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Published on : Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Presented at Canada’s premier international travel media event, GoMedia, the 2016 Explore Canada Awards of Excellence recognize “contributions to storytelling that inspire travellers to explore Canada.”
GoMedia is presented annually by Destination Canada and brings together the nation’s travel media experts with international media. In addition to the one-on-one appointments, the event includes networking opportunities, professional development and the Explore Canada Awards of Excellence.
Bloggers, journalists, photographers and videographers were invited to submit their entries in the categories of: World Class Attractions, Culinary Canada, Vibrant Cities, Adventure at All Levels and Natural Wonders.
In addition, members of the Canadian tourism industry were invited to submit their work for consideration in two additional categories focusing on media itineraries and public relations campaigns.
Tourism Whistler was named a finalist, along with Rocky Mountaineer and Tourism Sault Ste. Marie, in the category of Best Media Itinerary and picked up the first-place award at the ceremony in Montreal on October 19.
Tourism Whistler’s winning itinerary was the Whistler 50th Anniversary Press Trip.
The category was judged by Norie Quintos, Editor-at Large, National Geographic Travel Media. In her review, Quintos wrote: “For its ambition, scope and ability to offer a variety of experiences while retaining a strong hook, kudos to Whistler. It developed an itinerary that didn’t just showcase the resort town’s current offerings, but provided the historical narrative for visitors to understand how it came to be.”
Working in collaboration with Whistler Blackcomb and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to design and deliver an itinerary that would showcase Whistler while telling the story of the resort’s history, Tourism Whistler prepared the itinerary for a targeted group of highly-qualified “A-list” media (travel/lifestyle and ski/snowboard) from Whistler’s key North American and international markets.
A total of 15 media representatives participated in the five-day press trip, which was also supported by Destination Canada, Destination British Columbia, the Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler Sport Legacies, Whistler Brewery, Scandinave Spa, Canadian Wilderness Adventures, Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, The Adventure Group, Bearfoot Bistro, Whistler Heli-Skiing and Extremely Canadian.
The itinerary was delivered over five days and centered on the history of Whistler, the resort’s run for the Olympics and our Olympic venues. Tying in with the 50th anniversary of Whistler Blackcomb, participants watched the screening of 50 Years of Going Beyond: The Movie and attended the Whistler Blackcomb 50th anniversary party.
Throughout the five days, participants were introduced to local ambassadors, treated to skiing and riding on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, enjoyed cocktail receptions, welcome dinners and a number of activities such as: cross country skiing, snowmobile tours, snowshoe tours, bobsleigh, skeleton, heli-skiing, steeps skiing clinics, tubing and outdoor skating. The participants also enjoyed tours of Olympic venues, the Squamish Lil’wat Culture Centre and the Whistler Brewery in addition to experiences like the Ski with an Olympian program. Participating media were also treated to relaxing treatments at the Scandinave Spa.
The event resulted in extensive media coverage, in all of Whistler’s key markets, with an estimated advertising equivalency value of approximately $1.7 million CAD. In addition to the print (newspaper and magazine) and online coverage, the program encouraged social media integration. Content collaborators were provided with a social media guide and were encouraged to share their content and engage their followers through their social media channels. Their content was also shared by Tourism Whistler and Whistler Blackcomb, along with partners like Destination BC and Destination Canada.
“We are honoured to accept this award on behalf of all of our members who support us, but in particular, Whistler Blackcomb and the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, who really went above and beyond in their support of this extraordinary media trip,” said Shawna Lang, Tourism Whistler’s Director of Market Development.
“In order to generate the best possible Whistler media coverage, we need to be able to share the Whistler experience first-hand with the people who are writing about and filming Whistler,” Lang added.
“Bringing media from all over the world to Whistler and creating the best possible experience for them is no small feat … and we absolutely could not do this without the support from our partners like Destination Canada and Destination BC, and of course the overwhelming support of Tourism Whistler’s membership. By supporting Tourism Whistler’s travel media program and providing activities, accommodation and culinary experiences, the business community really makes it easy for us to do our jobs.”
“The results are evident in the extensive national and international travel media coverage but also in the relationships that we build with media. We hear time and time again from visiting journalists that Whistler delivers.”
Also at GoMedia 2016, Brazil’s Rodrigo Marico Rues de Oliveira won the Adventure at All Levels category with his coverage of Whistler, winning for his coverage in Viagem Cultural. He visited Whistler in December, 2015 and the 26-minute piece aired in early 2016. This visit was supported by Destination Canada, the Resort Municipality of Whistler, Whistler Blackcomb, VIP Whistler, the Delta Whistler Village Suites, Whistler Winter Wear, Dubh Linn Gate, the Adventure Group, the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, the Whistler Brewhouse and Scandinave Spa.
The goal of Tourism Whistler’s travel media team is to generate excitement for Whistler by working to enhance the profile and awareness of Whistler to consumers, through travel media. The department focuses on generating positive media coverage for Whistler in print, online, broadcast and social channels. Key programs include in-resort media visits, which are supported by Tourism Whistler’s membership.
In 2015, Tourism Whistler’s travel media team hosted 455 media outlets in-resort with the support of members and generated more than $52 million in advertising equivalency, reaching 3.2 billion circulation.
Tags: Tourism Whistler