As part of its strategy to help the regional tourism industry recover, Regional Tourism Organization 12 (RTO12) will now target hyperlocal, domestic, and international visitors using its successful “Great Canadian Wilderness just north of Toronto” (GCW) brand, said James Murphy, executive director.
Previously used solely to attract international visitors (who are less acquainted with sub-regional area identification), research conducted by RTO12 over the course of the pandemic determined that the GCW brand also resonates with target audiences in the Greater Toronto and Golden Horseshoe areas, which are recognized as the biggest source markets for the region.
“Despite the substantial and ongoing challenges facing the Canadian tourism industry because of the pandemic, this four-season destination known for its wilderness offering remained popular with travelers and, notably, even saw an increase in new visitors seeking a rural escape,” said Murphy.
“We hope the repositioned branding will quickly give people an idea of what this region offers, and also relay its proximity to Canada’s biggest urban centre for a bearing. We also hope to streamline our social content marketing under one consumer brand, for greater efficiency.”
Murphy added that RTO12 will also use the GCW brand to promote respect and reverence for the natural landscape that is the region’s main draw, to mitigate negative-impact or environmentally harmful travel.
“If we are going to promote the wilderness, we also have to help protect it, and encourage travelers to do the same,” said Murphy.
The long-standing brand of “Explorers’ Edge” will now act as a consumer-facing brand for the destination development organization, said Murphy.
“Not everyone is familiar with what an RTO is,” he said, “but after more than a decade of working to develop the tourism sector across the region, people recognize Explorers’ Edge more and more, as well as what we do. We hope this switch will further help us communicate our programs to the broader community, as part of our overall regenerative strategy.”
For travel information, visit GreatCanadianWilderness.com.
For administrative information, visit RTO12.ca.
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