TORONTO - A new marketing campaign aimed at attracting long-haul vacationers to B.C. ski resorts hits the streets of Toronto today.
As part of the North America ski campaign launch, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell competed against Olympic Gold Medallist Ashleigh McIvor in a virtual ski race down a B.C. slope. The race, a motion-sensored video game, took place in a portable, glass-walled truck in downtown Toronto. Torontonians passing by were invited to participate. The winner from each head-to-head contest was presented with a one-day lift ticket to one of B.C.'s 13 ski resorts.
The minister also toured B.C.'s significant presence at the annual Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show. Twelve of BC's 13 ski resorts are attending. This marks the first year that participants from B.C. have co-ordinated their efforts and are represented under common B.C. branding.
Targeting key markets of Ontario, California, and Washington, this year's ski marketing campaign focuses on the abundance and quality of B.C. snow, with the theme of 'Ski It To Believe It'.
Online banners connect potential visitors with a B.C. ski microsite: www.skiittobelieveit.com
It showcases B.C.'s 13 ski resorts including special offers and snow conditions. Visitors can sign up to receive an electronic version of the BC Ski Guide and enter a contest to win a $15,000 ultimate ski vacation.
The 2012-13 North America ski campaign was developed in collaboration with the Canada West Ski Areas Association (CWSAA), representing B.C.'s 13 ski resorts. Feedback from the industry has been positive on both the campaign and the collaborative process.
The campaign runs through March 2013 and has a budget of $1.55 million.
Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour -
"Building a key economic driver like tourism - which provides jobs for one out of every 15 employees in this province, not to mention adding $13.4 billion in revenue to our economy last year - is part of ensuring jobs for B.C. families."
"As a part of that commitment, we are proud to support one of B.C.'s most prominent tourism sectors - our world-renowned ski resorts. I am confident that this year's marketing campaign will build on the success we've had in recent years."
David Lynn, president and CEO Canada West Ski Areas Association -
"Canada West Ski Areas Association is excited about its marketing partnership with Tourism BC. We are very appreciative of the fact that the provincial government is making a significant investment to promote B.C. ski resorts. We are confident that this program will drive tangible benefits for the B.C. ski industry and B.C. tourism generally."
David Brownlie, president and CEO, Whistler Blackcomb -
"Whistler Blackcomb is thrilled to be a part of the 'Ski It To Believe It' campaign. British Columbia offers a world-class ski and snowboard experience characterized by massive mountain ranges, abundant snowfall and a pristine natural environment."
"The beauty of skiing in B.C. is the diversity of terrain. Whistler Blackcomb offers coastal rainforest and unmatched high alpine terrain blanketed by an average of 1,192 centimetres of snow every winter. By joining forces with our Ski BC partners, we will be able to tell the story of all of the unique experiences to be found in B.C. and work together to continue to grow the ski industry in our beautiful province."
Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice president, Big White Ski Resort -
"We are thrilled that we were invited to the table at the planning stage of this marketing program. Our resort in the Okanagan Valley relies heavily on the Ontario, Washington State and California markets."
"The boost in advertising dollars and the concentration of a well-co-ordinated marketing campaign titled 'Ski It to Believe It' will showcase Super, Natural British Columbia's dominance in the snow sports industry. Snow is our natural advantage and the consumer now has an easy path to purchase to visit one of our world-class facilities."
"Powder" Matt Mosteller, vice president, Resorts of the Canadian Rockies -
"British Columbia has the biggest mountains, the deepest snow and the biggest variety of skiing terrain in the world. Period. We are proud to be working with Tourism BC to promote Canada's premier ski experience."
Darcy Alexander, vice president and general manager, Sun Peaks Resort -
"In the highly competitive world resort marketplace, it is critical that B.C.'s mountain destination resorts work together with the Province in our key markets in Canada and other countries. We applaud the continued proactive approach taken by Minister Bell and the B.C. government to work together to leverage our resources for the best possible results for B.C. tourism and the many families/jobs that our industry creates and supports."
For more information and to view campaign creative: www.skiittobelieveit.com
Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training