February 21, 2019
Both the GNWT and Northwest Territories Tourism (NWTT) have a five-year strategy with goals and objectives that are focused on growing the value of tourism in the territory. But each year, NWTT develops a plan that concentrates its marketing efforts towards meeting this goal. Here are our top five takeaways:
1. Steady as She Goes
The 2019/20 marketing plan comes hot off the heels of the most successful year for tourism the NWT has ever seen. To build on what has worked, NWTT will continue marketing efforts that include the “always on, in all markets” approach introduced in 2018 and increase focus on digital marketing.
2. Marketing Through Storytelling
Content marketing is a centrepiece of NWTT’s approach. . This tactic delivers fresh content through a variety of channels to targeted audiences. Using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM), NWTT will pull more of the right people to read and interact with the NWT stories and content.
The stories use catchy titles like “7 Secrets of the Aurora” and “There’s a Place Where Monsters are Real” to attract readers. The stories themselves are short but well written and a level of wit that has become an important part of NWT’s brand.
3. Mexico: The Emerging Market
The market to watch in the coming years may come as a surprise. Mexican travelers to Canada increased by 47% following the removal of the mandatory travel visa requirements.
Mexican travellers prefer to visit Canada during the summer months, but also express interest in visiting during the winter season. As part of the research findings from Destination Canada’s 2017 Global Tourism Watch research program, 43% of Mexicans identified Northern Lights as being an important enough activity to base their entire trip around, followed closely by natural attractions like mountains and waterfalls. Anyone who’s ever ventured through the NWT knows we aren’t short on any of these.
4. Tourism Trends in the North
You may have already noticed a few of these trends making a presence in your community, many of which are inspired by southern trends and infused with a northern flare.
Culinary Tourism – Travel and food are now synonymous when vacationing. Across all travel trends, culinary activities are one of the most sought after activities. Locally sourced food and drink along with an activity really spices-up the traveler’s experience. You see it more and more everyday with shore lunches being included in a fishing package, multicourse dinners under the Aurora and indigenous meals during a demonstration, just to name a few.
Indigenous Tourism – authenticity appears to be the primary factor for travellers who are considering an Indigenous tourism experience. Travellers seeking Indigenous tourism experiences are looking for one-on-one interactions with Indigenous people in a small intimate setting. They are looking for opportunities to learn about cultures, traditions, arts, food, storytelling and the history of the area.
Luxury Travel – Despite some economic troubles, luxury travel remains at the top of the list for trends. Luxury travel can mean different things to different people, but it often includes exclusive experiences, unique scenery, specialized cuisine, breathtaking décor and customized packages.
LGBQT2 Travel – A memorandum of understanding between Destination Canada and Travel Gay Canada was signed in 2017 to help promote Canada as a travel destination for choice to the LGBQT2 traveller. The global value of this market was over $211 billion USD in 2015. This is an emerging sector, across all markets which can create economic opportunities for the NWT, should product offerings be available.
Bleisure – Travellers who combine business and leisure, known as “Bleisure” is a growing segment. On average, 60% of business trips turned into bleisure trips. (Countries studied were US, UK, China, Denmark, Germany). Bleisure travellers tend to extend their domestic business trips into bleisure ones, and are most likely to be travelling for a conference. This market holds potential for the NWT to grow as the MCIT activity increases.
5. Meeting a New Goal
NWTT’s goal is to reach their target of $235 Million in visitor revenue in 2020/21. To do this, they work closely with government partners and a variety of local, regional, national and international partners to establish the Spectacular brand, uphold the destination’s reputation and increase visitation and visitor revenues to the NWT. NWTT's Tourism efforts will help drive economic diversity in the Territory.