Canada eyes double-digit tourist growth from India

Canada’s board is expecting double-digit growth in tourist arrivals from India in 2017 with the introduction of a new non-stop flight between and

The number of Indians visiting Canada for and has doubled in the last six years. Canada received 215,664 Indian visitors in 2016, a rise of 13.2 per cent over the previous year.

“We are anticipating double-digit growth this year with the launch of the Air Canada service to from July,” said Sanjeet, India representative of Destination Canada. Apart from new flights, is also being driven by meetings and incentive tour segments and self-drive holidays.

The Canadian government has stepped up efforts to attract more visitors in 2017, the 150th anniversary of its foundation.

Canada’s minister for small and tourism, Bardish Chagger, met agents in Delhi and over Wednesday and Thursday seeking more visitors and to get feedback from Indian trade partners. “Come visit us, we have a lot to offer,” she said.

Chagger is among four ministers of Indian origin in Canada’s federal government and the seventh minister from the country to visit India in the last eight months. This was her maiden visit to India after assuming office in 2015.

Chagger was apprised of visa delays that could result in slowing down tourist movement from India. Sources said Canadian visa processing was taking 30-45 days now. Sanjeet said the visa issue was being addressed by the Canadian government. 

“The High Commission in Delhi is handling around 1,000 applications daily and has introduced electronic visa applications. This is expected to reduce processing time,” he said.