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.