News releases

Connecting with Canadians - CTC creates memories before medals

Vancouver, BC, July 16, 2009 – Even before the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games begin, some lucky Canadians will rub elbows with Olympic athletes this summer.

The Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) and its partners are sending elite athletes from around the world and their families to Canada. It’s all part of a program called Connecting with Canadians, which launches this week in Calgary, AB.

The families and athletes have the chance to meet locals, have adventures and make memories before the competitors return in February to make Olympic history. The CTC will share their stories with key media markets around the world.

“Connecting with Canadians is an innovative way to promote tourism and showcase Canada as a unique and exciting destination leading up to the 2010 Winter Games,” said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism).

The first to arrive is Lee Kyou-Hyuk, a South Korean long-track speed skater. Lee and his family are spending time in Calgary and Vancouver, BC. Their itinerary, developed with Travel Alberta and Tourism Vancouver, has an ice theme. A three-person crew from South Korea’s SBS-TV is recording the family’s adventures for a full documentary airing in January 2010.

“We’re thrilled to invite these athletes and their families to explore Canada and genuinely connect with Canadians,” said Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. “Exposure like this comes only once in a lifetime; collectively with our tourism industry, we will show the world that this is where great stories and extraordinary experiences happen—and the time to visit is now.”

About the CTC
The CTC is Canada’s national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For weekly updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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For further information, please contact:

Jitka Licenik
Corporate Communications Advisor / Conseillère en communications
Canadian Tourism Commission / Commission canadienne du tourisme
Tel/ Tél 604 638-2482
Fax/ Téléc 604 638-8438
licenik [dot] jitka [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca
www.canada.travel/corporate