Visa Signs Multi-Million Dollar Global Agreements with Tourism Vancouver

Visa
announced today two global agreements with
Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler to promote domestic and international
travel in the run up to, and during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.  The
multi-million dollar global agreements will offer Visa cardholders worldwide
value-added offers and incentives to visit Vancouver and Whistler, and are
expected to spur tourism spending in Western Canada.

The new, long-term global agreements build on Visa Canada’s existing
relationships with Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler.  Visa Canada
joined forces with the British Columbia-based tourism bureaus several years
ago in an effort to spur tourism and spending in the region.  Travel and
entertainment is an important market for Visa and represents more than 18
percent of Visa’s annual sales in Canada.

Over the span of the global agreements, Visa will work closely with Tourism
Vancouver and Tourism Whistler to create unique programs to benefit the
region’s travel and merchant community.  The sponsorships include
advertising as well as joint marketing programs to promote Vancouver and
Whistler as key travel destinations.  This early start on destination
marketing will help ensure unparalleled international exposure for the
Vancouver-Whistler area leading up to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Visa Canada President Derek Fry made the announcement today at a luncheon
speech given at the Vancouver Board of Trade.  Mr. Fry said, “Demonstrating
Visa’s global commitment to regional tourism and the Olympic movement, these
new agreements add extraordinary reach and depth to our already strong
relationships with Tourism Vancouver and Tourism Whistler.  This early start
to the 2010 program will allow us to push the envelope and deliver a truly
innovative program in the marketplace.”
The global agreements augment Visa’s on-going, broad-based support of the
Olympic Games and their host cities.  Through its Olympic-related marketing
programs, Visa seeks to generate excitement for the Olympic Games, drive
incremental business to the local merchant communities, and create greater
value for Visa cardholders.

“This global arrangement with Visa will help our tourism sales and marketing
efforts have unprecedented impact around the world,” commented Rick
Antonson, President, CEO of Tourism Vancouver. 

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The head start in Olympic planning allows the three organizations to
collaborate, ensuring a fully integrated, break-through approach to the
marketing of the 2010 Games.  Through these alliances, Visa cardholders will
come out on top as they take advantage of exclusive usage programs for
accommodations at participating hotels, and special offers for goods and
services purchased on a Visa card within the retail, dining, attractions,
spa, sightseeing, and car rental categories.

“Vancouver and Whistler are breaking the mold for host cities by seizing the
Olympic marketing opportunities with leaders like Visa much earlier in the
cycle,” noted Barrett Fisher, President of Tourism Whistler.

Local merchants who are members of Tourism Vancouver or Tourism Whistler
will be able to display point-of-sale materials featuring the official Visa
and Olympic sponsorship symbols.  This integrated look, including signage,
posters, window decals, counter signs, cheque presenters, and tip trays will
help drive purchases and thank customers for choosing Visa. 
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