Ottawa Tourism

October 2016

Find out what’s new with Ottawa Tourism programs, members and people in this latest edition of the Ottawa Tourism Member Newsletter.

FORE FUN FOR THE FUTURE

FORE FUN FOR THE FUTURE

The annual Ottawa Tourism/OGHA Golf Tournament was held on Monday, September 12th under perfect weather conditions at Casselview Golf & Country Club in Casselman.

Over a hundred golfers enjoyed a morning of golf and networking with tourism industry colleagues as well as the chance to win a number of impressive raffle prize packages generously donated by our many members and partners. This year’s tournament proceeds were used to send two future leaders to One Young World in Ottawa. 

One candidate was selected from the OGHA Members contact base –  Abbey Crockett, Concierge at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.  In Abbey’s submission she had this to say when asked her passions: “My passions come from the vision I carry of the future, the role that hospitality has to play and the leadership Ottawa will demonstrate. Hospitality is key in achieving global understanding by offering a platform for cultural understanding and mutualism. It is through familiarizing with another culture that one better understands and effectively collaborates with it. With mutual understanding between world communities, global opportunities emerge economically, socially and environmentally. If those doors are allowed to open, we are responsible for the innovations of the future.”

Kristen Black of the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management program at Algonquin College also attended OYW.  We hope the OYW experience will change these young leaders as it did for the Ottawa Tourism staff who went last year to OYW in Bangkok. Thank you again to our very generous members and partners for making the day a fantastic success.

Convention Sales

Convention Sales

BIG LABOUR, BIG CONVENTION

Unifor, the country’s largest private sector union, filled our destination with delegates during its annual convention in late August. Unifor was founded in 2013, when two of Canada’s largest industrial unions – the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the Communications, Energy and Paper workers (CEP) – merged. The Ottawa convention was their second following their founding, and brought 2000 delegates to the capital. Highlights included an address from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, a parade by the delegates to Parliament Hill, and a closing evening at the Canadian Museum of History with catering provided by the Westin Ottawa.  The convention was hosted at the Shaw Centre and utilized over seven hotels, producing 7,100+ total room nights for the city. Estimated economic spend: $3,240,000.  Ottawa Tourism welcomed Unifor delegates with pageantry signage, provided a welcome desk, and gave them access to our Flash Your Badge Program. The organizers summarized their experience by saying: “Ottawa gave us more for our delegates than any other location, head and shoulders above other cities…It’s a national stage to have our voices heard.  Ottawa Tourism did an amazing job”.   

Marketing

Marketing

THEY’RE BACK, PROMOTING 2017

Canadian comedians Rick Mercer and Prescott Russell’s own Katherine Levac are back on air and online this fall with new commercials promoting Ottawa 2017 that will be part of a much bigger advertising program in November. As part of the program, Ottawa Tourism’s Digital Marketing team will launch a major contest this fall that will see one lucky winner and a guest enjoy the ultimate VIP Canada Day experience in 2017.   Videos also featuring Mercer and Levac will be pushed out via Ottawa Tourism’s social media channels. The contest will likewise be promoted in a special newspaper insert focusing on 2017 and being distributed to 1.8 million households across the country in November. The winner will receive an Ottawa 2017 Canada Day VIP Experience for Two, including return airfare from Air Canada, a four night stay at the new Andaz hotel, and special access and activities throughout what promises to be the biggest national birthday bash ever.

Destination Development

Destination Development

HELPING VISITORS FIND THEIR WAY

Ottawa Tourism is pleased to have received a grant from the Province of Ontario to support a feasibility study for unified wayfinding.  Anyone who has ever explored a new destination on foot knows the value of a well-located, easy-to-use wayfinding system. Major destinations worldwide have implemented wayfinding systems throughout their high-use visitor zones, not simply as a way to show visitors that these destinations are market-ready, but also because there are economic benefits nascent when more visitors move through communities by foot rather than by car. “Soon, Ottawa will join the ranks of major destinations worldwide who enjoy the benefits of a unified wayfinding system that helps pedestrians find their way around our destination,” muses Catherine Frechette, Senior Director of Destination Development. “But to get there, we will need to have agreement on strategic sites where pedestrians most require wayfinding to make decisions about their journey, and the design of the wayfinding will also be important.” That’s why Ottawa Tourism is thrilled by the news that the Province of Ontario will support a feasibility study and business case for unified wayfinding in Ottawa through a $50,000 grant toward the initiative. Destination-wide partners on the project, including the City of Ottawa and other parties, will convene this month to approve next steps including the launch of an RFP for the feasibility study.

Travel Trade Sales

Travel Trade Sales

BONJOUR GATINEAU, HELLO NIAGARA

Travel Trade Sales is hitting the road to promote our destination at Bienvenu Quebec and the Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA). Kelly Dean and 14 Travel Trade members will be promoting Ottawa through appointments and by hosting a VIP Booth at Bienvenu Quebec Marketplace. The conference is attended by Canadian and US tour operators and this year takes place in Gatineau, October 24-26. Members and staff will also be hosting the annual Ottawa lunch at the OMCA Marketplace in Niagara Falls, October 30 – November 2. Looking to connect with tour operators who handle both domestic and US business? Join us! If you attend, you can also attend the OMCA networking and dinner the night before the lunch to make additional contacts. Contact Kelly Dean [email protected] and Shawna Page [email protected] for more information.

Major Events

Major Events

SLAM DUNK!

Ottawa Tourism major events recently supported a successful bid by the Eastern Ontario Basketball Association to host the provincial championships in Ottawa in 2017 and 2018. Each year Ontario Basketball organizes and stages the Ontario Cup Provincial Championships, which are open to all member clubs, excluding clubs in their first year of existence. Teams entered into the provincial championships are made up of community “rep” and club teams. Ontario Basketball’s Ontario Cup Provincial Championships are comprised of tournaments held in various communities throughout the province. Ontario Basketball offers an optimal playing environment for various age categories and hosts divisions based on skill level. In 2017 and 2018, Ontario Cup will see approximately 1,150 teams compete in a provincial championship at the appropriate age category and level of play. Ottawa will also welcome 54 teams and 648 athletes in the Girls U16 division from April 28-30, 2017 and April 27-29, 2018, and 70 teams and 840 athletes in the Boys U16 division May 12-14, 2017 and May 11-13, 2018.

Communications

Communications

TRAVEL MEDIA COVERAGE

Ottawa Tourism hosts hundreds of travel media journalists and camera crews each year. Here’s a sampling of some of what they had to say about our destination over the past month.

  •  Ottawa Tourism hosted Lin Stranberg in mid-August and she’s already produced this piece on the Huffington Post site on how Ottawa is prepping for 2017 celebrations
  • Ottawa Tourism hosted Jody Robbins, a Calgary-based writer, back in May 2016 and she’s produced this guide to eating your way through the ByWard Market neighbourhood for Eat North
    And this piece as well, on her blog, about the best museums in Ottawa for kids
    And this—a guide to Ottawa in the fall with kids on the TravelMamas.com website
  • A U.K.-based tour operator, Canadian Sky, has shared their thoughts on the Top 10 Restaurants in Ottawa
  • Blink and you might miss it but Ottawa Tourism’s Caroline Couture-Gillgrass supplied some video b-roll of Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa to CBS This Morning for their piece on Americans moving to Canada after the election
  • John Quilter, a U.K. influencer who goes by the name The Food Busker, visited Ottawa back in mid-June. He cooked and partied with Steve Mitton of Murray Street Kitchen Wine Charcuterie and some of the farmers who supply the restaurant. Check out the resulting video.
  • Miriam Porter, a Toronto-based journalist who has also produced a lot of Ottawa coverage, gave some additional love to Ottawa during the holidays in her very first piece for Travel and Leisure, entitled Unforgettable Christmas Family Vacation Ideas 
Finalists

Finalists

STARS OF THE CITY

The finalists for this year’s Ottawa Tourism Stars of the City have been announced and the Recognition Evening is set for October 26 at Algonquin College. Congratulations to the finalists. ORDER TICKETS NOW!

2016 FINALISTS

HOST(ESS) WITH THE MOST(EST)
Sponsored by Intercontinental Hotels Group
Alisha Hewson – Westin Ottawa
Nathalie Coutou – Khewa Native Art Boutique
Nhat Huynh– Ottawa Marriott

ABOVE & BEYOND
Sponsored by CF Rideau Centre
Audrey Doyle Richer – Casino du Lac-Leamy
Michael Norris – Delta Ottawa City Centre
Simon Noujaime – Westin Ottawa

STARS WITH HEART
Sponsored by Casino du Lac-Leamy
Martin Roy – Courtyard by Marriott Ottawa East
Shirley Robson – Hotel Indigo
Xiaoling Huang – Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa

STAR TEAM
Sponsored by Ottawa Hotels of the Westmont Hospitality Group Holiday Inn & Suites Ottawa – Kanata and Graffiti’s
Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa
Lord Elgin Hotel and Grill 41
Sheraton Ottawa Hotel
Westin Ottawa

GO THE EXTRA MILE
Sponsored by Ottawa International Airport Authority
Estelle O’Neil – Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa
Katie Jubenville – Hotel Indigo
Tarek Khefifi – Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa

WHAT’S LOST IS FOUND
Sponsored by Algonquin College
Carolyn Montgomery – Lord Elgin Hotel
Natalie Dumont – House of Cheese
Norma Salazar – Cartier Place Suite Hotel

DYNAMIC DUO
Sponsored by Westin Ottawa
Argan Ahmeti & Eric Champagne – Delta Ottawa City Centre
Bernhard Huber & Cristiana Solinas – Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa Culinary Arts Institute
Véronic Gauthier & Marie-Aimée Ndizihiwe – Casino du Lac-Leamy

EVENING STAR
Sponsored by Hendrix Restaurant Equipment and Supplies
Paul Albert – Sheraton Ottawa
Sumi Grewal – Grill 41 at the Lord Elgin Hotel
Tarek Khefefi – Les Suites Hotel, Ottawa

Metrics

Metrics

BY THE NUMBERS

Here’s a snapshot of the latest key metrics on Ottawa Tourism and destination performance across all departments.

  • Media Visits YTD 96
  • 2016 Leisure Program Partnership Support $1 Million
  • New Members YTD 40
  • Travel Trade Sales Leads YTD 400
  • Website visits YTD 2.41 Million
  • YouTube views YTD 566,310
  • Definite Convention Room Nights Booked YTD 63,249