Ontarians are being encouraged to holiday in Ontario this year by a multi-pronged campaign designed to stimulate the economy and create new jobs, Tourism Minister Jim Bradley announced. The campaign, using funds from the $22 million allocated to tourism in the McGuinty government’s $190 million economic stimulus package, includes $4.5 million in new funding for Ontario festivals and events, bringing more conventions to the province, and a multi-media campaign to boost domestic tourism that includes billboards, web-based promotions and cinema and television ads.
“Getting more Ontarians travelling in Ontario is the best way to increase tourism in the province this year,” said Bradley. “Our campaign is designed to help expand festivals and events and make it easier to plan your Ontario holiday, and encouraging Ontarians to explore the province.”
Fifty-seven festivals and events across the province will be receiving programming funding of up to $75,000, and marketing funding up to $18,750 from the Celebrate Ontario initiative for total funding of as much as $93,750 each. This is a one-time funding initiative to support the growth of existing festivals and events.
“The McGuinty government’s decision to invest in festivals and events recognizes the important economic contributions that festivals make in communities across Ontario,” said Larry Blundell, President, Festivals and Events Ontario. “Communities can look forward to enhanced festivals and events that will attract more visitors and create more employment.”
The multi-media campaign includes television ads, cinema ads, a print campaign, billboards, and web marketing. The television ads will begin running March 19 on TV and in cinemas, and print ads will appear in several languages. An on-line component to the campaign at www.ontariotravel.net , where visitors can order customized printed brochures and sign up to receive emails with specific vacation suggestions, will also be available after March 19.
The economic stimulus package investments are in addition to the government’s regular support for the tourism industry.