Tourism Thunder Bay welcomed a record number of travel media from around the globe this past year and the results are starting to roll out with print and digital media profiles emerging in key geographical and experience seeking segments.
One of the most unique travel media experiences we hosted this year was four from Japan, who work for Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership's Japanese market office. While in Thunder Bay, we rolled out the red carpet for them, exposing them to Sleeping Giant Park, Sailing Charters on Lake Superior, iconic local culinary experiences and a tour of fort William Historical Park.
The result is a profile on the Japanese OTMPC site: http://www.ontariostyle.com/thunder/index.html
The Asian market in general has shown promising growth for the city and region as a future area of focus with a number of trans Canada motorcoach tour itineraries through the city in 2008. The overseas market now represents 6% of visitors to the city, double from 2005 and while the numbers are small, the spending, per person is greater than a domestic or U.S. Visitor with an estimated annual contribution of approximately $1.8 million to the local tourism economy.
In addition, Thunder Bay's unique location and surrounding wilderness are a good product fit with the experiences that the emerging new Japanese markets are seeking. Having already seen Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa, travellers who have fallen in love with Canada are now looking for smaller communities to visit and explore.