CTC News

CTC takes consumer campaign in China to next level.

Second phase targets fully independent traveller segment of this rapidly growing Asian market.

22 June 2011

After the success of its first major consumer campaign in China, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) has moved to a second phase. In the cross hairs: the fully independent traveller (FIT) segment of the Chinese travel market, a fast-developing segment rich in future travel potential.

The campaign microsite has been remodelled to feature five leading travel experiences from each of CTC’s partners: Tourism British Columbia, Travel Alberta, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Tourisme Québec. Each experience (such as whale-watching near Vancouver Island, BC, or taking a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls, ON) has been condensed into a package that includes a video, Google map, images and a link to Ctrip so that consumers can make the booking then and there.

Consumers can also share stories of their Canadian experiences on the campaign microsite to encourage others to follow them. All those who book a trip (and invite three friends to join them) will be entered into a prize draw, with a fantastic jackpot at stake: a chance to follow in the footsteps of their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their royal tour of Canada.

The timing of the royal visit couldn’t have been better for additional exposure in the China market. The campaign microsite features a special travel experience package based on their Royal Highnesses’ (William and Catherine, in case you’ve forgotten) first official overseas trip to Canada. For especially adventurous Chinese travellers, there’s also more information as inspiration for other trips, such as heading north to see the polar bears or the aurora borealis.

CTC-China has also teamed up with Sina Weibo, China’s microblogging giant rival to Twitter, to promote Canada travel during the royal visit. A royal tour microsite will be brimming over with compelling content.

First up will be a live webcast of a travel salon to set the mood for the days ahead, with leading Chinese travel bloggers, editors and travel experts telling tales of their own Canadian experiences. While their Royal Highnesses are on the ground in Canada, three Sina editors will be posting stories, photos and videos of their travels, as well as tweeting them. The microsite will feature royal tour photos in a postcard format, where consumers can pick their favourites, provide a mailing address and let China Post do the rest.

Radio and online banner advertising is promoting CTC’s main campaign on social-media platforms, search engines and micro-blogs, plus lifestyle, news and travel websites. The first phase of the campaign began this past February. The aim of “Say hello to Canada” was to build awareness in an informal way among affluent and well-educated 25- to 34-year-olds. It must have resonated: more than 320,000 Chinese registered on the campaign site for more information.

“Having drawn so much attention in the awareness-building phase of our campaign, we’ve been able to move to booking actual travel experiences far quicker than anticipated,” says Derek Galpin, CTC managing director China/India. “The royal visit to Canada has really captured Chinese consumers’ imagination, so all the photos and stories we get from there should really inspire them to follow in their footsteps.”


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