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L’AITC dévoile le nom des finalistes aux Grands prix du tourisme canadien 2012

L’Association de l’industrie touristique du Canada (AITC) a dévoilé aujourd’hui le nom des finalistes pour l’édition 2012 des Grands prix du tourisme canadien, présentés par le Toronto Star et Visa Canada.

Les prix sont décernés annuellement par l’AITC afin de souligner les réussites, le leadership et l’innovation au sein de l’industrie touristique canadienne, et de récompenser les individus, lieux, organisations et événements s’étant surpassés afin d’offrir aux visiteurs une expérience touristique de qualité supérieure au Canada.

« Les finalistes aux Grands prix du tourisme canadien constituent un ensemble de gens et d’organisations fort inspirants, qui se consacrent continuellement à offrir des expériences extraordinaires en matière de tourisme, a souligné David Goldstein, président-directeur général de l’AITC. On parle ici de chefs de file authentiquement canadiens, qui participent activement et quotidiennement à l’activité économique et à la création d’emplois grâce à leurs efforts et leur dévouement. Notre industrie tient à les féliciter pour cet extraordinaire accomplissement. »

La cérémonie de remise des prix aura lieu lors d’un dîner de gala à l’hôtel Hilton Lac-Leamy à Gatineau, au Québec, le mardi 20 novembre prochain. Lancé en 2003, cet événement est depuis devenu un incontournable du Congrès touristique, soit la conférence annuelle de l’AITC.

Les finalistes pour l’édition 2012 sont énumérés ci-dessous.*

*Les finalistes sont répartis selon la catégorie, en ordre alphabétique. Une brève description, rédigée dans la langue dans laquelle la candidature fut soumise, accompagne chaque finaliste.

Le prix de l'entreprise de l'année, présenté par Air Canada

  • Canalta Hotels, (Alberta et Saskatchewan)

The Canalta Group of Companies is a family-owned, hospitality enterprise that includes 36 hotels operating under the Canalta, Ramada, Super 8 and Travelodge brands and restaurants operating under a number of banners.  Beginning with one hotel in 1979, the company has grown dramatically over the past 30 years and today employs more than 2000 people across Alberta and Saskatchewan.

  • Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, North Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of Vancouver's oldest, most visited attractions.  Its newest addition, CLIFFWALK, a thrilling walkway along Capilano Canyon, is an example of how innovation and technology allow people to enjoy unique experiences in nature while preserving the delicate rainforest environment.  It also shows how CSBP is constantly reinventing itself to create enticing new reasons to visit.

  • Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls (Ontario)

Great Wolf Lodge is a world class, 406 suite resort destination themed in a Northwoods style, unlike any other family entertainment venue in Canada.  The Lodge consistently wows the senses with dynamic family programming and special events.  Opening in 2006, Great Wolf Lodge and has been able to continually build on previous success and the past year was a highlight year for business achievement.

Le Prix de la petite ou moyenne entreprise de l'année, présenté par Hilton Worldwide

  • Au Diable Vert, Glen Sutton (Quebec)

Au Diable Vert is a unique eco-tourism concept combining an eclectic combination of people-powered activities and lodging.  Au Diable Vert continues to become even more relevant and popular as a larger portion of the population embraces nature.  After nearly 15 years in business, Au Diable Vert is still experiencing significant growth in occupancy, sales and profits.

  • Fresh Tracks Canada, Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)

Fresh Tracks Canada (FTC) is an online travel company that creates extraordinary vacations for visitors to Canada and connects clients to live sales agents for a seamless, custom travel experience.  Focusing on passion, knowledge and attention to detail, the team of local Canadian experts works with each and every guest to ensure their vacation is exactly as they imagine.

  • Tourism Victoria, Victoria (Colombie-Britannique)

Tourism Victoria takes an entrepreneurial approach to promoting Greater Victoria’s almost $1 billion tourism industry.  The organization has flourished into an award-winning entity that shines with cutting-edge sales and marketing initiatives and sought after human resource practices.  Promoting and developing tourism to ensure prosperity and continued long-term economic growth, they have been in operation for 38 years.

Le Prix de l'innovateur de l'année, présenté par Deloitte

  • Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, North Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge follows a granite cliff along the Capilano River on a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms through rainforest vegetation. Interactive exhibits demonstrate the interaction between the geology and the living world in a journey 91 metres above Capilano River.  Since its opening, revenues have increased by 37% and the average time of stay has lengthened to nearly three hours.

  • EdgeWalk at the CN Tower, Toronto (Ontario)

From the techniques pioneered during construction to the continued investment in exciting and innovative experiences introduced over the years, the CN Tower has fostered a 36-year legacy of innovation and creating memorable new experiences.  In 2011 the CN Tower was thrilled to present visitors with EdgeWalk, the most extreme experience in its history and Toronto’s newest attraction in almost two decades.

  • Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea (Québec)

Nordik Spa-Nature est un spa de détente situé dans le pittoresque village de Old Chelsea, à seulement 10 minutes du centre-ville de Gatineau-Ottawa.  Privilégiant les techniques de relaxation provenant des pays scandinaves, comme la thermothérapie, Nordik Spa-Nature offre des expériences tout à fait uniques.  L'ajout d'une nouvelle section d’inspiration européenne nommée Panorama, un investissement de 4,1 millions de dollars,  bonifie l'offre de service pour son clientèle et renforce son positionnement comme étant un icône touristique.

  • The Long Point Eco Adventure Centre, St Williams (Ontario)

From zip lining through the canopy of Carolinian forest to stargazing at their observatory to kayaking or canoeing into a UNESCO-recognized biosphere, Long Point Eco Adventures provides eco-friendly adventures that develop new skills and provide exciting experiences for all.  Long Point has established itself as an innovator in developing unique experiences for corporate and educational outings, a “wilderness suites” product, a new diploma program at a local college, and partnerships with countless wildlife research organizations.

Le Prix de l'événement de l'année, présenté par le Metro Toronto Convention Centre

  • Calgary Stampede, Calgary (Alberta)

The Calgary Stampede celebrated its Centennial year in 2012. Their marketing and communications efforts placed Calgary on the map and the development of innovative, creative programming provided their guests with an incredible experience. This resulted in a record year as the Stampede broke its overall attendance record and sold out of advance tickets for all 20 shows of the Rodeo and Evening Show.

  • Canadian Music Fest, Toronto (Ontario)

Canadian Music Fest is Canada’s largest and most influential new music festival featuring more than 900 artists in 60+ venues throughout downtown Toronto. Each year, over a period of five days in March, the event attracts more than 75,500 participants from across Canada and around the world, contributing more than $11.2 million in spending to the city’s economy during a challenging season for urban tourism.

  • POP Montréal International Music Festival, Montréal (Québec)

POP Montréal International Music Festival is an annual not-for-profit curated cultural event that champions artistic independence by presenting emerging and celebrated international artists. In 2011 it celebrated its tenth anniversary with a free concert by Arcade Fire attended by more than 101,000 people.  This unique event attracted global media attention and combined musical success, charity and environmentalism, while putting Montréal and its culture in the spotlight.

  • Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo, Halifax (Nouvelle-Écosse)

The Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo is the world’s largest annual indoor show with more than 2,000 cast and crew.  It offers something for everyone, showcasing music, historic re-enactments, dancers, gymnasts, military competitions, drama and comedy from around the globe.  Performers also take part in free noon-time festival events and music/gymnastic workshops.   This year’s event featured three historic themes: Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the War of 1812 and RMS Titanic.

Le Prix de la campagne de commercialisation, présenté par Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

  • Publicitas Navigate – Canada For the Fun of It!

(With partners:  Canadian Tourism Commission, Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership, Tourism Toronto, Tourism Ottawa, Niagara Tourism Partnership, WestJet, and InterContinental Hotels Group).

Canada For the Fun of It! was a brand-awareness campaign executed in New York and Boston, on-air, in taxis and rail stations, online, and via social media channels in the summer of 2012. It took an unprecedented approach to engaging the American consumer by differentiating Canadian culture before driving the travel message.

  • Tourism Saskatchewan – Embrace a New Place

Tourism Saskatchewan launched its Embrace A New Place marketing campaign in March 2012. The campaign, targeted at Saskatchewan residents, is multi-faceted and includes television, radio, print, outdoor, contesting, online advertising and social media components.  It encourages residents to get out and explore their province and “embrace a new place.”

  • Travel Alberta –  Winter Sport in Alberta

(Avec KLM Royal Dutch Airlines)

In 2011 Travel Alberta partnered with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines on a campaign in the Netherlands to encourage visitation to Alberta in the winter.  With a mix of online, radio, print and social media placements and an innovative campaign website, Travel Alberta and KLM met and exceeded all targets. It even boosted KLM’s load factor and prompted them to increase service for summer 2012.

Le Prix de l'initiative en médias sociaux de l'année, présenté par WestJet

  • Ottawa Tourism, Ottawa (Ontario) - Treats McFadden Contest

Ottawa Tourism’s Treats McFadden contest ran in Fall, 2011 and featured a comedic tone not often seen in Canadian marketing efforts. With a mixture of self-referential humour and elements spanning social media and online channels, the initiative brought Ottawa Tourism into a new arena of integrated content marketing.  The contest was the most successful contest that the destination had ever run and yielded a great conversion rate.

  • Rocky Mountaineer, (Alberta et Colombie-Britannique)

In 2011, Rocky Mountaineer implemented a comprehensive new social media strategy touching on every aspect of the path to purchase.  By running a series of online contests and calling for user-generated submissions, the campaign drove awareness, ‘validated’ the decision process, enticed bookings and drove past guests and prospects alike into a community of brand ambassadors and advocates.

  • Tourism Richmond, Richmond (Colombie-Britannique) – 365 Days of Dining

Tourism Richmond executed a social media campaign to put Richmond, BC on the map as a must-visit destination for food lovers.  The campaign started in the spring of 2012 and will end in the spring of 2013. By stepping completely outside the box of traditional marketing, and instead focusing on niche marketing in social media, a highly successful and cost-effective campaign was executed.

  • Tourism Victoria, Victoria (Colombie-Britannique) - Escape Your Everyday

The Escape Your Everyday campaign used impactful and creative means to target consumers in Vancouver and Seattle.  The campaign playfully encouraged the 9-to-5 set to ditch the daily grind using a variety of off-the-wall tactics, like singing and dancing street teams, elevator branding and three-dimensional billboards.  A complementary TV spot helped reshape opinions of Victoria and encouraged viewers to escape their everyday by making the short trip.

Le Prix du tourisme durable, présenté par Parcs Canada

  • Bluewater Adventures, North Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)

Bluewater Adventures was the first small-ship, eco-operator on the BC coast to offer “Climate Friendly” voyages.  Since 2008, Bluewater has purchased carbon off-sets through Offsetters who invests in projects that are in line with Bluewater ideals. Bluewater Adventures continues to decrease its environmental footprint as more options come available with improvements every year.

  • Maple Leaf Adventures, Victoria (Colombie-Britannique)

Maple Leaf Adventures offers ecotourism-based safari cruises on the 92-foot ship Maple Leaf.  Their multi-day excursions let guests intimately experience the most beautiful places on the B.C. coast in the company of expert naturalists and First Nations historians. As a long time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf pioneered travel in the Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island, and has made significant contributions to conservation on the coast.

  • Parkbus, Toronto et environs (Ontario)

Parkbus is a non-profit initiative providing express bus service from downtown Toronto to key outdoor destinations in Algonquin, Killarney & Grundy Lake Provincial Parks, as well as Bruce Peninsula National Park and Tobermory.  Buses drop passengers off at campgrounds, canoe access points, backpacking trails, and at park lodges. The program is the first of its kind in Canada, reducing pollution, minimizing disturbances to park environment and encouraging best practices of sustainable tourism through on-board volunteer-run educational programs.

Le Prix de l'employé(e) de l'année, présenté par InterContinental Hotels Group

  • Geneviève Lefebvre, Auberge du Lac Taureau, Saint-Michel des Saints (Québec)

Geneviève Lefebvre connaît et véhicule les valeurs de l’Auberge du Lac Taureau avec fierté.  Elle est dynamique et fiable, et son sourire et sa courtoisie sont autant un plaisir pour la clientèle que pour ses collègues.  Son approche avec les clients est exceptionnelle, elle gère bien le stress et son attitude est extrêmement positive.  Par son dynamisme, sa fougue, et son rire, Geneviève a su remettre son équipe sur pied et a créé un environnement familial.

  • Gregor Waters, Northern Edge Algonquin, South River (Ontario)

Greg Waters is a truly remarkable individual who literally helped build Northern Edge Algonquin from the ground up.  His colleagues know of few others that live with such dedication to the principles and values of honesty, integrity, passion and commitment.  Fewer still with the range of talent and capability in such diverse areas as craftsman, gardener, builder, manager, kitchen guru, guide, trail builder, designer, and dreamer.

  • Jenny Wilkins, Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, Hamilton (Ontario)

As the Group Sales Coordinator of the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel, Jenny Wilkins excels at her responsibilities and exceeds expectations every day.  Over the past 10 years, Jenny has shined in various departments and uses her knowledge to provide an unparalleled experience for all guests visiting the Hamilton area.  Her superior attitude helps pull colleagues together and makes the Sheraton Hamilton Hotel a better place to work and a great place to visit.

Le Prix national pour le tourisme culturel

  • Arviat Community Ecotourism Initiative, Arviat (Nunavut)

The Arviat ecotourism project was created to develop an internationally competitive and unique wildlife viewing and Inuit cultural experience that did not previously exist, maximizing local involvement, employment and control, and maintaining local culture and tradition.  The program is building a tourism sector in Arviat by positioning it as a market-ready ecotourism destination, generating low volume, high yield tourism traffic and direct economic benefits to the community through tourist expenditures that stay right in the community.

  • Celtic Colours International Festival, L'île du Cap-Breton (Nouvelle-Écosse)

The internationally acclaimed Celtic Colours International Festival extends Cape Breton’s tourism season into late October.  They partner with 130 not-for-profit organizations and over 2000 volunteers to present 45 concerts and between 200 to 300 events in communities throughout the island.  Visitors spend over $7 million annually on area accommodations, restaurants, attractions, artisans and shops, contributing to the sustainability of the local economy and traditions.

  • Royal Canadian Pacific, Calgary (Alberta)

Royal Canadian Pacific has successfully restored and reinvented the romance of North America’s railroad history. On one of ten vintage (1916-1931) rail cars, guests of the Royal Canadian Pacific are engaged in cultural, historical, and epicurean adventures as they voyage through some of Canada’s most stunning landscapes.  The train provides a period luxury rail experience, with all the modern amenities the discerning traveler would expect along with exceptional gourmet cuisine, fine wines and unsurpassed hospitality and service.

Le Prix pour l'excellence en développement des ressources humaines, présenté par le CCRHT

  • Gold Eagle Casino, North Battleford (Saskatchewan)

As a First Nations owned and operated organization, Saskatchewan’s Gold Eagle Casino takes great pride in being a leader in employing First Nations people and the positive impacts generated by these employment opportunities.  The Casino offers a competitive compensation and benefits package and an excellent training program that helps them create an exceptional entertainment experience.

  • Gold Eagle Lodge, North Battleford (Saskatchewan)

Proudly owned by the Battlefords Tribal Council, Gold Eagle Lodge’s human resources strategy recognizes the challenges faced by employees from the First Nations community, by providing things like training, tuition assistance, student work placements, and benefits packages designed to open the doors to successful long-term careers in the hospitality industry.  In so doing, the Lodge aims to achieve and surpass the high level of standards guests have become accustomed to.

  • Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls (Ontario)

Great Wolf Lodge has a vision and passion for the guest service experience that begins with their belief in having a great place to work.  Its management and employee training programs are geared to ensuring their Wolf Pack team is motivated and equipped to handle even the most complicated guest service challenges.  One highlight in 2011 involved revising their recruitment strategy and successfully reducing turnover by 16% in a largely seasonal business.

Le Prix du citoyen corporatif de l'année de Via Rail Canada

  • Holiday Inn Kitchener, Kitchener (Ontario)

Holiday Inn, Kitchener-Waterloo is committed to giving back to the community in which they live and work.   In 2011, they showcased great community involvement: Their fundraising initiatives included the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Ontario Association of Food Banks.  Over $13,500 was raised through the selfless efforts of their staff by raising awareness with guests and the community, making a difference in the lives of those that need their help.

  • Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge/Waterloo, Cambridge (Ontario)

Not just a home away from home with exceptional levels of customer service, Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge/Waterloo is committed to giving back to the community.  Throughout 2011, the hotel supported a number of community initiatives, including donating to the Canadian Diabetes Association, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Waterloo Region, Waterloo Airshow, The Wish Tree Centre, Waterloo Police Services, the Cambridge Libraries, Ronald McDonald House, Tim Horton's Community Clean Up and more.

  • Tourism Toronto’s Relax, Recharge, Renew Program, Toronto (Ontario)

Sometimes the best way to help children with severe and complex special needs is to give mom and dad a break so they can return to their parenting duties with renewed enthusiasm.  Tourism Toronto has developed the Relax, Recharge, Renew program that provides weekend breaks to parents of these inspiring children. With the generous assistance of more than 200 member and partner tourism businesses, Tourism Toronto provides expenses-paid weekend getaways while the special-needs child is cared for in high-quality provincial respite centres.

  • Winnipeg Airports Authority, Winnipeg (Manitoba)

The Winnipeg Airports Authority plans and hosts many fun events throughout the year to raise funds for three main charitable organizations in their community: the United Way, Winnipeg Harvest and the Firefighters’ Burn Fund.  Their efforts support programs and strategies for disadvantaged families and youth, help find long-term solutions to hunger and poverty, and assist burn victims and their families with treatment and rehabilitation as well as fire prevention education and research.

Le Prix de l'expérience touristique de l'année, pésenté par Delta Hôtels

  • CMH Summer Adventures, Banff (Alberta)

CMH Summer Adventures has been bringing guests into the remote mountain environments in B.C. and Alberta for nearly 40 years and the consensus among guests is that these trips are the most incredible, mind blowing experiences ever.  They continue to generate overwhelmingly positive feedback from guests through continuous employee innovation and training and a guest service philosophy that involves staff in every aspect of the guest experience.

  • Heritage Park Historical Village, Calgary (Alberta)

Heritage Park Historical Village is a year-round historical attraction, entertainment, education, heritage preservation and banquet facility.  One of the park’s core strategies focuses on service excellence and increasing customer satisfaction as key drivers that impact their ability to succeed.  Service excellence is ingrained in the corporate culture and breeds ownership and empowerment, encouraging employees to solve customer issues on the spot, or to bring forward suggestions for improvement.

  • Winnipeg Airports Authority, Winnipeg (Manitoba)

With front-line staff from a multitude of employers, all service providers including security, airport volunteers, cleaning staff, airline and tenant employees received “Terminal 101” customer service training as part of an innovative customer experience program named Campus Crew.  Every CREW member understands their role in being a “touch point” and offers the best service at every step of the traveller’s journey through Winnipeg’s James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.