Category: Tourism

Floatplane video

Fly through the mountains of the Yukon by floatplane. Great footage of an iconic Canadian experience.

Taste Yukon fireweed honey

Learn how fireweed honey is made up in the Yukon. Discover Dredge #4, one of the behemoths that dredged the Klondike for gold. Find ancient mammoth tusks among the permafrost. View these and more of our latest travel docos from the Yukon!

Build a lobster trap, play the ugly stick

Want to know what a Newfoundland ugly stick is? Did you always want to build a lobster trap? Or what it is like to ride a ferry in a 40 knot gale? Find out from our new CTC travel docos!


Contiki is promoting yet another travel trend: nearvacations. These are nearby or local outings, for people who want to venture a little further from home than a staycation. Makes sense in a recession.

Grouse Mountain wind turbine

Vancouver gained another icon this weekend: a 65-m tall wind turbine on the top of Grouse Mountain. It is the first wind turbine in BC, and expected to produce enough electricity to power 400 homes, which is 20-25% of Grouse mountain’s electricity needs. The unique aspect of the turbine is the small observation pod near the top – the first of its kind in the world. An elevator inside the tower will take visitors to the pod, from which they will have a stunning 360 degree view over the city and mountains. Smart idea; this creates another (unique) tourist attraction on the mountain, and provides education about renewable energy sources. It will be fully operational in time for the Olympics.

Lunch as an experience

Lunch provided by OnePlanet catering

Usually lunches that are provided at a meeting are same old, same old: some sandwiches wrapped in plastic, or with some luck a salad. Certainly nothing to remember, or write about. Enter Oneplanet catering. These guys deliver lunches in slick wooden boxes, which reveal fresh sandwiches, a salad, and desert, all made from fresh and local ingredients. And note the real cutlery and napkin, and especially the little turtles for salt and pepper.

Now this is a lunch to remember. Highly recommended.

Lunch provided by OnePlanet catering

Banff ground squirrel – squirrelizer

The famous Banff ground squirrel is still getting more social media attention. An enterprising soul has created a squirrelizer – a website where you can add the famous squirrel to your own images. And Banff Lake Louise Tourism’s Banff Crasher Squirrel movie has had 15,000 views over the past few days. Not bad for a an innocent little rodent.

Of course I am adding to the viral effect with this post too…

Banff ground squirrel becomes a social media sensation

Banffs famous groundsquirrel

Banff's famous ground squirrel (from

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.

Inspiring Icelandic music

This music video reminded me very much of this year’s Newfoundland and Labrador tourism ads. Since I love Newfoundland, I know I will love Iceland…

Success of world’s best job continues…

The success of the World’s greatest job continues. The campaign cleaned up at the Cannes ad awards, winning a total of six awards. So far it has generated about US$160 million in ad value globally. Not bad for a state tourism ad campaign!