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It’s the Innovative, Unique Way to do Business.  It’s ‘TradeSmart…
The Travel Trade Supplier Certification Program’®.  A Smart Program Designed with Tour Operators and Wholesalers in mind.



Broadleaf Guest Ranch, Hopewell Hill, New Brunswick
Broadleaf Guest Ranch, Hopewell Hill, Nouveau-Brunswick

The Hopewell Rocks, Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick
Hopewell Rocks, Hopewell Cape, Nouveau-Brunswick

The TradeSmart Program ©


TradeSmart is designed specifically to make it easier for tour operators to do business with tourism product suppliers.

While the tour operator still needs to be satisfied as to the suitability of the products and services being offered by different suppliers, TradeSmart addresses the issue of supplier business practices in dealing with the travel trade.


What are the Benefits to the Tour Operator?

The benefits to the tour operator are simple…

  • It assists you in identifying the suppliers who are ready to do business with you in the manner you expect.
  • You are assured of dealing with a supplier who not only understands the needs of tour operators, but also is keenly interested in having your business.
  • The program acts as a medium through which you can raise concerns should a supplier fail to meet the agreed-upon arrangements.

How Does it Work?

TradeSmart assists the travel trade by profiling tourism suppliers who understand the importance of establishing and employing travel trade friendly business practices. These are suppliers who are willing to pay commissions, to provide net rates to wholesalers and to maintain the other 39 standards of the TradeSmart Program.

Suppliers apply for and receive certification as a ‘TradeSmart Certified’ supplier once they demonstrate their compliance with business practices that meet the standards of the program.

Certification is available for three types of tourism suppliers: accommodations, attractions and activities – and for three types of travel trade business: motorcoach, other groups/specialty tours, and FIT packages.

Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick
Galerie d’art Beaverbrook, Fredericton, Nouveau-Brunswick
What are the Standards the Supplier Must Meet?

For tour operators, dealing with a TradeSmart supplier means they are dealing with someone who has met, understands and implements all of the ‘essential’ business practice standards of the program.  Some of these standards include…

  • Tour operators and other wholesalers are entitled to net rate discounts of no less than 20 per cent from published prices
  • Prices made available and guaranteed for at least 12 months in advance of arrival; at least 6 months for FIT
  • Block bookings offered and available at least 12 months in advance of arrival
  • No seasonal blackout periods  (although rationing inventory is certainly permitted)
  • Accommodations graded by Canada Select, with a minimum requirement of three stars
  • Attractions and activities must meet regulatory and licensing requirements
  • Suppliers agree to have the program managers communicate with their tour operator clients as part of the compliance verification program
  • Supplier’s reservations service to operate all year

Tour operators are also assured that suppliers meet at least half of the “preferred practices” in the program, such as…

  • Deposit requirements of no more than 15 per cent, 180 days out
  • Staff trained to handle travel trade clientele
  • Billing and payment policies customized for the trade
  • Guarantees with respect to providing equal or better value substitutions when the product or service is not available
  • Complimentary services provided to drivers and tour guides

The above represents the major business practice standards. There are, in all, 39 standards involved.

How Do Suppliers Become TradeSmart Certified?  

The TradeSmart Supplier Certification Program involves the evaluation of the supplier on the 39 different business practices and/or policies.  To become certified, the applicant must meet all of the 21 ‘essential practice’ requirements, plus 50 per cent of the 18 ‘preferred practices’ and sign a contract that serves as their commitment to the TradeSmart program. 

For the different types of suppliers (accommodations, attractions and activities), we provide customized guidelines that detail the special requirements for each type of business.  The supplier can apply for any or all categories of … motorcoach, other groups/specialty tours, and FIT packages.

The certification process involves three stages – attending a seminar, becoming certified and maintaining certification.


Attending a Seminar …

  • The Introductory Seminar.   Suppliers must attend an intensive two-day seminar on working with the travel trade to increase their understanding of travel trade business and the needs of tour operators.  Then they can apply for certification.

New Brunswick Botanical Garden, Saint-Jacques, New Brunswick
Jardin botanique du Nouveau-Brunswick, Saint-Jacques, Nouveau-Brunswick 

The Miramichi Kitchen Party - Miramichi River Production, Miramichi New Brunswick
The Miramichi Kitchen Party - Miramichi River Production, Miramichi
, Nouveau-Brunswick


Becoming Certified …
  • Application and Counselling.   To become certified, the supplier submits an application that describes their existing and proposed travel trade practices and policies.  Guidelines that set out the business practice standards for each of the three types of travel trade business is provided to assist applicants.  Also, private counselling is provided to assist suppliers with their policies and help them reach TradeSmart’s level  of excellence.

  • Evaluation. Our professional tourism consultants evaluate the application against the standards of the program. This often involves further one-on-one counselling.

  • Certification.  The supplier is approved and a one-year contract between the supplier and the program manager is executed.
Maintaining Certification …
  • Renewal. This contract is reviewed and renewed annually, and whenever the supplier intends to make changes in their business practices.

  • Compliance Verification. The travel trade buyer can contact the program managers for assistance in the event a TradeSmart Certified supplier appears to be failing to comply with the standards of the program. The situation must be resolved satisfactorily for the supplier to retain their certification status.
TradeSmart Sponsors  

Aquarium and Marine Centre, Shippagan, New Brunswick
Aquarium et Centre marin, Shippagan, Nouveau-Brunswick
The TradeSmart Program was designed, in partnership, by the Province of New Brunswick and The Economic Planning Group of Canada, with the assistance of two of Canada’s leading tour operators.  This innovative, leading edge initiative has been very effective in advancing the travel trade market-readiness of the province’s tourism suppliers.  New Brunswick, Canada, has been promoting its TradeSmart certified suppliers since 1999.   Nova Scotia joined the program in 2001.

“Brennan Vacations has been a tour operator in Atlantic Canada for the past 26 years offering escorted group and specialty motorcoach vacations and independent travel vacation packages throughout the region by means of Canada á la Carte Independent Vacations. An area of utmost importance to us is a developed relationship with our "suppliers". This includes a level of quality, value and service with the choice of accommodations, restaurant and attractions capacity, vehicle parking, washroom needs, or pricing requirements. The New Brunswick TradeSmart certification program makes it extremely convenient and a ‘wise' choice for meeting and selecting suppliers to partner with.”

Robert Brennan, Brennan Vacations


The Economic Planning Group of Canada, as manager of the TradeSmart program, does not monitor or audit TradeSmart Certified Suppliers.  Approval and/or participation in the TradeSmart Program is based on information provided by individual suppliers.  Compliance with regulatory requirements and good practices rests with the individual suppliers.  The Economic Planning Group of Canada accepts no liability related to the performance or non-performance of TradeSmart Certified Suppliers.

Quoddy Link Marine
Whale-watching,Bay of Fundy, New Brunswick
Observation de baleines, baie de Fundy, Nouveau-Brunswick

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