News releases

The King of Bollywood joins forces with the Canadian Tourism Commission

Kumar signs on as the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Ambassador for India

Vancouver, B.C. June 28, 2010– Bollywood megastar Akshay Kumar will leverage his celebrity status in India to promote Canada as a premier four-season destination in his new role as the Canadian Tourism Commission’s (CTC) Ambassador for India. “King” Kumar, as he is lovingly called by his fans, carried the Olympic torch for Canada in Toronto during the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay.

“We’re thrilled that Akshay Kumar has agreed to be the CTC’s Ambassador for India,” says Michele McKenzie, president and CEO of the CTC. “Having a superstar like Akshay on board to boost Canada’s profile within his country will help turn the spotlight on the extra-ordinary experiences that visitors can enjoy here.”

Kumar, who has enjoyed a strong relationship with Canada since his first visit in 1995, will act as the CTC’s Ambassador for India until summer 2012. The partnership will involve familiarization trips (“fams”) across Canada, which will be captured for local and Indian media in video and blog posts.

Says Kumar, ”I am very honoured and privileged to have been asked to represent the CTC as their Ambassador for India.  Canada is my second home and I am truly proud to encourage and promote Canadian tourism in India. I have an extremely strong connection to this great land and its warm people.”

The CTC entered the Indian market in 2009 as part of its emerging markets strategy to inspire high-yield travelers to visit Canada. India is characterized by an aspirational lifestyle, fuelled by a growing middle class and sustained economic growth. In 2009, Indian leisure travellers injected $82 million into the Canadian economy.

About Akshay Kumar
Throughout his career, Akshay Kumar has amassed a global following and built a reputation as one of India’s most trusted, bankable and likeable entertainers. Kumar began his career in 1993 and has since made over 140 films. He has been lauded as everything from India’s Jackie Chan, to one of the Sexiest Men Alive. His rugged good looks and dare-devil persona have allowed him to introduce martial arts to Bollywood cinema, thus becoming one of Bollywood’s first true action heroes. Kumar has seen multiple box office successes throughout his career, earning him a number cinematic awards and the nickname “King Kumar.” He has spent a great deal of time in Canada and supports many Canadian causes, including the Trillium Health Centre in Toronto. In May 2008, Kumar received an honourary Doctorate of Laws degree from the University of Windsor for his exceptional work in the film industry and his philanthropic endeavours.

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 regular updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

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For more information and to request B-Roll or images, please contact:
Kelly Laver
Corporate Communications Coordinator
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel/604-638-8439
laver [dot] kelly [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca

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