Journalists and bloggers fanned out across the country seeking inspiration from our country’s great culinary, urban and outdoor travel experiences.
Nothing puts a spring in a journalist’s step more than the prospect of a good story. Compelling narrative, eye-candy images or fantastic footage: Canada has unrivalled storytelling opportunities for international media.
Destination Canada’s in-market offices regularly organize FAM (familiarization) trips for top broadcasters, bloggers, Instagrammers, photographers, journalists and vloggers from its major international markets. Here’s a look at their story muses for the second quarter of 2015.
UK: Four UK bloggers—Gary Bembridge, Lucy Dodsworth, Zoe Dawes and Kathryn Burrington—came to British Columbia in the spring to see bears as they emerged from hibernation. The bloggers, who are part of a writing consortium, first went to Victoria to check out some whales before heading up to Knight Inlet Lodgeto “meet” the locals, sharing their stories on social media along the way. Their FAM trip concluded with some food and cultural experiences in Vancouver. Destination Canada-UK partnered with Destination British Columbia for the trip. It was a big success on social media, garnering some eight million impressions from the build-up and through the time in Canada.
Brazil: Destination Canada’s Brazil office looked to harness the increasing power of YouTube by helping two leading Brazilian bloggers travel to Canada in the spring. Átila Ximenes, Vou Contigo Lifestyleblog creator and filmmaker, and Daniel Thompson, Mochileiro das Maravilhas blogger and filmmaker, journeyed to Vancouver, Whitehorse, Jasper, Banff and Lake Louise, and Toronto. Their travels, including food, nature, cultural and urban experiences, will be converted into an eight-episode web series, including a 25-minute grand finale episode.
Australia: Destination Canada-Australia supported a FAM trip to Yukonfor leading product managers and Christina Pfeiffer, writer and editor of traveltherenext. The group experienced wilderness lodges, dog sledding, wildlife, local cuisine and the majestic aurora borealis. Elsewhere, Canadian Music Week provided the hook (and rhythm) for a FAM trip covering food, wine and local rock in Toronto and Niagara Falls, ON, for journalist Iain Shedden from The Australian.
China: Collaborating with Travel Alberta, Destination Canada’s China office organized a FAM trip for eight Chinese media reps from Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou for summer adventures in Edmonton and Jasper. Earlier in the spring, seven journalists came to British Columbia as part of an eight-day FAM trip focused on the Vancouver Marathon, organized with Destination British Columbia.
Germany: The spectacular wonders of Ivvavik National Park, YK, were the focus of a trip co-organized by Destination Canada’s Germany office for eight media reps and four tour operators. Journeying into the land of the midnight sun, they enjoyed local food and hikes into the wilderness, bookended by stays in Whitehorse and Dawson City.
Mexico: Lorena Velasco, Viaja Bonito contributor, and Jessica Garbarino, editor of Bleu & Blanc magazine, travelled to Ottawa, ON, this past February for a winter FAM trip that focused on Winterlude, alongside a visit to the Canadian Museum of History, Parliament Hill, skating on the Rideau Canal, a spa trip and sampling lots of Canadian cuisine. Bleu & Blanc’scoverage is scheduled to run in fall, just in time for winter 2016 in Canada.
South Korea: Looking to capitalize on the growing independent traveller market here, Destination Canada’s South Korea office teamed up with Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation, Asiana Airlines and local broadcaster MBC to bring two celebrities to Ontario. Yong-kun Kim and Mr. Kangnam took in summer experiences in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Blue Mountain and Tobermory on a whirlwind seven-night stay. The trip will be turned into two 30-minute episodes for the primetime “I Live Alone” TV show.