Media - 2011

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VANCOUVER NAMED TOP CANADIAN DESTINATION BY U.S. TRAVEL AGENTS

Vancouver, BC (December 28, 2011): For the ninth year in a row, readers of U.S. travel trade publication Travel Weekly have voted Vancouver the best destination in Canada.

Every year, Travel Weekly invites its core readership of accredited U.S. travel agents to take part in the publication's Readers Choice Awards. During a multi-round voting process, ballots are cast for national and international travel suppliers that include airlines, tour operators, cruises, theme parks and destinations, with winners considered to represent the best the industry has to offer. The awards are widely recognized as reflecting the professional opinion of travel agents who are not only avid travellers themselves, but also hear feedback every day from thousands of American consumers. This year's winners were announced on December 15 at Travel Weekly's annual Readers Choice Gala in New York. Vancouver has received the award for "Best in Destinations: Canada" for all nine years the awards have been held.

Tourism Vancouver's Dayna Miller, director of sales, Travel Trade, accepted the award in New York. "We are honoured that travel agents continue to identify Vancouver as the best destination in Canada," said Miller. "These front-line agents can be extremely influential in their clients' buying decision, and it's gratifying to know they hold our city in such high esteem."

Tourism Vancouver works closely with travel agents to encourage travel to the city from both long-haul and international destinations. The organization's sales teams regularly meet agents at trade events in the U.S., Europe and the Asia Pacific region to educate them on what Vancouver has to offer. More than 98 percent of agents polled in a Tourism Vancouver survey said they were "very likely" or "likely" to recommend a destination after experiencing it firsthand, which is why the organization also hosts agents in Vancouver on familiarization trips. Travel professionals who aren't able to visit the city can take part in Tourism Vancouver's online Vancouver Specialist Program, a self-paced educational tool whose series of interactive modules helps to educate agents and sell the destination more effectively.

"Travel Weekly's accolade is a great way for Vancouver to end its 125th birthday celebrations this year," said Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. "The city is already renowned for its natural beauty and vibrant culture, and this award shows that we also have some of the best hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions in Canada. We will continue to build on our world-class reputation in the years to come and ensure that Vancouver remains a favoured destination among travellers worldwide."

Travel Weekly reaches tens of thousands of readers each week, including agents, suppliers and tour operators across North America. The "Best in Destinations: Canada" award is the latest in a list of honours that Vancouver has received over the years; other recent awards include being named one of the world's most livable cities (The Economist Intelligence Unit, 2011) and top city in the Americas (Mercer's annual Quality of Living survey, 2011). For a full list of Vancouver's accolades, see here.

Tourism Vancouver's focus is on building exceptional customer relationships with meeting planners, travel influencers, travel media and independent tourists. The organization's brand essence is about "exceeding expectations".
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Media Contact:
Sonu Purhar
Travel Media Relations Specialist, International & Trade
Phone: 604.631.2873
spurhar@tourismvancouver.com