Destination British Columbia restarts international marketing

New $6.7 million campaign highlights the province's nature

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Destination BC's new marketing campaign highlights the province's nature | Getty Images / Cris Cantón

The government-funded tourism marketer that encourages tourists to visit British Columbia has launched its first international marketing campaign since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted global travel.

Destination British Columbia's $6.7 million campaign, dubbed The British Columbia Effect – Find Yourself, is set to run in the U.K., Australia, California, Ontario and Washington. 

The campaign will use TV, video, newsprint, magazines and digital advertising, and aims to provide content that the marketer says "immerses consumers in the transformative powers of B.C.'s nature."

The campaign will highlight rainforests, mountains, the ocean, wildlife, cities, Indigenous experiences and sustainability. 

To help close the deal, and get interested potential visitors to actually take steps to come to B.C., the campaign will also include trip-planning tools, including links to tour operators, travel agents, deals and necessary information to know before travel. 

BC Stats data show the tourism industry generated $23.3 billion in 2019 revenue, which was up 5.6 per cent from 2018. 

The sector pre-pandemic also contributed $8.7 billion to the provincial gross domestic product (GDP,) and employed 149,900 people, according to the province's data collector.

Attracting international visitors is important because they spend more per capita than do domestic visitors. 

Destination BC's broad estimates are that before the pandemic, international visitors represented about 25% of visitors to B.C., and provided about 50% of visitor spending. B.C. residents, in contrast, represented about 50% of visitors, and generated 25% of visitor spending. 

B.C.'s Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark hailed her government's decision to provide funding to assist Destination BC.

"Our government has provided $6 million dollars for ongoing marketing to ensure B.C. remains competitive, as we meet pent up travel demand as a world class destination for tourism experiences,” she said.

gkorstrom@biv.com

@GlenKorstrom