New Campaign GRABS Summer Travellers
The 15 weeks of Alberta summer have just begun and they’ll be gone before you know it. Don’t waste a moment – try something new, be a tourist in your own province, and bring family and friends along for the adventure.
That’s the message driving Travel Alberta’s new regional marketing campaign inviting Albertans to GRAB Summer, reconnect with loved ones, and show off the big-hearted place we call home.
The campaign runs until August 25 and incorporates broadcast, online and print advertising, special deals and packages, as well as media and social media aimed at driving traffic to travelalberta.com where travellers can plan their Alberta staycation.
“The campaign speaks to why it matters to travel within our province and why it also helps to increase the visitor economy by encouraging out-of-province friends and relatives to visit this summer,” says Karen Ward, Travel Alberta’s Director of Consumer Marketing for North America.
This is an ideal time for tourism businesses to promote their products and services through the Alberta Tourism Information Service (ATIS), a free digital marketing service provided by Travel Alberta. Sign up now or learn more about ATIS.
Right Place, Right Time
With the continued downturn in the energy sector and a soft Canadian dollar, more Albertans will be staying home this summer.
This presents a real opportunity to build and diversify, says Ward. “We know that 95 per cent of visitation to Alberta comes from Canadians – 86 per cent from Albertans themselves, who spend close to $5 billion each year travelling at home.”
The strategy behind GRAB Summer is to encourage Albertans to act as tour guides and provincial champions for visiting friends and relatives as they explore the province.
With Tourism Week in Canada just around the corner – May 29 to June 4 – it’s also a great opportunity to raise awareness of tourism in Alberta, an $8 billion industry supporting 127,000 jobs and 19,000 operators.
The GRAB Summer campaign has three main goals – drive rural visitation, increase hotel stays and instill pride of place with Albertans.
Rural Visitation: Through weekly editorial segments on morning television and talk radio, Albertans will learn about a wide variety of events and festivals, rural experiences and unique things to see and do. This will be augmented by social media, and urban and rural print.
“The goal is to encourage Alberta consumers to not only visit the areas they are familiar with but to provide them with additional tools to explore lesser known experiences or ‘hidden gems’ along the way,” says Ward.
Increase Hotel Stays: The objective here is to support hoteliers by encouraging Albertans to invite their out-of-province friends and relatives to experience Alberta, leading to increased hotel stays.
To stimulate the Visiting Friends and Relatives segment, Travel Alberta worked with Air Canada to develop a special 25 per cent discount on tango fares from anywhere in Canada to Alberta. The travel period is June 1 to Sept. 6, 2016 with no summer black-outs. Tickets must be purchased by May 28.
Travel Alberta will also work with regional tourism operators to create enticing travel packages, promotions and itineraries to encourage bookings.
Instill Pride of Place: Marketing efforts will build on the strength of the Alberta tourism brand (remember to breathe) and celebrate the resilience of Albertans against the backdrop of a challenging economy and the devastation of the recent wildfires in Fort McMurray and area.
“Albertans are proud of their province, and they love to show it off,” says Ward. “This summer is a perfect time for us to encourage them to make the most of the next 15 weeks, reach out and grab some memories.”