Saturday, October 25, 2008

Tourism Thunder Bay Profiled at the 2008 International Sustainable Tourism Conference

Tourism Thunder Bay's new marketing direction focusing on a stronger "Superior By Nature" brand position, started in 2007 and is starting to generate a lot of industry attention internationally. Its about to get an even bigger boost. I will be a panel speaker at the 2008 International Sustainable Tourism Conference being held in Vancouver British Columbia from October 27-29.

Under the conference track titled "Parks and Protected Areas", I will be speaking about the City's strategy to position itself as one of Canada's Great Outdoor City by capitalizing on its unique assets, being Lake Superior and the abundance of Provincial and National Parks on its doorstep. The presentation will focus on the Seven Days With the Giant theme and how it created a marketing buzz with an significant contest based campaign that meshed urban and outdoor experiences together, postitioning Thunder Bay as a gateway city to spectacular outdoor experiences for the leisure, sport and corporate markets.

For more information on the conference, visit

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tourism Thunder Bay is Moving!

Tourism Thunder Bay is on the move and what sweeter place than Thunder Bay's Waterfront!

We have been in the Victoriaville Civic Centre for a number of years and with space at a premium in the growing southcore office market, we are pleased to be moving to the Waterfront Pool 6 property effective October 27th. The building is the former Pool 6 grain elevator offices and later, the Buchannen Lunber Sales Centre. The City of Thunder Bay implded the elevator silos in the early 2000s, leaving a great 8500 square foot office building with great lake, city and harbour views.

Our offices will be closed on Friday October 24th to facilitate the movers and IT set up but we'll be open for busy first thing Monday morning.

Our telephone numbers, email, and mailing address all remain the same. However, our street address is 53 South Water Street. For those who don't know, this little known piece of road is actually a duplicate extension of the existing Water Street. For directions to our offices, turn into Marina Park at the Pearl St Intersection, turn right once past the tracks and proceed for about 500 meters behind the boat launches and tug basin to the Pool 6 office building. We are on the upper level and parking and the main entrance is on the south side of the building.

Future plans for the centre and surrounding land include the development of a tourism industry education centre in the office to host lunch and learn educational sessions and small industry group meetings. The property is home to one of the waterfront's best deep water piers, an 880 foot concrete and iron behemouth with 30 feet of draft. Naturally, we will be making improvements to this facility to begin hosting cruise ships, the first of which, the MV Clelia II, is slated to visit the city 11 times in 2009.

Busy fall for Tourism Thunder Bay

This fall has been an incredibly busy time for us at Tourism Thunder Bay and I have not had a chance to post in a while. After finishing off what has been a successful summer, we have been planning our 2009 marketing strategies and attending a number of industy conferences and meetings clear across Canada, including the Ontario Tourism Summit, The Ontario Motor Coach Association and a number of convention planners showcases.

We are proud to announce that one of our 2007 marketing campaigns was a finalist at the Ontario Tourism Summit Gala awards this year. We were nominated for "Best Marketing Campaign under $25 000 for a series of marketing programs in 2007 that included our contribution to the Dougall Media "Seven Wonders of Thunder Bay" campaign, the Rediscover your City promotional tabloid and web campaign and the facebook launch of the Bluesfest Friends and Family contest that encouraged local residents to email or facebook the contest link to their friends and family across North America for a chance to win a trip to Thunder Bay and the Bluesfest. The entire series of campaigns were designed to coincide with National Tourism week during the first week of June 2007 and encourage local residents to be ambassadors for their city and to showcase all of the great events and attractions in the city to take their visiting friends and relatives (VFR). The VFR market comprises close to 29% of leisure visitors to Thunder Bay annually so reaching this marketin the pre summer vacation season is a great way to boost admissions to the local attractions and events.

We are pleased that we finished runner up to Stratford. It is the first time we have been nominated at the Summit and the second place showing demonstrates the advances in our marketing efforts over the past two years.

We have also had a record number of leads from the fall "Incentive Works" Meeting and Convention Planning conference held in Toronto this past month.

One of the most exciting conferences we worked on to bring to the city this year was the Canadian Armed Forces SAREX 2008, Search and Rescue exercises. Held in the city in early October, 350 Canadian and US military personel were in the city for a week, creating an economic impact for the city in excess of $4.5 million.

The Ontario Motor Coach Association's annual show in Toronto proved, for the second year in a row, to be a popular event. The price of fuel has led to an resurgence in the motorcoach touring industry and the Lake Superior and Cross Canada itineraries are showing strong demand for domestic (Lake Superior/Northern Ontario) and Asian (Cross Canada)

We will keep you posted on the outcomes of these shows.