Peter Barrett

The world is always changing. From politics and economics to changes in the natural world, travel agents have to stay on top of things so they can give the best possible advice to clients.

In recent months, there’s been a lot of buzz about Canada, and we think we’ve figured out why.

Here are 10 reasons why Agents on the recent Canada Specialist Mega Fam believe it’s now one of the hottest destinations on the planet:

 

1. It’s safe

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“Some people are nervous travelers and I think people are getting more nervous about travelling with the world going the way it is,” said Maggie Bell from Flight Centre Newmarket.

That, coupled with the perception that the US under Trump is less welcoming to visitors is sending a lot of international visitors north of the border.

 

2. Indigenous culture

Canada Indigenous Culture

You have to head to a First Nations town,” said Natalia Machado, from Canada & Alaska Specialist Holidays. “The Yukon is really great for that.”

From informative cultural centres and guided walks to First Nation lodges where you can eat local food and chat around the fire, Canada is rich with indigenous stories.

Head off the beaten track, though, advises Beth Paton from Discover Travel & Cruise” “Toronto has it but not really. You have to head further afield to get that more in-depth experience”.

 

3. Surge in active travel

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Toni Perrin of TravelManagers said you only have to look at the huge market for spa treatments and wellness retreats to understand that people are no longer content with sunbaking all-you-can-eat buffet resorts. They want a restorative holiday.

“There’s a huge trend at the moment towards active travel and travel that involves a lot of outdoor activity. And Canada is the Mecca for that with kayaking, canoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, skiing…you name it, they’ve got it.”

 

4. Dollars and sense

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With the Canadian and Australian dollar hovering around parity these past three years Australians are finding their hard-earned cash actually goes quite a long way, particularly when compared to other popular destinations in Europe. Head out of the big cities and you’ll notice it goes even further.

 

5. Proximity

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At only 14 hours direct from Sydney compared to 13 hours to LA, Aaron Bywater, from Flight Centre Business Travel King St, said people really ought to consider Canada before the US as a destination. “It’s really not that far in comparison,” he said.

Air Canada flies direct daily from Sydney and Brisbane to Vancouver and then on to Toronto. In December, flights will begin from Melbourne-Vancouver three-times-a-week, becoming daily in June 2018.

 

6. Familiarity

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“It’s so similar to Australia but so different in so many ways,” said Flight Centre Business Travel King St’s Aaron Bywater. “The people are so laid back and friendly it almost had an Aussie vibe, which I liked. Every city I went to I felt like I was at home.”

 

7. Unique experiences

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Whether it’s gazing at the Aurora Borealis from a hot tub, watching a polar bear frolic with her cubs or learning how to improve smokers’ cough with natural medicines on a hike with a First Nations guide, Canada is packed with unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

 

8. You’ll come back

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With 10 territories and provinces to explore it’s impossible to ‘do’ Canada in just one holiday. There’s British Columbia and Yukon in the west, the spectacular Northwest Territories in the centre and Newfoundland and Labrador and Toronto in the east to mention just a few – there’s always a reason to return because there’s so much to see.

 

9. The seasons

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Whether you’re skiing, dog-sledding or white Christmassing in winter, maple syrup tasting in early spring, fishing in summer or hiking in autumn, Canada is a country where the changing seasons constantly give visitors a fresh perspective.

 

10. Poutine

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This Canadian national dish of hot chips and stringy cheese doused in thick gravy may sound simple but be warned, it’s highly addictive. Eaten as a fortifying meal as winter rolls in or as ballast for a night on the nation’s best craft brews, poutine is a winner. “You can’t go wrong with that…and destinations like Squamish, where they do beer tours at 10am,” added TravelManagers’ Briony Bullard.

READ: Fishing, hiking & star-gazing in Canada’s remote Northwest Territories

READ: Talking Trees & White Rabbit, 5 must-do adventures in British Columbia

Have you travelled to Canada recently? What did you love about the country?