Canadian Business Travel Etiquette


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As a corporate traveler visiting Canada for business, you probably want to know the country’s norms and business etiquette. This not only shows respect for your Canadian business partners and hosts. But, it can also help you establish stronger business relationships and avoid potential misunderstandings. Therefore, in the following article, we will discuss some of the key aspects of Canadian business travel etiquette.

Greetings and Introductions

Canadians are generally friendly and welcoming, and they value politeness and respect. Therefore, when meeting someone for the first time, it’s common to shake hands and introduce yourself with a smile. Make sure to be yourself and maintain eye contact during the conversation. This will help both understand each other better.

In some regions, such as Quebec and Eastern Canada, people greet people with kisses on the cheek. However, this probably is not the best way to meet a business partner for the first time, so follow your host’s lead.

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Dress Code

Canadian business meetings’ dress codes vary depending on the industry and location. Business attire is expected, including a suit or dress for both men and women. But in some industries, such as technology and the creative fields, business casual may be more acceptable. However, if you are unsure about the dress code, it’s always better to dress more formally than you think is necessary.

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Generally speaking, Canadians value punctuality and respect for others’ time. Therefore, if you are running late, it’s important to notify your partner or host as soon as possible and provide an updated arrival time. Additionally, it’s better to schedule your business meetings and appointments in advance, so make sure to confirm the date and time beforehand

Communication Style

Canadians are also known for their direct communication style and compromise willingness. When communicating with your Canadian colleagues, it’s important to be clear and concise, but also respectful and diplomatic. So, follow these formal rules and your business meeting will be smooth and successful.

Business Gifts

While often not necessary, it is a thoughtful gesture to bring a small gift for your Canadian hosts or colleagues. Some appropriate gifts include a box of chocolates or a bottle of wine. However, it’s important to note that gifts should be modest and not too expensive.

Avoid giving gifts that are too personal or culturally insensitive, such as alcohol to someone who doesn’t drink or a non-kosher food item to someone who keeps kosher.

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These guidelines for Canadian business travel etiquette are formal. However, by following these general rules you can establish and maintain strong business relationships. Most importantly, show respect for your Canadian business partners, hosts and colleagues. 

Remember to be polite, punctual and clear in your communication. Smile, and maybe bring a small gift to show your appreciation.

If you are traveling in and out of Canada for business, check out our corporate travel management services. 

Contact us today for help planning your next business trip!


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