Travel Alberta

Connecting America Co-op Marketing Program

Over 30 million Americans are keen to visit Canada in the next two years. Destination Canada wants to convert these intenders into actual visitors. To achieve this, we want to co-invest into our partners’ integrated US marketing initiatives.

“Connecting America” is Destination Canada’s national marketing program aimed at raising America’s awareness of Canada as a travel destination. Together with the Canadian tourism industry, we’re engaging American travellers, inviting and motivating them to see Canada as their next destination.

We’re seeking creative marketing proposals to co-invest into initiatives that drive collaboration and innovation from sectors like skiing, angling, culinary, golf and festivals & events…just to name a few.

The Details

Destination Canada is seeking to invest into the most creative tourism marketing initiatives that will compel US travellers to visit Canada.

As an industry, we need to:

  • Creatively show American travellers how we’re unique and different; Canada is warm and exciting with urban sophistication;
  • Highlight the variety of unique world-class experiences Canada has to offer; and
  • Most importantly, leverage Canadians who are the world’s best hosts, to welcome American travellers from coast to coast to coast and provide an insider’s view of our best travel experiences.

Destination Canada’s research shows that the highest potential visitors to Canada in the next two years are “Learners” (Cultural Explorers & Authentic Experiencers), aged 25-44 and 55+, most likely to travel in summer and live in one of the following 12 US cities with direct flights to multiple destinations in Canada: New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, Chicago, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Seattle-Tacoma, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and Atlanta.

Learners participate in the cultural and interest/passion based activities of the destination. Their core motivation to travel is to learn about and experience other cultures, while wanting a break from the norm. Learners go with the flow and always seem to find the hidden local hang out spots; they love to be mistaken for a local. They make sincere connections and want memorable and worthwhile experiences without having to go to the other side of the world.

Our Creative Mission

Get US travellers who think they know Canada to consider Canada for their next vacation by changing their perception of our country through welcoming them to experience the unexpected side of Canada.

Investment Levels

Destination Canada may match up to a maximum of 50 cents to the dollar to a maximum of $500,000 for any single proposal. Destination Canada reserves the right to invest to a lower ratio pending its evaluation of the partner’s submission and the overall demand on the Connecting America Program.

Key Investment Criteria

25% - Creativity (new and non-traditional initiative)

20% - Cross-provincial/territorial partnerships

15% - Alignment of marketing objectives, goals and strategies

10% - Measurable outcomes

10% - Collaboration with various partners

5% - Target Markets

5% - Target Audience

5% - Funding from private organizations >40%

5% - Agency management fees/operating expenses <15%

100% - TOTAL

Criteria definitions and Suggestions for successful submissions:

  • New and innovative initiatives – proposals supporting existing programs already in place or repeated from prior years will be eliminated.
  • Non-traditional alliances that demonstrate pan-national, inter-provincial/territorial, cross-industry and other comprehensive partnerships.
  • Collaboration of multiple partners such as destinations, tourism experiences, transportation, accommodations, etc.
  • DMO or PMO support considered an asset.
  • Marketing goals, strategy and channel integration aligned with Destination Canada
  • Strong and well defined KPIs.
  • Focus on reaching Destination Canada’s target audience living in one or more of identified target cities.
  • Target Audience is made up of “Learners” ages 25-44 and 55+
  • Total funding from private organizations is greater than 40%.
    Note: Destination Marketing Funds are considered by Destination Canada as public money.
  • Budget allocated for agency management fees and other operations expenses cannot exceed 15% of the total program budget. We are seeking to maximize the investment that goes onto the screen
  • Destination Canada will seek rights to the creative assets utilized in your initiative; providing confirmation of usage rights will be considered an asset.

Timing of Submissions

Destination Canada will evaluate proposals following the submission deadline period.

  • Spring-Summer round deadline: November 30, 2016
  • Fall-Winter round deadline: April 30, 2017


Are you ready to submit a proposal to Destination Canada? Tell us more about your marketing plans. Complete our Application Form and submit by the listed deadline.

All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated based on the criteria and weighting outlined in the application form, and all submission principal contacts will be notified whether they were successful or not.

Read this news item on the Destination Canada website corporate news page.

Destination Canada