The ACAT is committed to stimulating visitation and increasing revenue for Atlantic Canada and building awareness of the vast array of unique and authentic tourism product in our region. Our strategy is built on three main pillars: direct-to-consumer advertising; travel trade programs and partnerships and media relations activities. An integrated approach ensures a consistent and frequent message designed to build the desire to visit the region.
The direct-to-consumer advertising campaign in the New England and the Mid-Atlantic regions of the U.S. focuses on differentiating each of the four Atlantic Provinces from other travel destinations and using the best media to reach our targeted potential traveller at the most appropriate time. We identify our best prospects through the use of sophisticated market segmentation research which identifies a variety of variables including consumption habits. This information, as well as, U.S. travel trends, trip planning and trip motivator information is used to reach them.
The travel trade plan is dedicated to nurturing and building relationships with our key accounts through multi-faceted, consumer-centric, marketing partnerships and mobilizing the sales channel through training and education.
Joint marketing partnerships leverage the tangible and intangible assets of all partners to create mutually beneficial outcomes. Linking such a broad array of interests requires maintaining well-nurtured relationships and an understanding of divergent yet symbiotic objectives. This results in forging meaningful and reliable partnerships with some of the largest producers for Atlantic Canada.
Tour operator reservation staff and travel agents are trusted gatekeepers for travellers. They maintain dependable relationships with a core group of clientele and can facilitate the decision making process. The initiative will continue to improve the knowledge base of our key account reservation staff and select travel agencies and agents through the use of sales calls, FAM tours and training.
Efforts in all areas have been successful in increasing Atlantic Canada’s profile as a vacation destination and providing a solid return on our investment.
Each year destinations from around the world strive to obtain highly valuable coverage in top U.S. print publications and online travel sites. An integrated approach is the most effective means of securing such coverage. In-market media relations efforts are concentrated on regular distribution of news releases aimed at piquing curiosity and intriguing journalist; Atlantic Canada media events in New York City and Boston: where invited guests experience the regions distinct food, culture and heritage, in-market media appointments in New York City and Boston; and press trips to Atlantic Canada.
Overall, the U.S. marketing program is generating a solid return on investment. In 2017-2020, the U.S. travel trade program generated revenues of $20.2 million for tourism in Atlantic Canada and obtained an overall return on investment of $38.40 for every $1 dollar invested. The U.S. media relations activities generated $3.1 million in earned media value.