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MONTREAL - Tourisme Montréal has unveiled the outlines of its largest ever promotional campaign.
"As the global economy continues to show signs of an upswing, we are confident that tourists will return in 2011," says the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. "The major campaign that we are announcing today should propel the Montréal tourism industry to replicate the feats of 2010, a year in which the destination achieved some of the strongest growth in North America."
Tourisme Montréal predicts that the number of tourists who stay for at least 24 hours should reach 7.49 million for 2011, an increase of 1.5% compared with the previous year. Tourist spending should total $2.22 billion, for growth of 3.5% over 2010. The past year was marked by notable increases of 4.5% in the number of tourists and 6.5% in spending compared with 2009.
Tourisme Montréal will launch vast awareness campaigns on the leisure market in 2011. "Our campaigns will harness all the communication channels travellers use today. In addition to optimizing the Web shift that began in 2009, our strategies will draw on traditional media, coupled with mobile technologies and social networks, indispensable tools for modern tourism promotion," Mr. Lapointe adds.
Spotlighting things to do in Montréal, through a message that centres on festivals and events, the 2011 leisure campaigns also draw on a niche strategy to customize the brand according to the consumer's travel interests. Over 24 niches, from gourmet dining to cultural, religious and sports tourism, family getaways, cruises and ecotourism have been identified; all will be pivotal to Tourisme Montréal's strategies.
Mainly directed at the Canadian and North American markets, the 2011 leisure campaigns will also include initiatives conducted jointly with partners such as Tourisme Québec for the French market, Tourism Eastern Townships for the Boston market and Tourism Toronto, for a new edition of the campaign "It's OK to Cheat on Your City," launched in 2010. Following its resounding success in 2010, the Queer of the Year contest, aimed at the gay market, is also included in the program, along with a large-scale public relations campaign for the intra-Québec market.
Tourisme Montréal also launched a business campaign, totalling over $2 million, intended to boost the Montréal convention and meeting sector. In addition to reinforcing awareness campaigns addressing American, Canadian and European convention planners, many initiatives designed to spur the development of partnerships between Tourisme Montréal, the Palais des congrès de Montréal and the business and research spheres were put in place to stimulate the holding of conventions and meetings in Montréal.
"Although the convention sector has experienced growth in 2010, and 2011 looks interesting in this respect, forecasts for 2012 are cause for concern," Mr. Lapointe says. "This is why it is essential that stakeholders in this sector get involved and work in concert with us to ensure that Montréal continues to be among the top North American destinations for conventions."
In 2010, Montréal welcomed over 303,000 business tourists, an increase of over 20% compared with 2009. Each delegate spent on average $399.79 per day, for an annual total of $424 million. The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) ranked Montréal second in North American for international conventions in 2010.