Canada's Top Five Travel Destinations
Canada as a country offers many options to travellers, from the mountains to the coast, from cities to small villages, travellers can find exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to getting away from the everyday. Even further, Canadian travel is becoming more frequent by Canadians themselves, enjoying everything their country has to offer.
So which regions and cities are the most frequently travelled? Hotels.com has compiled a list of the top five Canadian destinations that they’ve pulled together based off of its Hotel Price Index figures. See their rankings below:
- Toronto may not be the capital but it's definitely the number one hotspot. It's a city that can satisfy even the hardest to please travellers. Art and history lovers will appreciate the ROM and AGO, shoppers will enjoy the boutiques in Yorkville, and food lovers? Well, they've got the world at their fingertips. With a range of ethnic neighbourhoods, you can satisfy your hunger with cuisine from around the world. Average daily hotel rate: $142.
- Montreal: Craving some European culture, but don't have the time or budget to leave the country? Then plan a visit to Montreal. This French-speaking city comes in at number two, and has a range of attractions for visitors such as the scenic, and historic, Old Montreal. If you're craving some exercise and green space, Mont Royal is a must-see, and if you're hungry? Well you can't visit without trying the famous smoked meat and, of course, the Canadian favourite, poutine. Average daily hotel rate: $151.
- Vancouver: If you like seeing green, you'll love Vancouver. But this city has much more than trees and landscapes. For a unique shopping experience, check out the Granville Island Market or, if you'd rather get your heart pumping, hike or bike around the seawall in Stanley Park. If you're craving a bit of culture plan a visit to Vancouver's Chinatown, the largest in Canada, and check out the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. Average daily hotel rate: $144.
- Niagara Falls is one of the world wonders, so naturally it's near the top of the list. The falls itself is incredibly impressive, especially if you're up close on the Maid of the Mist or high up on Skylon tower. But there are many other things to check out, like the amusement park attractions on Lundy's Lane or, for more 'refined' entertainment, a show at the Fallsview Casino. Average daily hotel rate: $136.
- Edmonton has seen an increase in popularity and has since made it into the top five domestic destinations - bumping out Ottawa. Visitors will fall for West Edmonton Mall, which has attractions for non-shoppers too including an indoor waterpark, amusement park, ice skating rink and more. Edmonton is known as the 'Festival city,' but besides festivals travellers can check out the picturesque river valley, a popular area to hike, walk or ski (in the winter of course), the Old Strathcona Farmers market, or the galleries on 124th street. Average daily hotel rate: $126.
In 2011, Hotels.com saw certain areas of Canada garnering more tourism attention including Edmonton, Victoria, Saskatoon, Kelowna, Canmore and Regina. Even further Saskatoon saw an incredible popularity jump from ranking as the 17th top Canadian domestic destination in 2010 to 13th in 2011. As tourism brings in much wanted economy boosters, these cities have embraced their visiting countrymen.
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On the other hand, certain well-known Canadian destinations that are frequently chosen for vacation locations saw a decrease in tourism including Ottawa, Banff, Whistler, London, Jasper and Kingston. With these decreases, it won’t be surprising if we see more tourism advertising for these cities in an effort to rebuild numbers in 2012.
Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.