Travel agents who attend one of the Vancouver fams following Travel Weekly’s CruiseWorld and Home Based Agent Show will take a 450-foot walk across the famed Capilano Suspension Bridge.
The two itineraries, Vancouver & Whistler Adventure and Discover Victoria & Vancouver, both feature the bridge walk, 230 feet above the Capilano River.
At the adjacent park, agents will sample the Treetop Adventure, which lets visitors view the rain forest from raised platforms, walking between platforms on mini-suspension bridges. The venturesome can try the Cliffwalk, which takes them onto a cantilevered and suspended walkway that juts out from the granite cliff above the Capilano River.
From here, agents will take an aerial tram 4,000 feet to the top of Grouse Mountain.
At these sites, Tourism Vancouver aims to introduce other client choices, including First Nations totem poles, lumberjack shows and the mountain’s wildlife refuge.
In the city, agents will see highlights including Stanley Park, the Robson Street shopping district, Chinatown and Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. They will visit the Vancouver Aquarium and Granville Island Public Market, the city’s culinary and artistic area.
On the Whistler itinerary, agents will tour the village, ride the resort’s Peak 2 Peak Gondola and visit Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, which celebrates two First Nations groups.
For those choosing the provincial capital, Victoria, sightseeing includes Butchart Gardens, Craigdarroch Castle (an 1890s mansion) and the Royal BC Museum.
Both tours conclude with Harbour Cruises’ Sunset Dinner Cruise.
Aattendees will be offered the chance to get an intimate look at the Vancouver area during the post-show fam trips, June 21 to 24.
The fams’ Canadian $99 price is based on double occupancy (single occupancy at Whistler) and includes transportation from Seattle, host city for CruiseWorld and the Home Based Agent Show, June 18-20.
Inbound travel will be a four-hour trip on Amtrak for those seeing Whistler and nearly three hours on the Victoria Clipper ferry directly to Victoria for the other group. Selected suppliers are offering special rates to accommodate the outbound journey.
Delegates can download the registration form at Travel Weekly's website. The deadline to collect a Vancouver Specialist certificate and book a fam is May 15.
Sandy Reid, travel trade fam coordinator and sales associate for Tourism Vancouver, said two trips were designed to help agents “enhance their product knowledge and confidence when selling the destination … relying on firsthand experience.”
Tourism Vancouver, she said, wants to make agents aware that Vancouver is not just an overnight stop. Retailers should book stays of at least two or three nights, “because there is so much to do” in the city and nearby mountains.
The fams are available only to agents attending CruiseWorld and the Home Based Agent Show. Participants have to complete the city’s online Vancouver Specialist Program before registering. Reid said the program boasts about 1,000 specialists worldwide. It has four modules, enabling agents to pace themselves. Reid said most agents complete the program within a day.
Questions related to the program’s on-screen materials are sprinkled throughout the modules. Agents must answer each question correctly before proceeding, but “the system is very forgiving,” Reid said, allowing retailers to try as many times as needed.