Last year, hospitality professionals from 46 countries across the globe travelled to Orlando, Florida USA for HITEC North America. Will your HITEC journey be transnational in 2023? Here are some valuable travel tips to help non-Canadian attendees prepare for the upcoming trip to HITEC Toronto, taking place June 26-29 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. You can also visit cbsa.gc.ca and cic.gc.ca for more information on travel to Canada.
ENSURE YOU HAVE THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS IN ADVANCE.
Make sure you have all proper, up-to-date travel documents to enter Canada as a visitor. According to the Government of Canada, international visitors to the country require acceptable identification and possibly a valid visa or eTA. A passport is recommended “because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel” (CBSA Travel Tips).
If you are bringing your passport as identification, verify that it is valid and in good physical condition. If you do not have a passport already, it is advised that you begin the application process now, as it can take several weeks or months to receive your final document. For more passport information, visit the following informational websites: United States; Europe; United Arab Emirates.
Do you need an eTA?
Some visa-exempt foreign nationals who fly to or transit through Canada will need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). Exceptions include U.S. citizens and travelers with a valid Canadian visa. Canadian citizens, including dual citizens, and Canadian permanent residents cannot apply for an eTA. Learn more and find out if you need an eTA by visiting the official Government of Canada website.
It is important to have the proper documentation so that you are not delayed or refused entry into Canada. Click here to learn more about travel documentation and entry requirements by country.
HITEC Supporting Documents
If you require additional support to travel to HITEC, HFTP (the event producers) have provided the following documentation:
- International Attendee Invitation Letter
- Attendee Justification Letter
- Visa information from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
Do you have any questions regarding these documents? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Additional Travel Tip: Make two photocopies of all your travel documents in case of emergency. Leave one copy with a trusted friend or relative at home and carry the other separately from your original documents in case of loss or theft. (Travel.State.Gov Traveler’s Checklist)
GET TO KNOW THE LOCAL CURRENCY.
The Canadian dollar (CAD) is the official currency of Canada. It is sometimes listed as CAN$ or C$. There are 100 cents to every Canadian dollar. Canadian coins come in all different sizes, shapes and colors. They include the nickel (five cents), dime (10 cents), quarter (25 cents) and dollar or “loonie” ($1). Paper money includes the blue $5 bill, the purple $10 bill, the green $20 bill, the red $50 bill, and the brown $100 bill. Learn more facts about Canadian currency online.
You can use this currency converter through the Bank of Canada to determine current exchange rates. Do the math before you make the trip so you can be prepared financially for expenditures in the local currency.
Make sure to notify your bank and credit card companies in advance of your upcoming travels, so that their fraud alerts are not triggered by the unusual geographical activity.
Tipping in Canada
According to the Government of Canada website, the standard tip is usually 15 percent of the total bill in exchange for good service provided in places such as restaurants, hotels, bars, taxis, etc.
Additional Travel Tip: When traveling in new countries, it is wise to carry local cash, as not every place will accept credit cards – especially important for situations where public transportation is required. Also, use the bank or local automated banking machines (ABMs) to withdraw cash, if necessary; conversion centers around the city or in the airport may be overpriced. It is advised to change money into Canadian dollars before you depart for your trip.
ENSURE YOUR SAFETY WHILE ABROAD.
As you should with any travel to a foreign country, get to know the entry/exit requirements, local laws, customs and medical care system in advance. While Canada is generally considered a safe place to both live and visit, you should always exercise routine precautions to ensure your personal safety while traveling. Did you know? 911 is the emergency telephone number in Canada.
Additional Travel Tip: U.S. citizens and nationals can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) and receive important information from the U.S. Embassy about safety conditions in the destination country and provides contact with the U.S. Embassy in the case of an emergency. You can also monitor U.S. travel advisories by destination (currently, Canada is listed as “level 1: exercise normal precautions.”)
MAKE APPROPRIATE HEALTH/MEDICAL CONSIDERATIONS.
Find a complete list here of current Covid-19 travel, testing and border requirements for travel to Canada. To date, travelers entering Canada are not required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination or pre-board testing. There is an exception: Covid-19 pre-boarding test is now required for air travel from China, Hong Kong and Macao (as of January 5, 2023). Click here to learn more about these special pre-boarding test requirements.
Vaccinations: It is recommended that you are up to date on all routine vaccinations before every trip. Visit the U.S. CDC website for additional health-related information prior to your trip to Canada.
Medications: Ensure that you have renewed all your necessary prescriptions in advance and obtain an official letter from your doctor for any medications you plan to cross borders with. Please note that some countries have strict laws in place regarding prescription medications. You can contact Canada’s embassy to verify the legality of your prescriptions before you travel with them.
PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY… ENJOY YOUR EXPERIENCE ABROAD IN THE THRIVING CITY OF TORONTO.
Destination Toronto has all the information you need to know about the city you’ll be visiting this summer when you attend HITEC North America 2023. Start planning your travel agenda today with a look at these must-see attractions. Housing for HITEC Toronto is now open, so you can also reserve your hotel room.
Then, stay tuned to HFTP Connect next month – when we take a much closer look at the city of Toronto and all it has to offer HITEC attendees.
Resources to Consider: