VSPC Targets Canada on Multi-City Blitz

August events draw media, sales reps; blitz continues with October trade shows, online campaign

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

St. Pete/Clearwater, FL (September 1, 2009) – Visit St. Pete/Clearwater’s Leisure Travel and PR Departments returned last week from a ten-day, multi-city media and sales blitz that targeted one of the area’s longest-standing international markets: Canada. 

VSPC Executive Director DT Minich (pictured above) and local hotel partners also accompanied the group for part of the tour, meeting face-to-face with high-profile industry sales and media reps to promote the area’s latest developments.

—Canada is one of our top markets, and we’re committed to not just maintaining our presence there, but to growing it even larger,” said Rosemarie Payne, VSPC’s Director of Leisure Travel USA & Canada. 

The blitz involved several types of outreaches, including the 7th annual Beaches & Baseball event at Toronto’s Rogers Centre that drew more than 60 top tour agents and media members, as well as onsite training sessions for more than 200 agents from Canadian travel giants Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing Vacations and itravel2000. 

Representatives from local partners---including the Alden Beach Resort, JC Resorts, TradeWinds Island Resorts, Bilmar Beach Resort and Sunset Vistas---joined VSPC at Thomas Cook product launches in Montreal & Toronto, which drew more than 1,400 travel agents eager to learn about the St. Pete/Clearwater product. 

The team also met with representatives from Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) offices in Montreal, Brossard and Terrebonne, who extended an invitation for a return trip to Quebec to conduct destination training in all 20 of their offices and 90 travel councilors.

Senior PR Manager Mary Haban met with a constant stream of media, securing front-page placement in some of the country’s top trade publications (click on links to view coverage), including: Canadian Travel Press (8/24)Travel Hot News (8/26)OpenJaw (8/26)Travel Industry Today (8/27)Canadian Travel Press (8/31) and Travel Industry Today (8/31).

The blitz is the first wave of a sustained PR, sales and advertising campaign in the Canadian market. By reallocating Canadian-market funding as part of a CVB-wide reorganization earlier this year, VSPC was able to quadruple the direct consumer advertising budget for that market.

VSPC’s Leisure and PR departments return to Canada in October to attend Discover America Day and the Addison Tradeshows, Canada’s only national series of independent travel trade shows. An estimated 1,400 travel agents are expected to attend the shows in London, Ontario, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

Visit St. Pete/Clearwater is the destination marketing organization for Pinellas County, Florida.

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For more information: www.VisitStPeteClearwater.com
Contact: CVB Assistant Director David Downing: David@VisitSPC.com
Phone: 727.464.7213

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