CTC News

FAM-tastic: international media deliver compelling travel stories of Canada.

Discovering the hidden gems of a Canadian winter delivered storytelling gold for journalists from our overseas markets.

26 March 2015

There’s magic in the air during a Canadian winter. It’s not just the great skiing and snowboarding—the festivals, dog sledding, aurora borealis viewing and the genuine warmth of the Canadian people make our country unique. This combination also makes for a heady set of ingredients for storytelling by international media on FAM (familiarization) trips, who experience this wonderland first-hand.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s in-market offices plan these trips for leading broadcasters, bloggers, photographers and journalists from its major international markets. The first three months of 2015 have already delivered some cracking tales.

Brazil: The wonders of a Canadian winter were the carrot for Brazilian media. CTC-Brazil teamed up with its Latin American colleagues in Mexico and the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation to bring reps from Trave3 and the Viaje na Viagem blog toexperience Winterlude and Ottawa in February. The latter is Brazil’s leading travel site for Portuguese readers. Later that month, TAM Viagens Magazineand TAM Viagens TV came to Toronto, ON, to work on a special feature and video to be viewed by travellers in aircrafts and departure lounges.

Germany: It was all white during the German media’s recent press trip to Alberta and British Columbia. Themed Safari White, five journalists from leading daily newspapers, ski magazines and online publications made the powder fly in Sunshine Village, Mount Norquay, Lake Louise, Revelstoke and Sun Peaksduring their seven-night January stay. They even managed to squeeze in a day’s heli-skiing, snowshoeing by moonlight in Sun Peaks plus a trip to the Johnston Canyon Icewalk. Partners for the FAM trip were Travel Alberta, Destination British Columbia and German tour operator Club Stumböck Reisen.

Australia: Ontario winter festivals were the big draw for Aussie scribe Lance Richardson. Writing for Fairfax Media, Richardson went to Winterlicious in Toronto and Winterlude in Ottawa, plus squeezed in a hockey game. Travel writer Jennifer Ennion headed to Yukon for the winter trip of a lifetime, covering the Yukon Quest—which included meeting the sled dogs—for a lengthy feature in Wild magazine.

South Korea: There was a hat-trick of FAM trips from this Asian market in the first quarter of 2015. TV star Guillaume Patry revisited his hometown Québec City for Traveller magazine to show off the city’s hidden gems, including food, craft beer, dogsledding and the Ice Hotel. The result was a 22-page cover story in South Korea’s leading travel publication. KBSTV came to Yellowknife, NWT, to film the Northern Lights for a show in January. The coverage was so good that “aurora” became the No. 1 search term on Naver, South Korea’s primary search engine. Completing the trio, a journalist fromTravellermagazine also went to Vancouver, BC, to sample the craft beer scene for a feature slated to run in April.

France: Four French magazine and newspaper journalists went on a FAM trip to Ontario and Quebec to sample Winterlude and Ottawa. Among the highlights were the Crystal Garden, the Parliament buildings and a trip to Nordik Spa, plus snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dogsledding.


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