Category: Tourism

Canada doesn’t make the top 20 in Lonely Planet’s traveller’s choice destinations

Lonely Planet just released its traveller’s choice destinations, based on a survey of 3,000 of their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Thorntree fans. The results were revealing:

  • Canada didn’t even crack the overall top 20 destinations. Half of the destinations were Asian, and both Australia and New Zealand made the top five.
  • The big winners? Bhutan, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Thailand, and India.
  • Canada made it into only two categories – it came in ninth in the Nature category. The winners here? Costa Rica, Iceland, New Zealand, Bhutan, and Australia. So even though we feel we “own” nature, and certainly have lots of it, travellers don’t see us as the top destination to go for nature.
  • Canada also came in fourth for safety.
  • We didn’t make it to the top 10 in the adventure category.
  • Bhutan won the prize as best overall destination, and made it into the top 10 in 8 out of 16 criteria. Interesting, as it is not cheap to travel there.

While this survey only sampled a certain type of traveller, it does show that despite our great national tourism brand, we have some work to do when it comes to marketing our country.

Countries that entered the to 10 of most categories in Lonely Planet’s 2013 Traveller’s Choice awards.

What’s wrong with voluntourism in developing countries

If you are considering going on a voluntourism trip to a developing country, think again and watch this video first.

It is very difficult to make a difference in a few days. As Daniela so correctly points out, one has to be in a country a lot longer,  to first of all, learn, and then maybe make a difference.

The quest for adventure

“The word adventure has gotten overused. For me, when everything goes wrong, that’s when adventure starts” – Yvon Chouinard.

Scott Gilbertson describes very eloquently why most people no longer experience real adventures when they travel. We plan everything, and we know what we are getting into because we’ve researched all details of our trip on Tripadvisor and guidebooks, or have asked a travel agent to arrange all details of our trips. Yet we call our trips to faraway places an “adventure”.

180 Degrees South is a great movie that follows Jeff Johnson on a trip to Patagonia. Along the way, lots goes wrong, but it doesn’t matter; the trip is a a great adventure. Along the way we are introduced to Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) and Doug Tompkins (co-founder of the Northface), and the ways they use their fortunes to save the environment.

My greatest adventures have been when things went wrong, like getting stuck in a river in Mongolia, running out of gas in the Gobi desert, or walking through the rainforest of New Guinea without water for 30 hours, or even getting stuck in snow storms in the far northwest of BC. None were planned, but they were all epic adventures in places that are not listed in the guidebooks or on Tripadvisor.

As Mark Twain said: “… throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Oh, and go places where there is no cell phone coverage or Internet, and which are not in the guidebook.

Canada ranked #1 country brand in the world

In 2006, Canada languished at 12th place in Future Brand’s country brand rankings. But four years later, it has grabbed the coveted #1 Country Brand from the US. The rise to the top spot was aided in part by the legacy from the Vancouver Winter Olympics, and the strong Keep. Exploring brand. Congratulations CTC! It’s an honour to have been part of their Brand team.

New Tourism Jasper video

Tourism Jasper just released a catchy new promo video. It describes the town and the park pretty well!


Lyrics for We are more

Shane Koyczan’s slam poem “We Are More“, which he performed at the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Winter Olympics, has proven to be very successful. The Canadian Tourism Commission commissioned Shane to write the poem in 2007 as part of the launch of Canada’s new tourism brand. The poem he performed was a shortened version. The full version is even better; the lyrics are available online, along with more information about Shane.

New Labrador ad

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.

Kayaking the Slave River rapids

We gathered some great action video on the Slave River rapids near Fort Smith NWT this summer. They run a great kayaking paddlefest. Who knew?


How is beer canned?

Watch how they can beer in a micro brewery in the Yukon. It will make your appreciate your next can of beer so much more!

Cultural tourism bigger than believed

A new study that is the first of its kind confirms that cultural and heritage tourism is “huge — and bigger than many people thought in terms of economic impact. The study shows that 78 percent of all US leisure travelers (118.3 million adults) participate in cultural and/or heritage activities while traveling.