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The first choice: Why British Columbia is the place to send your clients

Air Canada has resumed flights to Australia and Aussie travellers can once again head to the slopes, forests, waterways and bustling cities of British Columbia. We run down what’s on, what’s new and what the rules are to take off to Canada.

Air Canada has resumed flights to Australia and Aussie travellers can once again head to the slopes, forests, waterways and bustling cities of British Columbia. We run down what’s on, what’s new and what the rules are to take off to Canada.

Australians are chomping at the bit to travel again, you can tell by the huge queue of locals lining up to renew passports that lapsed during the pandemic. But there is still some concern about the rules and safety of international travel.

Because of this, a safe, friendly and naturally beautiful spot like British Columbia (BC) is the perfect spot when a client asks you: “Where do you think is the best place to go at the moment?”

There are plenty of reasons. The natural bond between our two Commonwealth countries, a shared love of the great outdoors and the fact it is a more orderly gateway to the United States.

And from December 17 direct flights from Sydney to Vancouver are on once again with easy connections to the rest of Canada.

Hiking the High Note Trail on top of Whistler Mountain. Image credit: Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson
Hiking the High Note Trail on top of Whistler Mountain. Image credit: Destination BC/Blake Jorgenson

Before we delve into the new and fabulous things to do in BC, did you know Air Canada is giving two lucky agents (and their companions) the chance to win a dream trip to Vancouver and Whistler flying Air Canada? Yes really.

Do not miss this chance to fly away to BC! Get on board and enter now.

It’s all happening in Vancouver

Picturesque Vancouver. Image credit: Destination Vancouver/Albert Normandin
Picturesque Vancouver. Image credit: Destination Vancouver/Albert Normandin

This west coast dynamic city is packed full of things to do, whether you are off on a solo hiking adventure or in town for some fun with the kids. Vancouver is diverse, arty, sporty and delicious. The city sits on the doorstep of incredible natural mountains and is the home of Indigenous culture, art and activities.

For families, the Cypress Mountain Eagle Coaster winds its way down from the top of Black Mountain through the stands of tall trees with riders able to control the speed with a brake. You can zip along at 40km/hr or slow down and take in the views but it is a thrill for all ages.

Art lovers need to plan a trip around the Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF), a riot of colour that sees the streets of the city come alive with art. And pretty as it may be it also does the job of great art and addresses the cultural issues of the city such as environmental policy, community and reconciliation with First Nations. The fest returns in summer 2022.

Mural art in the vibrant and eclectic Vancouver's Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Image credit: Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang
Mural art in the vibrant and eclectic Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. Image credit: Destination Vancouver/Hubert Kang

And for clients who love a good hotel stay, the Westin Grand recently became the Hilton Vancouver Downtown and is a great place to base yourself for a city break.

See the sites and the heights of Whistler

Hikers on Whistler's High Note trail, above Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Provincial Park. Image credit: Destination BC/Andrew Strain
Hikers on Whistler’s High Note trail, above Cheakamus Lake and Garibaldi Provincial Park. Image credit: Destination BC/Andrew Strain

Don’t just recommend Whistler to your mad-keen skiing clients. Yes, there is kick-arse skiing in winter, but there is also so much for your clients to enjoy about this amazing slice of natural beauty. Whistler has rugged beauty, incredible food and great cultural activities.

Tell your foodie clients that new for spring 2022 is the Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar right in the heart of Whistler Village. This dynamic new eatery will have a locavore focus and showcase the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine. 

Whistler is home to a non-stop lineup of events and there’s always something on the go. Whether it be a mountain bike festival, concert or race from their Signature events lineup or grassroots community happenings, there’s certainly something for everyone.

Snowboarding on Blackcomb Mountain, above Glacier Chair. Image credit: Destination BC/Andrew Strain
Snowboarding on Blackcomb Mountain, above Glacier Chair. Image credit: Destination BC/Andrew Strain

But, for the client who does love a holiday with a side order of powder, there are great reasons to ski Whistler. The resort has been working on safety all year with all mountain or Whistler Blackcomb Employees staff fully vaxxed and all transactions cashless.

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 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

Image credit: Destination BC
Image credit: Destination BC

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.

So don’t limit yourself, or your clients, by just thinking of BC as a place to head for your annual skiing holiday. Canada has activities for every season and every traveller, so leave the skis at home and just take your sense of adventure.

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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