourne have all pointed a new light…but Australians to Canada don’t just come in the spring or the winter, they come in all four seasons,” she said. “Qantas cherry-picks their seasons and comes in and out of the market, they do operate a nonstop Sydney to Vancouver seasonally… we’re hoping that everything that Air Canada is doing and growth in the market that other airlines will see that opportunity as well.”

Imparting some final words of wisdom explaining why Canada continues to capture the imagination of the Aussie traveller, Campbell quipped, “If it includes a bear, Australians will be there.”

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