Find out what’s new with Ottawa Tourism programs, members and people in this latest edition of the Ottawa Tourism Member Newsletter.
Find out what’s new with Ottawa Tourism programs, members and people in this latest edition of the Ottawa Tourism Member Newsletter.
Michael Crockatt took over as President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism in early March. His appointment was widely covered in media and unanimously welcomed by the local tourism and business communities. Michael is a recognized leader in tourism and aviation in Canada. Michael came to Ottawa Tourism from InterVISTAS Consulting, where he served as Senior Vice President responsible for the firm’s airline, air service development, and tourism practices in Canada. Michael has over 15 years experience at the management level with two of Canada’s major airports, the Winnipeg Airports Authority and the Ottawa International Airport Authority and is very active within the tourism and transportation industries and other business groups. He is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, the immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC), a past Chair of both the Board of Directors and Tourism Development Council of Ottawa Tourism. In 2013, Michael was named one of Airport Business Magazine’s Top 40 under 40. In 2012, he was a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing his contributions to Canada. At the 2011 Ottawa Tourism Awards, he was named Tourism Volunteer of the Year, and in 2010, was a recipient of the Ottawa Business Journal Forty Under 40 Awards. Michael has a Master’s degree in Geography from the University of Manitoba.
“I am incredibly honoured and privileged to join the amazing team at Ottawa Tourism. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in front of us with the 2017 celebrations. We fully understand our responsibility to the community to ensure that we continue to grow our visitation beyond 2017 and develop our region into Canada’s premier destination.”
Please join us in welcoming Michael to Ottawa Tourism.
Photo Credit – Jean Levac Ottawa Citizen
Former Convention Services Manager Christina Amos has assumed the role of Meetings Lead Specialist. Lizzy Low, whose experience includes communications in government affairs and public policy at a US lobbying firm, has joined Ottawa Tourism as Destination Services Coordinator. Sophie Sharom, formerly a Marketing Associate for the CN Tower, has joined Ottawa Tourism as Marketing Coordinator. Mary Sayewich, who previously worked at Ottawa Tourism as Membership Coordinator, has rejoined Ottawa Tourism as Meeting Services Specialist.
The Ottawa Tourism Awards are coming up April 28 at the Ottawa Marriott. Tickets are limited so order yours now!
With so many great announcements about how Ottawa will lead the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, how can you keep track of them all, or share them with clients? You can visit ottawatourism.ca/ottawa2017 or ottawa2017.ca for full details or, for an at-a-glance look at what’s been announced so far, you can download a brochure prepared by Ottawa Tourism’s Communications team (be sure to print it back-to-front, flipping paper on the short end, to create a handy brochure).
Immediately following this year’s Winterlude, Ottawa Tourism began pre-promoting Ottawa 2017 with the first of a series of TV commercials featuring well-known Canadian personality Rick Mercer in his first on-camera commercial work ever. The spot features Mercer in his trademark rant style inviting Canadians to be here for Canada’s big year. The spot ran on TV, YouTube and other numerous other online media. A French spot was also produced featuring up-and-coming Franco-Ontarian comedienne Katherine Levac. Both Rick and Katherine will appear in four additional spots that will be broadcast at strategic times throughout 2016 to continue to build awareness and anticipation for Ottawa 2017.
Ottawa Tourism’s convention sales team has a busy few months ahead, with sales events in Canada, the US and the UK.
MPI Ottawa & Toronto – Global Meetings Industry Day | April 14 | Ottawa & Toronto, ON
London Client Event | April 15 | London, UK
IMEX International & Canada Vision Awards | April 19 – 21 | Frankfurt, Germany
PCMA Foundation Event | April 27 | Washington, DC
ASAE’s Springtime Expo 2016 | April 28 | Washington, DC
MPI Toronto Education Conference | May 15 – 17 | Toronto, ON
Toronto Q2 Client Event – “Night at the Theatre” | May 31 – June 1 | Toronto, ON
PCMA Education Foundation Partnership Summit | June 2 – 5 | Braselton, Georgia
ASAE Executive Leadership Conference | June 8 – 10 | Montreal, QC
MPI Toronto – Golf Tournament | June 22 | Toronto, ON
On January 28, Ottawa Tourism and Shaw Centre hosted 39 executives from the Ottawa IEEE Section for an informal wine and cheese and destination presentation. The event was a special invitation extended to the Ottawa Section executives, chairs and vice chairs of the chapters, affinity groups, committees, and student branches. Ottawa Tourism made a brief presentation on how we can assist local IEEE executives attract and host future IEEE conferences and events in Ottawa. Ottawa Tourism and Shaw Centre continue to nurture the MOU and the relationship with the Ottawa Section as Engineering is a key priority industry sector for Ottawa.
1700 delegates from across Canada attended the Loblaw Companies Ltd. National Kick Off at the Shaw Centre February 7-10, with eight member hotels representing over 3,400 guest rooms. Sixty-five percent of Loblaw delegates had never been to Ottawa before and were delighted to be here during Winterlude. Ottawa Tourism hosted a dine-around for the delegates in partnership with nine of our restaurant members. Overall feedback was great–delegates found that our city was very clean, and our people were very friendly. “Ottawa’s successful hosting of the NKO annual conference was truly a team effort by our entire industry,” says Glenn Duncan, Sr. VP Sales, Ottawa Tourism. ”As one of the most significant pieces of convention business our destination has ever hosted, it brought Ottawa’s tourism suppliers, DMO and Shaw Centre together like never before. Showcasing our city as a seamless one in which to do business will serve us well as we continue to aggressively target and host city wide conventions from both the Corporate and Association sectors.”
Ottawa Tourism convention sales along with 12 members hosted 40 local meeting planners for our 5th annual Rock ‘N Bowl event on Wednesday, February 10. A new venue–WestPark Bowling Lanes in Hintonburg–and a 50’s theme were both big hits. And as our post-event survey showed, this is fast becoming one of the top ‘go-to’ events for local meeting planners.
April 14: Global Meetings Industry Day
April 14 has been declared Global Meetings Industry Day around the world. This initiative was first created here in Canada in 1997 and was observed by a handful of Canadian MPI chapters. This year’s Ottawa event will be hosted at the Hilton Lac-Leamy and will bring together over 150 industry suppliers and planners. Ottawa’s own Jessica Holmes will be hosting the evening, and it is sure to be a blast. Ottawa Tourism will also be present in Toronto for GMID as the Event Sponsors along with the Shaw Centre.
May 11: Canadian Association Executive Event
Ottawa Tourism and Shaw Centre will host a reception and learning opportunity for association executives on May 11. This event will focus on our services and how we can help them attract their international counterparts to host their conventions in Canada’s Capital.
May 18: MPI Prix Prestige Gala
Ottawa Tourism will host a table and deliver activation at the MPI Prix Prestige gala. This is always a top attended event in the meetings industry that takes place in Ottawa each year. Ottawa Tourism and Shaw Centre are the Diamond Education Sponsors.
May 31 – June 1: Toronto Q2 Client Event
Ottawa Tourism invites partners to join us in treating our Toronto clients and planners to a “Night at the Theatre” for the Opening Night of the Mirvish production, ‘Return to Grace’. Members will also participate in a Sales Mission with organized appointments throughout the day.
Over 300 Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance delegates came to Ottawa in March for Sport Event Congress 2016. During the Congress, Ottawa Tourism not only showcased the city, but also hosted the delegates at a “Bash at the Brier”. Members were able to meet, greet, host, and network with our national sporting organizations and suppliers.
Ottawa Tourism’s Meetings Research department has had a fast-paced and productive first quarter. It has increased the number of prospective hosting opportunities in the large-sized (600+ delegates) International meetings market, with 14 major International RFPs identified. Five major (600+ delegates) proposals are actively progressing through their respective bidding processes, and if the hosting rights are won, these five events alone will attract an estimated 4,850 delegates to Ottawa. After persistent follow-up, Ottawa has secured the rights to host the International Conference on Environmental Mutagens (ICEM), which will attract between 800-1200 delegates to the city in 2021. Research has also generated several leads in the mid-size (250-600 delegates) meetings market, with three proposals currently being considered that would bring a combined estimated total of 1200 delegates. The department has also generated an increase in the pool of local ambassadors and subject matter experts, particularly in the Health Care and Life Sciences industries. Since the beginning of 2016, 47 new ambassadors and national association members have been added to our database.
The IDLS International conference that came to Ottawa in Q4 2015 had an excess of delegate bags and requested that these laptop-case style bags be donated to a local charitable group. Ottawa Tourism arranged to have them donated to Ottawa Community Immigration Services Organization, which is using these bags as a tool for encouraging perfect attendance in their classrooms.
Montreal, New York and Toronto are on the calendar for the Ottawa Tourism travel trade team over the next two months.
Rendez-vous Canada | April 24 – 27 | Montreal, QC
New York Sales Blitz | May 11 – 13 | New York City and area
Toronto Sales Calls | May 24 – 27 | Toronto, ON
Ottawa Tourism, Outaouais Tourism and members will join forces for a sales mission in Quebec organized by the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation (OTMPC). Sales calls, client presentations and reception/dinner functions will allow the destination to be profiled during this four days of sales activities.
The Ottawa Tourism travel trade sales team and members are busy updating their sales tools as they prepare for Canada’s largest international marketplace, Rendez-vous Canada, in Montreal April 24 – 27. Over 1500 international tour operators and Canadian tourism suppliers will be taking appointments along with over twenty Ottawa Tourism members. Two Ottawa Tourism staff will have over 125 appointments with tour operators from the international markets including US and Canada. Team Ottawa and members will also be hosting a networking function for selected clients during the event.
If you are interested in participating in the New York Sales Blitz, May 11 – 13, please connect with Monica Durksen. More information and the promotional opportunity sign-up form will be sent out to our members shortly.
Ottawa Tourism’s travel trade team has been busy with FAMs in early 2016, hosting 11 Canadian & US clients and 56 Chinese clients. Staff are making plans for a tour operator client summer FAM June 27 – 30, a Student Tour Operator FAM August 9 – 11, and a UK FAM August 31 – September 4. If you would like to be involved, please contact Shawna Page. Promotional opportunity forms will be forwarded to the members in the near future. Sincere thanks to our members, who provided $46,000 in donated services to assist with 2015 FAMS.
Ottawa Tourism travel trade sales asks that members keep staff updated on new 2017-18 events. Travel Trade clients are booking 18-24 months in advance, so they need to know what is happening in the Capital that far out. Sharing your events planned for 2017 will be important for our clients, but many of our tour operators are working on 2018 by the time they attend Rendez-vous Canada Marketplace. Please send your updates to Monica Durksen, so that the sales team is up-to-date. Remember, we are an extension of your sales force!
Ottawa Tourism participated in Destination Canada Brazil’s Canada Roadshow, March 7-11. Ottawa made presentations during very successful events in three cities, with more than 200 travel agents/tour operators in attendance in Rio, 115 in Porto Alegre, and 185 in Campinas. Networking meal functions were organized with key tour operators in Rio and Campinas. All events were covered by travel media.
Members are encouraged to login to the member extranet to update their website listings with 2016 information.
If you have new information that you are adding to your website, please ensure that you also share this information with the Ottawa Tourism sales team. Please send updates to Shawna Page.
On the social media front, Ottawa Tourism leisure accounts have surpassed 50,000 followers on Facebook, 30,000 followers on Twitter, 20,000 followers on Instagram–and #MyOttawa tagged images have grown to over 100,000. We love engaging with locals and visitors! Please use the #MyOttawa hashtag when you can and we’ll also incorporate your event hashtag in our messaging where possible.
Ottawa Tourism’s digital marketing team has engaged the Instagram community and works closely with IGersOttawa. They love the opportunity to get a ‘behind the scenes’ look or explore an attraction building while empty (without visitors). We are always looking for photo walk locations. If you are interested in hosting a group please let Beverley Carkner know.
How many times have you heard an outdated stereotype about Ottawa? We in the tourism industry know that some of the quotes often trotted out about Ottawa date back to the 1960s or 70s but STILL get repeated as if they were true today. To their credit, many tourism folks make a point to dispel these stereotypes. Bravo to you all! Unfortunately, though, they often do this by repeating the quote itself! Ottawa Tourism encourages everyone to take a pledge to simply start their sentences after the “but” and concentrate on the positive messages we all have to share. Let’s not be the ones to bring up the negative or to inadvertently reinforce outdated stereotypes. Some examples:
INSTEAD OF: We used to be known in some circles
as the town that fun forgot but Ottawa is actually a vibrant G7 capital with a strong cultural scene and a young, active population!
TRY: Ottawa is a vibrant G7 capital with a strong cultural scene and a young, active population!
DON’T SAY: They say that Ottawa is
a boring government town but in fact Ottawa’s craft beer scene is turning heads!
JUST SAY: Ottawa’s craft beer scene is turning heads!
Let’s all take the After the But Pledge!
Get ready to be part of a destination report card for Ottawa that will help Ottawa get to the next level as a tourism destination. Ottawa Tourism is distributing the DestinationNEXT survey to members, city officials, and other industry stakeholders who will help to assess Ottawa as a global destination. Ottawa Tourism is partnering with the City of Ottawa and InterVISTAS Consulting to customize the survey, which has been used to assess over 250 other destinations worldwide. You will get the opportunity to see and give input on the analyzed results at our Tourism Summit to be held on May 30th during Tourism Week. We need your perspective and participation so please look for this survey in your inbox.
On May 12 the Canada Aviation & Space Museum will host the Starfleet Gala to kick off the world premiere Starfleet Academy Experience exhibition. Also in attendance: Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner, as well as the actors who played the characters Q and Odo. Details here (and if you go to the homepage, you can visit the site in English, French, or Klingon!).
Ottawa 2017 has announced the Ignite 150 program—a series of 17 epic stunts and gatherings that will turbo-charge every corner of the capital from January to December in 2017. Four activities were announced:
Ottawa 2017 is asking for groups to propose an addition dozen or so events. The application deadline is Thursday, April 28, 2016 at 4:00pm. The program’s total budget is $250,000 (projects will be funded at a minimum of $5,000 and up to a maximum of $25,000 each). For full details on the call see Ignite 150 projects. (And here’s a video about the program.)
The Ottawa International Airport Authority finished in a 5-way tie for second place among all airports in North America (in the company of Dallas Love Field, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville and Tampa airports) in the Airport Service Quality customer service benchmarking program for 2015. (In 2014, they came in 5th in North America and 3rd in airports serving between two and five million passengers.)
The Canadian Museum of History’s IMAX Theatre has changed its name to CINÉ+. They have acquired a 4K laser projector, the latest in projection technology. This makes the museum the first facility in the Ottawa-Gatineau region—and one of only four cinemas in Canada—with this type of projector. In addition to enjoying a greater choice of films in 2D and 3D, movie-lovers are still able to view existing films that are part of the museum’s film inventory in the 15/70 format on the dome screen.
Each year Triathlon Canada hosts and stages national championship events. These events are the pinnacle of the national race calendar, and are the qualifying events for national representation and in 2016 and 2017 will showcase the best the national capital has to offer, including its waterways, roadways, running pathways and national monuments and sites. The 2017 Championships will play a major role in the 150th celebrations, including providing participation opportunities for all ages, from Junior to Elderly (85-90) age categories across Canada, and elite participants and visitors from the Americas. The 2016 championship will be held from July 22-24 with the 2017 dates still to be determined. Approximately 1500 athletes are expected to participate each year.
Ottawa has appeared in numerous publications and website over the past two months. Here’s a quick recap of highlights for your reading pleasure.
Ottawa’s major building projects Great article by Jennifer Ditchburn outlining some of the major projects that have happened, are happening and will happen in the Ottawa region.
Best Seats in Town According to this Expedia.ca article, the seats at the Canadian Tire Centre are the “best seats in town” – the article highlights the best of the best in Canadian NHL rinks: Best of the Best at Canada’s Top Hockey Arenas
Ottawa for men The hip Lucas Aykroyd (who’s based in Vancouver) visited Ottawa in mid-January and produced this fun piece on the manly side of Ottawa for Flight Network’s blog.
Vikings on blog An article about the Vikings exhibition at the Canadian Museum of History appears on Dobbernationloves.com, a food, fashion and travel blog based in Toronto.
LeBreton Flats in Maclean’s This article in Maclean’s focuses on Ottawa’s recent renaissance, including the LeBreton Flats redevelopment.
Winterlude in L’Express Writer Aurélie Resch visited the Outaouais and Ottawa at the end of January 2016 and has produced this piece (en français) about Winterlude and the Ice Hogs for the Toronto-based French-language paper L’Express.
Rideau Canal Skateway as eco-commuting option Ottawa Tourism provided some information for this article about the carbon-free commuting along the Rideau Canal Skateway on one of the biggest U.S. green news sites.
Spring Break options Jody Robbins has appeared on Calgary’s Global TV promoting great spring break options across Canada, including Ottawa. A wrap-up also appeared on her blog, with mention of our packages!
Canadian Tulip Festival The Canadian Tulip Festival was mentioned in a post about seven top spring flower festivals around the world in U.S. News and World Report.
March Break ideas Tiffany Thornton, a writer from Halifax, visited to produce this great piece on family-friendly activities in the region, just in time for March Break.
More March Break The Canada Aviation & Space Museum and the Ottawa Irish Festival make this list of top March Break destinations across Canada by Toronto-based writer Miriam Porter in Wheels.ca.
Escape the Diefenbunker A great overview of the Diefenbunker’s new partnership with Escape Manor, which opened on March 10th.
Wellington West in Globe & Mail An article on the Wellington West neighbourhood in the Globe & Mail.
Capital Experience Read all about Ottawa “A Capital Experience … and More” in the January issue of Teach & Travel Magazine.
Artsy Ottawa Three nice pieces on Ottawa via Canadian Art.
#17 in the world for quality of life According to the Mercer Index, Ottawa ranks #17 in the world for its quality of life. We’re third in Canada, behind Vancouver (#5 overall) and Toronto (tied for #15 overall) and ahead of Montréal (#23).