News releases

Go Local This Summer - Canadian Celebrities Reveal Their Hidden Travel Gems on localsknow.ca

Vancouver, BC, July 23, 2009 – From plunging into a mountain-fed aquamarine lake in Alberta, to kayaking on the crystal-clear waters of Georgian Bay, to indulging in a gastronomic Maritime road trip, close to 30 well-known Canadian faces are demonstrating their heart-felt pride for this country by sharing their personal Canadian hideaways at www.localsknow.ca.

Recently named one of Forbes.com’s top ten travel campaigns in the world, the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC)’s LOCALS KNOW campaign encourages Canadians to share their own authentic stories, comments and photos of Canada’s hidden travel spots with each other.

Supplementing the CTC’s “Canada is a Big Place” blog, some of the country’s greatest authors, artists and athletes have joined thousands of Canadians in uploading their travel gems. Here are just a few of their favourite places. To view close to 30 celebrity favourites, please click here.

ADAM VAN KOEVERDEN, OLYMPIC GOLD, SILVER AND BRONZE MEDALLIST, CANOE/KAYAK - FLATWATER
"Algonquin Park is like Ontario's big back yard, I love paddling canoes and kayaks, and the park is like a paddler's paradise. Ontario is lucky to have so many incredibly beautiful parks and outdoor destinations. Discovering them is a great way to get back to nature and truly enjoy what Canada is so famous for around the world."

GORDON PINSENT, ACTOR
“Cape Spear, Newfoundland – the farthest eastern point of the New World - is an easy 45 Minute drive from St. John’s; and can be breathtaking in most weather, with the Atlantic bashing its shores, the Lighthouse, posing for your cameras, and the local surroundings, easy to traverse. I have found this spot to have an entirely different and special feel to it, and I have found myself, seated for long periods of time, having the mind  'washed' by the visiting Atlantic, and the sights of this part of the island. You may find it an 'anchor', to hold you to this delightful spot, until you're ready to return to home and work, more refreshed, than when you came.”

FRASER WALTERS, SINGER, THE CANADIAN TENORS  
“Having grown up in the lower-mainland of British Columbia, I am thrilled whenever we are able to tour my home province. While recently performing in the gorgeous Okanagan Valley, the Tenors had the opportunity to visit a winery, go golfing and even do some wakeboarding on Osoyoos Lake…”

Since the campaign launched on June 1, 2009, over 10,000 Canadians have been logging onto the website (www.localsknow.ca/www.secretdici.ca) each day, uploading over 3,600 photos of their local travel gems and generating over 2.3 million page views to date. Thousands of Canadians have become the country’s trusted travel experts, encouraging each other to discover their own backyard this summer.

“We’re thrilled by the overwhelming public response,” says Michele McKenzie, the CTC’s president and CEO. “This campaign provides an exciting opportunity to showcase all that Canada has to offer beyond our well-known icons and highlights some great summer getaway deals available in Canada. We love that Canadians are so interested in exploring their country and engaged in sharing their own local secrets with one another.”

LOCALS KNOW Uncovers Top Ten Hidden Destinations
The number one hidden travel spot based on the number of views received to date is Georgian Bay, Tobermory, Ontario, with over 112,000 hits. Featuring a picturesque image of crystal-blue waters that could be mistaken for a Caribbean getaway, it generated a firestorm of enthusiastic comments on the website, such as: “Tyler” writes, “The clear water, fresh air, the Milky Way across the night sky…truly something every Canadian should see.”  Another Canadian, “mlee”, continues, “Tell me please, why have I been going all the way to Hawaii for those crystal clear waters all these years?”

Rounding out the top three most-viewed hidden travel spots are: 

  • Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park, Chilcotin Uplands, British Columbia – “My family has ridden horses through these mountains for decades, very beautiful, peaceful and worth it! This really captures Beautiful British Columbia.” – Heather
  • Athabasca Sand Dunes, Lake Athabasca, Saskatchewan – “We passed through on our cross-Canada road trip last year. Amazing!” – GAM

To see the complete top ten list, please localsknow [at] tor [dot] ddb [dot] ca (click here).

Become a travel expert!
There is still time to take part in the LOCALS KNOW campaign. Until July 31, 2009, Canadians can log onto www.localsknow.ca and upload a photo of their favourite “unknown” Canadian destination. Participants may also enter to win one million Aeroplan® Miles to inspire them to see undiscovered areas of the country. In addition, the Canadian travel industry has come together to offer some great summer vacation deals. Details can be found at www.localsknow.ca.

About LOCALS KNOW
LOCALS KNOW, a national, integrated advertising campaign (print, magazine, TV and online), was launched by the CTC and Canada’s tourism industry on June 1, 2009. The campaign has been made possible by special stimulus funding from the Government of Canada. The CTC is investing $10 million per year in the next two fiscal years to support the tourism industry and stimulate Canada’s economy.

The eight-week campaign focuses on the unexpected, encouraging Canadians to seek out new and exotic experiences in places they didn’t know existed. Almost all provinces and territories, as well as other industry partners both large and small, are participating in the national program. 

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 further information, please contact:

Keka DasGupta
Director
DDB Public Relations
Tel/416-972-7727
keka [dot] dasgupta [at] can [dot] ddbpr [dot] com

Marcus Wong
Corporate Communications Advisor
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel/604-638-8411
Fax/604-638-8438
wong [dot] marcus [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca
www.canada.travel