VisitBritain on Thursday (Nov. 9) announced the appointment of Cathy Stapells to director, Canada.
Based in VisitBritain’s Toronto office, Stapells will lead the implementation of VisitBritain’s integrated travel trade and communications strategy in Canada.
The role is also a key interface for cross-government activities with the British High Commission in Ottawa and Consulates in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary.
"Cathy brings a wealth of tourism and communication experience during the 10 years she has been at VisitBritain, including leading on our tourism efforts in Canada for the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham, England. In appointing Cathy to this new role, we recognise the increased importance and significance of the Canadian market in driving tourism growth across Britain throughout the year." said VisitBritain’s Executive Vice President, The Americas, Australia & New Zealand Paul Gauger, in a statement.
In a statement, Stapells said she is "excited to lead VisitBritain’s activity in this market."
Canada is playing a significant part of the post-pandemic tourism recovery to Britain, and we’re not stopping there," she said. "Our ambition is to crack a million visits from Canada to the UK. With the support of our incredible trade partners we want to inspire Canadians to See Things Differently by enjoying the experiences and attractions that can be found only in Britain."
In 2022, Canada achieved record spend, reaching £934 million in 2022, up 27 per cent on 2019, and is ranked the seventh most valuable market for spend to the U.K.
With continued growth this year, spend forecast is expected to surpass £1 billion.
Visits were up three per cent to 897,000, with Canada currently the U.K.’s ninth largest market for the number of visits.
VisitBritain’s latest forecast for 2023 projects that this year Britain will welcome 37.5 million inbound visitors overall (92 per cent on 2019) spending £30.9 billion (109 per cent on 2019 level in nominal terms although 90 per cent in real terms, taking inflation into account).