A tourism brand embodies the imagination and emotion a country inspires in visitors. It has a major influence on where people choose to travel. It therefore needs to reach out and strike an emotional chord with travellers.
The Canada. Keep Exploring brand does just that. It captures the authentic and inviting personality of Canadians while emphasizing a strong sense of place. It motivates and inspires travellers to see Canada as a destination where they can experience something extraordinary.
In a word: amazing.
The influential Lonely Planet guide named Vancouver one of the Top 10 Cities to Visit in 2014 and Canada as one of the Top 10 Countries to Visit in 2009.
In 2013, our global Canada. Keep Exploring campaign collected gold awards in both the advertising and digital marketing categories at the prestigious Adrian Awards in New York City. Our Canada. Keep Exploring work also won gold at 2012 CMA Awards in both the digital and advertising consumer services categories.
In 2011, CTC won silver for our Locals Know integrated campaign at Strategy magazine’s Agency of the Year Awards as well as at the CMA Awards. We also won big time for our Storescapes and Twitter Wall strategies from the CMA, as well as from the Ad and Design Club of Canada Awards, Applied Arts Interactive Awards, Digital Marketing Awards and Webby Awards.
One brand. One extraordinary vision.Leveraged for you.
The more we do to align Canada's tourism brand and marketing initiatives in our 12 geographic markets, the stronger our voice is in the competitive international marketplace. We communicate this consistent and compelling image of Canada to the world in words, pictures, social media, video, blogs and more.
You can, too. Our Brand Toolkit, available for download, is designed to help Canada's 178,000-plus tourism-related small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) leverage the successful Canada. Keep Exploring brand.
We've identified five Unique Selling Propositions that set Canada apart as a travel destination and back our promise of a life less ordinary.
If you operate a tourism-related business, understanding and incorporating one or more of these USPs into your travel experience will help align your business with Canada's tourism brand and set you apart from the competition.
1.Vibrant cities on the edge of nature
Canadian cities march to a diverse urban beat. History and architecture blend with a chic je ne sais quoi in Montréal and Québec City. Vancouver is at once laid back and culturally trendy. Toronto, the polyglot, offers something for everyone. Halifax boasts a hip, youthful energy. These are all cities where you can explore museums, galleries and nightclubs, plus enjoy world-class cuisine and theatre.
But look again and you'll also find a wealth of natural beauty and green space to match those urban charms. Spend the day ocean kayaking, then savour gourmet dining at night. Tour a world-famous museum, then stroll along a spectacular harbour.
Nature is integral to our cities. It gives Canada a green edge.
2. Personal journeys by land, water and air
Touring Canada means more than getting from point A to B. It's about discovery, surprise, landscapes and waterways of unimaginable beauty. Canada is a land built for explorers.
Hop aboard a luxury railcar to cross the country. Take a floatplane from downtown Vancouver to an award-winning coastal fishing lodge where martinis await. Drift in a sailboat along the world's longest coastline, spotting sea lions and orcas en route. Drive the wind-raked Viking Trail in Newfoundland to the earliest-known European settlement in the North America. Discover the Acadian fishing ports, pristine valleys and some of the most picturesque coastline anywhere along Cape Breton Island’s Cabot Trail.
However you do it, getting around Canada is half the fun. You might even say it's the tour of a lifetime.
3. Active adventure among awe-inspiring natural wonders
Once upon a time, Canada was considered a vast, remote, even forbidding, wilderness. To see it, you had to suffer the elements or sacrifice comfort. Not anymore. Today, you're the hero of your own adventure story in Canada. And the story couldn't be more inspiring.
No matter how you explore Canada's dramatic natural wonders, be it heli-skiing in British Columbia or an easy hike through an alpine meadow, awe and inspiration are within easy reach.
Watch the aurora borealis (Northern Lights) from the comfort of a hot tub. Get soaked by Niagara Falls then head to a private wine tasting at a nearby winery. Watch polar bears prowl the shores of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, then fly back to Winnipeg for an afternoon soak in a Turkish-themed spa.
Natural wonders abound in Canada—and so are the ways to enjoy them.
4. Award-winning Canadian local cuisine
Capturing the flavour of a place is as easy as offering unique, locally sourced ingredients, a taste of ethnic fusion, a return to natural freshness and sharing the bounty of low-intensity farming. Add friendly people and charming settings and you've got a dining experience that captures the essence of Canadian cuisine.
Sample the inventive menus of world-renowned chefs in Toronto. Sip craft beer in a Quebec microbrewery. Try world-renowned Asian fusion restaurants in Vancouver. Taste the connection between sea, soil and plate at a country inn in Nova Scotia. Dine in the high Rockies on surf (roasted wild Pacific salmon) n’ turf (bison strip loin). Shuck giant Malpeque oysters on Prince Edward Island, then eat ‘em up local-style, with a squeeze of lemon and freshly ground black pepper.
Slow Food and terroir food movements are thriving across Canada. When travellers get a true taste of a region's soil and soul, the memory lingers long after the meal ends.
5. Connecting with Canadians
Witty, fun, approachable, authentic—that's how travellers come to describe the cast of characters they meet across Canada.
Settle in for a tall tale with a friendly Maritime fisherman on the docks of Lunenberg, Nova Scotia. Swap stories with a local at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. Learn about the traditional life of the Great Plains people at Alberta's Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site. Meet a third-generation cheese maker along the Route des fromages in Quebec.
Welcoming travellers with open arms gives them the sense of connection they crave—and those authentic, meaningful moments keep them coming back.
The true nature of great Canadian travel experiences is about the possibilities created when you find yourself immersed among natural beauty, among warm and welcoming people and interacting with diverse cultures from around the world.
Think your tourism experience is ready for the world?
It doesn't matter how big or small a player you are. What matters is that you're unique and that you value the power of an experience. A product is what people buy. An experience is what they remember.
Visitors who fully engage their senses, make a strong emotional connection to their travel experience and feel as if they've enjoyed a personal exploration are more likely to be satisfied and inspired. This is precisely how extraordinary memories are made.
Download our Experiences Toolkit for a step-by-step guide to turning your tourism products into experiences that travellers will keep talking about.
You can also contact your provincial or territorial marketing organization to learn more about marketing and sales opportunities in your area.
Or consider applying to become one of the CTC’s Canadian Signature Experiences.
If you've got a market-ready experience you want to share, or want to learn more about CTC's experience-based marketing, please contact us.
Three examples of tourism businesses that capture a memorable travel experience:
CapeRace Cultural Adventures is a travel outfitter in Newfoundland that invites its clients to literally rub elbows with the locals. Guests enjoy 10- and 13-day trips to the Avalon and Bonavista peninsulas on self-guided tours that include stays at historic houses. CapeRace has local connections in each village ready to help you catch a cod, discover the local lore and find the perfect watering hole to try out a tumbler of screech over iceberg ice. Don't be surprised if you end up tapping your feet at a spontaneous kitchen party. CapeRace journeys are authentic, memorable, and even transformative—you won’t find an experience quite like this anywhere else.
Travellers who engage with the local life and personalities feel a more powerful connection to place. Let's say you own a B&B on Prince Edward Island. You could continue to serve Eggs Bennie every day, adding a touch of Anne of Green Gables to your table. Or you could do what Bill and Mary Kendrick did. They began offering guests a chance to shuck oysters, paint seascapes on the beach with a local pro or carve funky folk art. As the proprietors of the Briarcliffe Inn, the Kendricks began brokering partnerships with other islanders, resulting in today's 28 unique experiences that form the basis of their company, Experience PEI. Each of the Kendricks' experiences forges emotional connections—with other Canadians, with fellow travellers and with Canada’s geography.
Guide travellers to magnificent and unexpected landscapes, then let them blaze their own trails. Nimmo Bay Resortspecializes in providing high-end wilderness tourism experiences on the central coast of British Columbia and northern Vancouver Island. Given its award-winning reputation, guests arrive with high expectations. The folks at Nimmo Bay never let them down. They guide visitors to remote adventures—be it heli-fishing for coho salmon on isolated fishing waters or river rafting followed by a blissful day of alpine swimming. These are special places only locals know—pristine areas that aren't already teeming with tourists. When guests return, the service is personalized and warm; after an indulgent soak in the waterfall hot tub, guests dine on fresh, local seafood served with a trademark west-coast smile.
Experiential tourism training videos
The CTC partnered with the Gros Morne Institute for Sustainable Tourism to produce two experiential-tourism training videos to showcase examples of how small businesses in the Atlantic provinces have developed experiences for travellers. These training videos provide insights into what a tourism experience is, how to develop experiences to fulfill the dreams of visitors when they travel and how to connect travellers with your local cultural assets to enhance the visitor experience. See for yourself:
Ever wonder why two different travellers standing in the very same place can have a completely experience? We did.
At the CTC, our job is to learn everything we can about travellers to Canada. So we went beyond traditional market research to find out exactly why people travel, and why different traveller types are attracted to entirely different travel experiences. We found that factors such as age and income were much less important in determining why and where people travel than personality, values, attitudes and interests.
The result of years of study is the Explorer Quotient®(EQ), an award-winning marketing tool that uses an online quizto reveal the values and motivations behind travel decisions. The results divide travellers into nine Explorer Types, from Free Spirit to Cultural Explorer to Authentic Experiencer.
The power of EQ will help you find and keep your best customer.Knowing who your customers are and what kind of experience they're after will help you attract your best customers and make the most of your tourism experience. Take the guided tour now to find out how EQ can improve your bottom line.
Get started today by downloading the EQ Toolkit to harness the power of EQ and serve up experiences that travellers are most likely to buy.