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Canadians won't bow to terrorism threat - travel agents. Bookings remain steady despite attack on country's Parliament

Published:Monday | October 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM

CANADIAN travel agents contesting the 20th annual Baxter Travel Partner of Golf Tournament at Sandals Golf and Country Club last Saturday said recent acts of terrorism in their homeland will not impact the travel industry in Canada, particularly to destination Jamaica.

Frank Demarinis, president of Travel Brands Inc of Toronto, said there has been no visible impact on the Canadian travel industry since two separate acts of terrorism rocked the North American country last week.

Last Wednesday, a gunman killed a soldier at the National War Memorial before being shot in Parliament Hill's Center Block. Two days prior, two Canadian soldiers were run over, one of them later died, in Quebec, by a man authorities believed had jihadist sympathies. Martin Couture-Rouleau, 25, the attacker, was shot and killed by police.

Love for travel

"We have not seen a decline in bookings since the events of last Monday and afterwards. Canadians will continue to persevere and work through any situation. Travel will be strong as ever," Demarinis said.

"Canadians love to travel and will continue to do so," he added.

Canadians accounted for 20 per cent of stopover visitors to Jamaica in 2013, with nearly 400,000 tourists coming to Jamaica.

David McClung, president of Baxter Travel Media, title sponsor for the event which hosted more than 80 travel-industry executives from Canada, said security at that country's airports is already strong and will be even more vigilant.

"We were shocked and dismayed by what happened at our Parliament building, but we are an open society in Canada and we are going to have more resolve," McClung said.

Jamaica's Canadian travel market was described by Maureen Barnes-Smith, director, sales and marketing, Sandals, Canada operations, as the fastest growing for the Sandals Group, thanks to events such as the weekend's golf tournament.