Calgary flooded with praise at the 2013 Alberta Tourism Awards

Tourism Calgary wins ALTO Award for fourth consecutive year

Suggested tweet: @tourismcalgary connects four with #yycisopen campaign taking home 4th straight #TAIC award for tourism marketing http://goo.gl/dyivHw

Banff, October 29, 2013 – Tourism Calgary was presented with the Marketing Excellence Award for the “Calgary, Our Doors are Open” campaign at the 2013 Alberta Tourism Awards. The advertising campaign was the destination marketing organization’s response to the June flood that devastated much of Southern Alberta. The goal of the campaign was to change the conversation from one of devastation to recovery – that Calgary was open for business and ready to welcome visitors once again.

“Tourism is fun, and it matters. Never more so than in response to crisis,” says Jeff Hessel, acting vice-president of marketing Tourism Calgary. “The hundreds of tourism businesses and the thousands of Calgarians who work in the tourism and hospitality sector needed a strong, immediate response to the flood. A campaign that would minimize and mitigate the flood’s negative impact and bring people back through their business’ doors.”

As far as the team at Tourism Calgary are aware, no other destination marketing organization has won an ALTO award in four consecutive years. But we’d be quite happy to be corrected. The real story is that every award Tourism Calgary has enjoyed over the past four years has been the result of strong partnerships. Working together is how Calgary’s tourism industry has grown to $1.5 billion in visitor spending and led the nation in tourism growth in 2011 and 2012.

The “Calgary, Our Doors are Open” campaign has also garnered attention from the Canadian Tourism Awards, being selected as a finalist for the Marketing Campaign of the Year. The campaign also prompted Strategy Magazine to recognize Calgary’s tourism recovery from the flood as the Comeback Brand of the Year

The campaign proved to be a huge success for Calgary’s tourism industry: 

  • Hotel occupancy levels rebounded back in both July and August to surpass the benchmarks set in 2012, which is remarkable considering that 2012 was the Stampede Centennial.
  • The two versions of the campaign’s online video received more than 300,000 views combined and was    the second most popular video on youtube.com in Canada for the month of July.
  • 85% of travellers surveyed said the campaign reassured them Calgary had recovered from the flood.
  • Website traffic to visitcalgary.com fell by 50% in the week following the flood, but increased by close to 50% for July and August year-over-year.

The Alberta Tourism Awards, also known as “The Altos”, are hosted annually by Travel Alberta to celebrate tourism excellence within Alberta. The awards took place Monday, October 28 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel.

For more information about Tourism Calgary:
web: visitcalgary.com
twitter: @TourismCalgary 
facebook: Calgary

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Media Contact
Stewart McDonough T: 403.750.2376
Director, Communications C: 403.909.3593
Tourism Calgary stewartm@tourismcalgary.com

To download the media release, click here.