Ottawa’s tourism industry has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and has seen drastic change in the city’s visitor economy. From the start of the pandemic, Ottawa Tourism worked behind the scenes on plans to safely restart marketing campaign when restrictions were lifted. The Ottawa Tourism team worked together to use the best data and information available to target the right audience at the right time.
Information from Destination Canada’s Resident Sentiment Tracking helped us ensure locals were ready to welcome visitors and comfortable with our destination being promoted in different markets. Environics Analytics Envision software allowed us to target visitor demographics such as income and education levels, occupation, and family composition. We used this data and other industry research to define the market segmentation of our recovery marketing campaigns, choosing a target area within a short car ride to Ottawa and to determine which media partner was most appropriate. We analyzed specific variables for targeting information, such as car ownership, age group, accommodation and activity preferences, and previous travel habits including previous visitors to Ottawa and those who have travelled internationally.
Our first campaign was the #MyOttawa Pass resident savings passport which was locally targeted for residents, and included discounts and offers from tourism businesses across the city. The second campaign “It’s on us” provided a $100 Visa gift card to incentivize visitors who book at least a two-night stay in Ottawa (bookings made before October 31 for stays before December 31).