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Four seasons and reasons to go to Canada: There’s more to British Columbia than just snow

The skiing and snowboarding at Whistler is hands-down one of the most epic places on the planet to swish downhill on the white stuff but if you only head to Canada for the winter months you are missing three quarters of the fun!

The skiing and snowboarding at Whistler is hands-down one of the most epic places on the planet to swish downhill on the white stuff but if you only head to Canada for the winter months you are missing three quarters of the fun!

Sure the slopes are back to normal capacity and all the staff are vaxxed and ready to welcome back international tourists but you have to see this natural wonderland – and the rest of British Columbia (BC) – in more than just the colder months.

And, agents, did you know you can see Canada’s year-round awesomeness for yourself because Air Canada is giving two lucky agents (and their companions) the chance to win a dream trip to Vancouver and Whistler flying Air Canada. Get booking and you can be on a plane to BC!

Do not miss this chance! Get on board and enter now.

From December 17 direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are on once again with easy connections to the rest of Canada, so be sure to look beyond the winter surge and recommend Canada for the full year ahead.

Things are hotting up in SUMMER

Vancouver city is surrounded by the picturesque North Shore Mountains. Image credit: Destination BC/Jordan Manley
Vancouver city is surrounded by the picturesque North Shore Mountains. Image credit: Destination BC/Jordan Manley

The runs on Whistler might switch from white to green but the skies stay the deepest of alpine blues away from the city haze – you are more aware of the beauty of the region when you take away the hustle of a day on the slopes and you can enjoy the natural wonder of the mountains.

Swap your skis for hiking boots as you hit the trails of Whistler or Blackcomb Mountains where you can spot Marmot or circle a glacier. If you still like to go whizzing down things try a Whistler zipline tour where you glide over the canopy of old-growth forest. Or switch up your sport and play a round of golf at one of the four championship courses.

In Vancouver in summer 2022 the city will host the Formula E World Championship, (July 2, 2022) a car race that has a clear focus on sustainability as all the street-racing cars are electric – and the fun spills over from the raceway and into the city.

Fall in love with AUTUMN

Autumn feels in Whistler Village. Image credit: Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson
Autumn feels in Whistler Village. Image credit: Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson

Find a different way to play on the mountain when you head to Whistler as the leaves begin to change colour. Take off on a mountain bike through the yellows, reds and ambers of the forest as it sheds its coat for winter.

Chill out at the Scandinave Spa in Whistler where you can partake in an ancient Finnish tradition or soaking in warm baths outdoors, but before the snow starts falling!

Or try to spot one of the region’s black bears or bear cubs in their natural habitat, it’s a photo that will see your Insta blow up!

A beautifully designed guest room at the Versante Hotel. Image credit: Destination BC
A beautifully designed guest room at the Versante Hotel. Image credit: Destination BC

Autumn is a great time to avoid the summer crowds at the coast and head to Richmond one of the most diverse cities in Canada.

Base yourself at the Versante Hotel one of the newest, and coolest stays in BC. It is a boutique hotel where every room is individually designed so beautifully you will have trouble leaving. Richmond is right near the Vancouver International Airport and packed with things to do. You can take to the ocean and go whale watching from the fishing village of Steveston, pack yourself to the gills with street food at the famous Richmond Night Markets or discover the best dumplings in Vancouver on the famous Dumpling Trail.

Dine your way into SPRING

The Granville Island Public Market sells a tasty assortment of food and produce. Image credit: Destination BC/Hubert Kang
The Granville Island Public Market sells a tasty assortment of food and produce. Image credit: Destination BC/Hubert Kang

Coming out of the cooler weather, the fresh and bountiful Canadian produce is reason enough to get on a plane. One of the freshest new spots in Vancouver is Alimentara Mexicana that recently set up shop on Granville Island.

Here you can feast on Albacore tuna ceviche, smoked salmon tostadas or shrimp tacos all made with amazing local ingredients. And the city itself comes into bloom with the blossoming of cherry trees and walkers and hikers hitting the streets and parks beyond.

Diners and staff practicing COVID-19 protocols at Il Caminetto. Image credit: Destination BC/@viranlly
Diners and staff practising COVID-19 protocols at Il Caminetto. Image credit: Destination BC/@viranlly

Up on Whistler, the focus is also on organic, locally sourced produce that you will find in everything from the great coffee at Artigiano Whistler to the fine dining at Elements Urban Tapas & Wine Bar.

Oh, ok then, go in WINTER, too

Snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb. Image credit: Destination BC/@miraecampbell
Snowboarding at Whistler Blackcomb. Image credit: Destination BC/@miraecampbell

It may be all about the snow but it is about the accessibility too. For all its fame, Whistler and the neighbouring ski areas can sometimes give you a downhill run all to yourself.

There is space, incredible stays and the best on-mountain hospitality. There is skiing and snowboarding, but also snowshoeing, snowmobiling and winter ziplining. Do it all!

Outdoor ice hockey on Gates Lake north of Pemberton. Image credit: Destination BC/Mason Mashon
Outdoor ice hockey on Gates Lake north of Pemberton. Image credit: Destination BC/Mason Mashon

In Vancouver you can add to your skiing with some shopping, nightlife and fabulous cafes and markets, all in an easy-to-navigate, walkable city that is as friendly as it is fun.

What to know before you go

There is a full list of travel rules here but the basics are that BC is a very safe place to restart your international travel. Incoming travellers will need to take a COVID-19 test but it will not cost you anything you just need to self-isolate until you get the all-clear. Check out the full list of rules before you fly.

To make the most of your trip to Vancouver you have to fly Air Canada as it offers a seamless transit to Canada

To make the most of your trip to Canada you have to fly Air Canada as it’s the only airline to offer a seamless transit experience when flying internally in Canada beyond your gateway, usually Vancouver airport (YVR). When you transit YVR, whether flying onward domestically to Victoria and Kamloops or further afield to Toronto or Montreal, you do not need to retrieve your luggage or rescreen at security – you are treated like a local once you have cleared the very efficient Canadian customs in YVR.

No other airline has this ease of entry to Canada because with other options you are connecting from one airline to a different airline, so passengers transiting in Vancouver on other airlines must collect and recheck in their baggage and go through security again. This makes flying Air Canada quite unique and the obvious choice for the most comfortable end to end journey.

Fly Air Canada and you can also say goodbye to the hassles of clearing customs in the US as Vancouver Airport has US customs and immigration on site which you pre-clear in transit and arrive in US as a domestic traveller. Due to YVR security technology you also do not need to retrieve baggage in transit to US unlike when you transit through US airports, making YVR a great stress-free gateway into the US.

Travel Advisor? Access to the Vancouver and Whistler Travel Trade sites

Vancouver is diverse, arty, sporty and delicious. Image credit: Destination BC/Albert Normandin
Vancouver is diverse, arty, sporty and delicious. Image credit: Destination BC/Albert Normandin

Provide your clients with the perfect Vancouver and Whistler experience by getting the help you need to do just that. Check out the Destination Vancouver Travel Trade site and visit Tourism Whistler’s Trade Website to create world-class experiences for your clients.

Ditch the skis or bring the skis. Come for the snow or head over for the bear-spotting. There is so much on offer in BC. Check out more information on travel to BC here. Find out about the year-round fun in Whistler here. Or discover the delights of Vancouver here.

Looking for more? Catch up with more reading:
Agents! Win two dream trips with a mate to Vancouver & Whistler flying Air Canada
Arrival Revival: Vic Naughton, Air Canada, GM Australia & New Zealand

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