Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador launched another ad in its already very successful ad campaign. This latest ad features Torngat Mountains National Park in northern Nunatsiavut. Great footage, and bound to turn some heads – in fact the ad on YouTube already received over 5,800 views in its first two weeks.
Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) spend millions of dollars to produce the perfect photos and videos to attract the attention of visitors and the media. Nowadays we do our best to get this content out into the social media spehere to try and attract some attention. Yet, as the Banff ground squirrel has shown us in the last week, nowadays it is not the carefully staged hero photo or travel video that makes it – it is a simple snapshot gone wrong when a curious ground squirrel decided to jump into the frame. Totally unplanned and unstaged, but utterly classic – no ad agency could have replicated such an honest moment in any photo shoot. The picture was featured in the media around the world, making the front-page of many national newspapers, and being featured on newscasts worldwide.
It reminded me of Susan Boyle, the Brittish Got Talent sensation. No-one would have guessed she would be successful, but 73 million YouTube views don’t lie.
The question is, how does one find a groundsquirrel or a Susan Boyle? These examples show that one doesn’t – they have to come to you. They must be real moments, real people. Such is the new reality of social media.
Who is Canada’s next ground squirrel? It may well be Lucky the dog. Lucky stars in several YouTube videos from Labrador – one with a collapsing iceberg, and several where he valiantly barks at nearby humpback whales. With his trademark red doggie lifevest, Lucky may one of these days become a social media sensation as well.
But what can a DMO do to prepare when such an opportunity does present itself? Be ready. Create a social media strategy, have a Youtube and Flickr channel ready to upload such a video or photo too, and most importantly, have a Public Relations strategy in place to get the word out to the mainstream media as well. Then, if a great opportunity presents itself, you can capitalize on it immediately. Banff Lake Louise Tourism’s PR team went into overdrive the minute they realized the power of this picture, and the results were phenomenal. Tourism Newfoundland and Labrador has also worked hard to promote Lucky, and find additional footage of him.
The first ultra luxury expedition ship, the Prince Albert II, has just taken on its first passengers in London. Think marble-floored bathrooms, private balconies, a library, and to top it off, The Humidor, where connoisseurs can enjoy the finest cigars and cognacs.
It will take a cruise of Labrador this summer, including a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park, adding to the number of small cruise ships already exploring the Labrador coast. It will be a luxury cruise, for sure, but nowhere as authentic as a trip on the local Northern Ranger! Hmm, cigars or hanging out with the locals? I’ll hang out with the locals!
I recently wrote an article on my trip to northern Labrador last summer for our media centre at the Canadian Tourism Commission. We hope it will attract some additional media attention for this spectacular corner of the country.
Thereâ€™s a reason why the locals call it â€œour beautiful land.â€ Be the one to find out why on a new polar bear research tour. Read full article.
I have created a landing page for the Torngat Mountains National Park photos with some links to additional information on the web (the little that is available).
The page uses a refreshed design. I will gradually move the rest of the site to the new design as well.
I just returned from a fantastic trip to northern Labrador (map). As part of the trip, I took the Northern Ranger back from Nain to Goose Bay. The Northern Ranger is a passenger/freight supply ship Serving communities between Black Tickle and Nain, Labrador. The ship is not aimed at tourists – it is truly a lifeline for the local communities. However, this provides a truly authentic cultural experience. This is the Labrador as the locals live it. Highly recommended.
As there is very little information available online, I have created a Northern Ranger page.
I will report on the Torngat Mountains and the communities along the way soon.
I am fortunate to have been invited by Parks Canada to visit Torngat National Park in northern Labrador later next week. We’ll be looking at strategies to encourage visitation to the park.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, I see Labrador as one of Canada’s hot new destinations. From the research that I have done so far, it looks like I’m not far off. While the Yukon and NWT are reasonably well-known and well-visited, and there are still several operators who organize trips to Nunavut, hardly anyone goes to Labrador. The entire region appears to be more remote and wild than just about any other place in the country. Getting there is an adventure in itself…
I plan to take the Northern Ranger back from Nain to Goose Bay, stopping by all the coastal communities. Hopefully I’ll return with an armload full of new experiences.
Canadian Geographic of May/June 2007 has a great arcticle by the first visitors to Torngat Mountains National park in Labrador, Canada’s newest national park. The article includes an online in-depth backgrounder. This is definitely a must-visit park, if one can manage the polar bears, who seem to be as thick as rabbits in the park.
I see Labrador as one of Canada’s hottest new destinations – I’ll have to find a way to get there. There is much more to do there.