Massive strides have been made in driving the recovery of the tourism industry, both here in Canada and around the globe. As demand for travel and tourism continues to rise, there is an immense opportunity for our sector.
“In Canada alone, tourism has the potential to generate more than $142 billion by 2030.”
While challenges certainly remain, it’s important that we work collectively to seize this opportunity. It means that we as a country must sharpen how we show up on the world stage. There’s no question that we already boast an incredibly strong nation-brand—but in today’s fiercely competitive travel marketplace, we need to do even more to stand out from the crowd.
A New Global Brand Strategy
That’s why, over the past several months, Destination Canada has unveiled a powerful new global brand strategy. Our ultimate goal: to put Canada on the map by positioning it as a destination that inspires radical openness.
So, how did we get here? We delved into the societal shifts together with industry realities—and looked at the motivations and desires of today’s travellers. By doing so, we uncovered a universal truth that has grounded our work in rediscovering who we are: in a world that makes us feel trapped, guests are longing to break free. Beyond another travel experience, they want space for growth, enrichment, and true transformation.
“Guests are longing to break free.”
That’s exactly where Canada shines. Our country has wide-open spaces and larger-than-life landscapes that inspire awe, open hearts that foster a sense of belonging, and open minds that fuel refreshing perspectives. It’s precisely this unique blend of openness that sets Canada apart, offering the expansiveness that travellers crave more than ever.
That brings us to our next question: How do we showcase our unique blend of openness when inspiring guests to discover what our country has to offer? Over the past year, our team has been hard at work unveiling our brand strategy through a series of traditional—along with unconventional—marketing initiatives.
One of our key activations took place earlier this year: TED@DestinationCanada. We realized that if we wanted global travellers to reimagine what they already knew about Canada, we had to drive new conversations about what sets us apart. So, through a first-of-its-kind partnership with TED, 14 visionary minds took the stage at the TED Theater in New York. These speakers and their unique ideas represented all regions of our country, a span of generations, a wealth of backgrounds, and a diversity of perspectives. Topics spanned from polar bears and climate change to video games and artificial intelligence—and each one centered around Canada’s openness. TED@DestinationCanada offered a novel approach to how we can bring the narrative of a nation to life for global audiences and ultimately, inspire action. Talks are available on TED.com, and these stories will continue to be leveraged in our work.
New Marketing Campaigns
We’ve also launched new marketing campaigns aligned with this brand positioning. One of them invited Americans to take a new kind of leave—a Maple Leave—and escape for a stress-free vacation to Canada. The 60-second spot launched on January 17; a day known as “Blue Monday.” At a time when travellers are seeking to de-stress, it encouraged them to connect with nature, passions, and most importantly, themselves.
“The Open if You Are campaign challenged a variety of myths and misconceptions.”
Our team also launched our Open if You Are campaign in the US, which challenged a variety of myths and misconceptions that are stopping guests from thinking about Canada as a long-haul travel destination. Our objective was to inspire, surprise, and immerse travellers in Canada’s diverse experiences, as well as its unique blend of openness through a 30-second spot.
That’s only the beginning of this exciting time at Destination Canada, along with partners from coast to coast to coast. As we continue to propel our new brand strategy forward, we will launch additional brand campaigns throughout the coming years. And most of all, we will continue to find powerful ways to inspire guests to experience Canada’s open spaces, open hearts, and open minds. We can’t wait for what’s in store!
Gloria Loree is Senior Vice-President, Marketing Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer at Destination Canada.
Main photo courtesy of Destination Canada