Destination BC restarts international marketing
As travel resumes around the world, Destination BC is competitively vying for international visitors with its launch of ‘The British Columbia Effect – Find Yourself;’ an extensive $6.7 million marketing campaign designed to drive emotional urgency and encourage travel to B.C. in 2022 and into 2023.
The campaign leverages the global brand platform, The BC Effect, first launched in 2019 and reimagined for the current landscape to inspire global audiences to tap into something bigger, awaken a deeper connection, gain a different perspective, and find themselves–in every sense of the word–all within British Columbia.
With people in B.C.’s core markets seeking wide-open spaces, nature and wildlife, and authentic experiences now more than ever, B.C. is well-positioned to meet and surpass their travel wish lists.
The campaign explores B.C.’s healing effects through a lens of connection and reciprocity, and the notion that when we open ourselves to nature, nature will open to us—and in turn, change us for the better. These ideas are brought to life through videos developed in partnership with Indigenous Tourism BC, including a poem by Haida writer, Cohen Isberg, and a video series slated for release over the coming months that features Indigenous storytellers.
Alongside the vast and rugged nature that encapsulates B.C., they share Indigenous values such as interconnectedness, reciprocity, gratitude, and stewardship, aiming to inspire visitors to embody these values to enrich their experiences while travelling here.
With tactics varying across markets, including TV, video, newsprint, magazine, and digital ads, the creative execution of the campaign is driven by content that immerses consumers in the transformative powers of B.C.’s nature while leveraging B.C. travel motivators from these markets, including: mountains, wildlife, cities in proximity to nature, Indigenous experiences, rainforests, ocean and sustainability.
To help reduce barriers to travel and assist visitors in booking their trips, the campaign will also feature tactical trip planning tools including links to key in-market tour operators in overseas markets, travel deals, and Know Before You Go travel information.
International travellers are essential for the full recovery of B.C.’s tourism industry, as they spend more time and money in B.C. compared to domestic travellers.
Pre-COVID, international travellers represented approximately 25% of visitor volume to B.C., but represented approximately 50% of visitor expenditures. In comparison, B.C. residents accounted for 50% of visitation, and 25% of visitor expenditures.
This will be the first active consumer marketing campaign in Australia since before the pandemic; however, Destination BC has maintained its international presence via in-market representatives throughout the pandemic, to help keep B.C. top of mind for the restart of international travel.
The Government of B.C. also recently announced an additional $6 million of funding for Destination BC to help support international marketing efforts through to 2024, including this campaign.
“B.C.’s tourism industry has leaned on one another to navigate the pandemic and will continue to do so–more than ever–as we look toward recovery. The BC Effect – Find Yourself, is a true demonstration of this collaboration in action, and will help B.C. compete on the global stage as world travel re-opens. We are deeply grateful to Indigenous Tourism BC for their partnership and openness in sharing the authentic values and transformative powers of Super, Natural British Columbia with the world,” stated Maya Lange, Vice President of Global Marketing, Destination BC.
“International visitors are an important market for many Indigenous tourism operators in B.C. As the world reopens for global travel, Indigenous Tourism BC is excited to work with Destination BC on The BC Effect: Find Yourself. The teams are collaborating in innovative ways on this campaign for international and domestic visitors to support a strong recovery for tourism in BC that integrates Indigenous,” added Paula Amos, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Indigenous Tourism BC.
Lead image: The Heart of Kootenay (National Park). e-KNOW file photos