Destination Greater Victoria is launching a marketing campaign aimed at bringing tourists to the region following the decline in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organization invested more than $2.2 million in the campaign, which will target people in the Lower Mainland, Calgary, Toronto, Washington state and California, as well as secondary markets in B.C. and Alberta.
“This campaign is Destination Greater Victoria’s most significant campaign ever and is carefully planned to help stimulate and drive recovery,” said Paul Nursey, president and CEO of Destination Greater Victoria.
“These investments are orders of magnitude higher than for any pre-COVID-19 year. Due to significant overhead reductions, we were able to muster these resources despite poor revenues for our organization throughout the pandemic.”
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It is important, according to Destination Greater Victoria, for a region to have tourists from a variety of locations for the recovery of the market.
A spokesperson for Destination Greater Victoria said in 2020 business in the region decreased by about 90 per cent compared to a typical pre-COVID year. In 2021, the decrease was about 50 per cent.
While the organization plans to target the Lower Mainland as a core market, additional efforts will be made to advertise to Washington and California, while advertising the conversion rate which makes Greater Victoria a more affordable vacation destination for American tourists.
“Re-introducing Greater Victoria’s travel brand into key source markets such as Washington state and California, where competitive travel marketers within the United States have been very active for the past two years, will present some challenges,” Nursey said. “[H]owever, we are confident that Greater Victoria has a solid reputation to build upon. Our goal is to help stimulate recovery that is wide and deep for as many members as possible.”
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Destination Greater Victoria also has plans for strategic partnerships with the Coho and Clipper ferries to help drive tourism from the U.S.
“Destination Greater Victoria’s recovery marketing campaign will help catalyze our business as we relaunch our service,” said David Gudgel, CEO, FRS Clipper. “The last two years have been very difficult, but we are excited for the spring and summer. Destination Greater Victoria have been tremendous partners and we thank them for their support.”