A new tack on tourism

Changes being considered by Tourism Canada for the all-important u.s. market could provide a bonanza for marketers in the service and hospitality industries, as well as turning the tv-supported-by-print hierarchy on its head.Tom Hockin, minister of state for small business and...

Changes being considered by Tourism Canada for the all-important u.s. market could provide a bonanza for marketers in the service and hospitality industries, as well as turning the tv-supported-by-print hierarchy on its head.

Tom Hockin, minister of state for small business and tourism, says his ministry has had discussions with the industry and the Tourism Industry Association of Canada on a new approach to the marketing program for the u.s.

Hockin told Strategy in an interview from Ottawa discussions are being held with a view to developing partnerships with tourism suppliers and, eventually perhaps, a Canadian Tourism Authority.

‘We’re going to change our marketing program for the United States to see if we can get a lot of partnerships going, not just with the big airlines and the big hotels, but right down to the medium and small players as well,’ Hockin says.

An official at Tourism Canada, who preferred to remain unidentified, says the change in marketing to the u.s. will be twofold.

The official says the first part will be the dropping of image awareness advertising in the u.s., and its replacement by advertising that provides enough information for would-be American visitors to make a quick decision about coming to Canada.

Second, Tourism Canada’s tv advertising will switch from network spots supported by print to tightly focussed print advertising supported by much more selectively bought tv time, the official says.

Tourism Canada’s u.s. communications budget will stay the same at $14 million, the official says.

The groups Tourism Canada wants to get to, the official continues, are seniors and the middle-aged.

To reach the middle-aged group, Tourism Canada is thinking about a print insert of perhaps 16-20 pages.

For seniors, the insert could be eight pages, with such things as a trip-planning kit, a metric-to-Imperial conversion card, and discount coupons from Tourism Canada partners enclosed in it, says the official, cautioning agreements with suppliers are still at the discussion stage.

A direct mail campaign is also in the works, the official says.

The Tourism Canada account executive at Camp Associates Advertising in Toronto was unavailable for comment.