Contest on Explore Canada Like a Local website lets consumers have their say as influential bloggers hit the road.
First up: a new program with American Express Publishing. Here, three respected bloggers are packing their bags and heading across the border to discover Canadian travel experiences. On the road, they will chronicle (warts and all) what they see via mobile apps onto CTC’s Explore Canada Like a Local website, as well as leave tips for future travellers.
The Canadian Trailblazer Contest forms an integral part: consumers can pick three spots for the bloggers to check out en route, and in doing so enter a prize draw for the “Trip of a Lifetime” in Canada. The lucky three on the road are: food blogger MattBites, who started in Halifax, NS; Grace Bonney, aka Design*Sponge, who is keen to investigate the hotbed of architecture, design and fashion in Toronto, ON; and Matt Long, aka LandLopers, is still deciding where to place his pins on Canada’s map.
The contest is being reinforced by advertising on the Travel + Leisure and Food & Wine websites. Canadian partners for the program are Tourism Nova Scotia and Tourism Toronto. The contest ends on July 8.
Elsewhere, CTC has tied the ribbon on a partnership with Matador Network alongside Explore Canada Like a Local. Over the course of this summer and fall, Matador journalists will spread far and wide across Canada to immerse themselves in itspeople, places, and cultures.
But these aren’t your average press trips; the journos will have carte blanche to make their own stories, investigating what they want and, in doing so, shine a light on the essence of Canada via text, photos and videos. Or all three at once! Some examples: back-country camping in Thunder Bay, ON; culinary bike trails in Quebec; and exploring the wilderness beaches of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, BC.
Over the next few months, Matador members will create at least 40 lists on Explore Canada Like a Local. This partnership will also result in two contests, with fully sponsored trips to Canada up for grabs.
In other social-media news, CTC came runner-up in the “Best use of a social media platform” category in Travel + Leisure’sinaugural Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards (SMITTYS) for Explore Canada Like a Local. Entrants came from far and wide, including airlines, airports, convention and visitor bureaus, tour operators, travel agencies and hotels.
“Travel blogging communities are increasingly important in people making travel plans,” says Gloria Loree, CTC executive director, Global Communications. “By harnessing such influential voices and on such respected platforms means that we will be exposing Canadian travel experiences to a wide and passionate audience.”