Ottawa Tourism welcomes the next generation of traveler

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‘Every Canadian’s second home town’ woos millennials ahead of 2017

They stay longer than other travelers, come back more often and provide priceless advertising for Canada’s Capital Region with their social media savvy.

We’re talking, of course, about millennials – that increasingly powerful and influential group of consumers born in the ’80s and ’90s.

According to the World Travel Organization, millennials accounted for more than 20 per cent of all global travel in 2010. That number is expected to double by 2020.

It’s a point not lost at any level of Canada’s tourism industry. Destination Canada, the Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation and Ottawa Tourism are all working hard to ensure the millennial traveler is well courted ahead of the nation’s 150th birthday in 2017.

For the team at Ottawa Tourism, that means catering to how millennials want to be engaged and given access to the information they need for an enjoyable trip.

“The days of the mail order travel guide and paper street map are long gone for them,” said Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications at Ottawa Tourism. “Today, it’s all about the digital experience, with location-based services that travelers can access the second they step off the plane.”

Ottawa Tourism has invested heavily in a mobile-friendly website and various social media channels so millennial visitors can quickly access and share information, develop their travel itineraries and start a conversation with its team.

“With so many places where people can find information now, our best role is that of curator, to help travelers organize their visit around specific themes, like what to do for New Year’s, or where to find great places for a first kiss on Valentine’s Day,” Van Kregten said.

Going viral 

The viral nature of social media has redefined word-of-mouth advertising. According to research by Destination Canada, millennials:

- Seek social and experiential travel activities and experiences that will lead to personal growth

- Are pioneer travelers who discover and promote via social media destinations not yet visited by traditional tourists 

- Are more likely to use technology to make recommendations

For example …

Take Ben Brown, a daily YouTube vlogger from the U.K. His five videos about his first trip to Ottawa have each had more than 68,000 views since he published them in early August.

German actress and vlogger Nilam Farooq (aka Daaruum) has bagged more than 80,000 views on her Ottawa video in only two months.

During Winterlude last year, Australian Instagram influencer Lauren Bath shared Ottawa images with her 450,000+ followers.

Such millennial social media punch is expected to pay big dividends for Ottawa with the One Young World 2016 Summit in September.

“Over 1,500 very connected and smart young adults from 196 countries, active as entrepreneurs or philanthropists, will descend on Ottawa just before 2017,” Van Kregten said. “They are great ambassadors to go back and share their great experience with friends and family and promote Ottawa as a travel destination.”

Be part of the conversation with Ottawa Tourism

For more information, please visit or follow on Twitter, @Ottawa_Tourism and #MyOttawa

Organizations: Ottawa Tourism, World Travel Organization, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership

Geographic location: Ottawa, Canada

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