Canadian travelers are demanding more diversity and greater options and Caribbean destinations must offer a diverse product if they are to remain attractive to this important market, president of Air Canada Leisure Group Craig Landry said.
Landry, whose responsibilities include Air Canada Vacation and the leisure carrier Air Canada Rouge, will deliver the feature address on Friday 16 September at the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s State of the Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) taking place in Barbados from 14-16 September.
However, in an interview ahead of the event, the airline executive spoke of evolving consumer preferences, from accommodation to activities. “From the perspective of the consumer it’s all about choice, so choice means we need diversity in the type of products we can offer,” Landry explained.
“What we’re seeing is that with different types of markets, whether it’s from family size or whether it’s adults and couples, their needs are different in terms of the types of amenities and the types of services that respond to them and so we need to make sure we have segmentation and the ability to be able to address that.
“We’re also seeing changes in people who are booking not necessarily non-inclusive – so that can be villas or people who might want to do some of their own cooking or some of their own travel experiences and excursions when they’re there; they’re looking for a different type of living aboard type of approach when they stay in a destination and we need product to accommodate that and we need to make sure we have enough breadth and depth of our product and diversity in the type of things we can offer to satisfy different segments of travel,” he added.
The State of the Tourism Industry Conference, which has as its theme, “Honoring Our Legacy, Defining Our Future,” is the pre-eminent tourism gathering in the region. It brings together tourism decision-makers, including ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism, hotel and airline executives, travel agents, students, the media and persons directly and indirectly involved in tourism. It is preceded by CTO business meetings, including meetings of the board of directors and the Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism.