Yukon’s big tourism marketing push
Joint federal-Yukon initiative is largest investment in tourism marketing in Government’s history; new Yukon Now program just launched
Last week, the Yukon Government officially launched its new tourism marketing program: Yukon Now, aimed to position the Yukon as a premier travel destination in Canada.
The Yukon Now program, unveiled at the annual Tourism Open House in Whitehorse, is being jointly funded by the Yukon government and by the federal government’s Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
This is the territory’s largest tourism marketing initiative to date, as each government will invest $1.8 million over two years, increasing the tourism marketing budget by $3.6 million.
PAXnewsWest spoke with Yukon Tourism Minister Mike Nixon to hear details of the new program, and how the Canadian travel trade can benefit from its initiatives.
“Our marketing budget, up until recently was about $5.8 million per year- that was for marketing domestic, U.S. and overseas- we had a call from the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon (TIAY), and they thought it was time that we up our game,” Dixon said.
Dixon explained that the TIAY presented a business case that focussed on the domestic market.
“They saw Canada as having tremendous growth opportunities, one of our key sectors, and they’re right- last year, the Canadian market for travel into the Yukon grew by 17 per cent,” Dixon said. “We definitely had a booster year.”
Dixon said following TIAY’s recommendation, the Yukon Tourism team worked with members of Parliament and CanNor to develop the Yukon Now program.
Dixon said Yukon Tourism is making ongoing investments in the Canadian travel trade and in partnerships across Canada. The program will primarily focus on the Canadian market, but also includes strategic investments in overseas and U.S. markets.
“A consistent message from our trade partners is that raising awareness of Yukon among Canadian travellers will help them to increase sales of Yukon product and experiences, so the new funding will focus on raising awareness and inspiring consumers to visit Yukon, which will directly benefit travel trade sales,” Dixon said.
Components will include television commercials, aimed to evoke emotion and to invite Yukoners to share their stories with Canadians across the country. The marketing program will also focus on developing and airing commercials promoting Yukon as both a winter and summer travel destination.
One of the Yukon’s most famed tourism draws is the aurora borealis, or the Northern Lights- with viewing tours of the lights becoming increasing popular and visible in the media, the program will work to raise awareness through visual marketing.
Dixon also said the Yukon Now program will provide support to the burgeoning Aboriginal Tourism sector.
“We’ve been proud to lend support to that sector in the territory- there’s a new and revitalized Yukon First Nations tourism and culture association, and they’ve been working for the last few years to get reintegrated- and they’re getting there...making tremendous gains in promoting their culture and looking to put some new product on the market,” Dixon said.
For more information, go to travelyukon.com.