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Showcasing the North
Territories get tourism money

Katherine Hudson and Tim Edwards
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, February 19, 2011

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - Scenes, activities and people from the North will spread across the country through a new tourism marketing campaign aiming to promote Canada's North as a year-round tourism destination.

NNSL photo/graphic

Fishing trips have long been a tourism standby in the Northwest Territories. Here, Trout Rock Lodge fishing guide Jim Golchert (left) stands with the lodge's Annual Fly Fishing Derby's 2006 winner Ivo Mitsev and his 43 inch pike. - NNSL file photo

This past week, Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, on behalf of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) announced an investment of about $3.5 million for a pan-territorial tourism marketing campaign, titled 'Canada's North Marketing Campaign.'

Territorial Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Bob McLeod said talks with the federal government have been ongoing for years, with all three tourism ministers working together.

The breakdown equals $291,000 a year for each territory over the next four years.

"This funding will be used to attract tourists from across the nation," said McLeod.

"I think that it's going to be a boom for all three territories."

He said the territories have worked successfully to promote the north in the past, especially as they jointly operated 'Canada's Northern House' at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver.

McLeod said key marketing destinations include Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Calgary, and past marketing campaigns in these locations have been successful.

NWT Tourism will be handling the funding on the territory's behalf, according to McLeod, determining which cities and mediums to focus on. The campaign will be geared to individuals with a keen sense of exploration and love of outdoor adventures.

"The NWT Tourism is our marketing arm," he said, saying the organization spends in total $4.8 million this year in the tourism industry and $1.6 million of that in marketing.

Gerry LePrieur, executive director of Northwest Territories Tourism, said a contracting organization made up of resources spanning the territory have been hired and are working as part of the pan-North consortium.

"We put out a competition quite a few months back in anticipation of receiving the funding

and selected our contractor based on that," said LePrieur.

He said the tourism organization, the GNWT and contractors are all sitting at the table together brainstorming how to reach southern markets with a strong message.

"We have our tactics set in place, our timing, our target and the budget's already been set. We are looking at television ads and it's quite possible that we'll be working with a lot of Globe and Mail ads as well. with markets in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia."

He said NWT Tourism is currently working on television and online marketing plans.

"It's very exciting. It's building on things that we've done in the past. We market Canada's north at any opportunity ... It just gives us a chance to make more Canadians aware of what we've got in the NWT," he said.

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