Destination Ontario targets Germany and UK tourists as travel restrictions ease

Who: Destination Ontario, with FCB, Film Forge for production, and post-production by Rooster Post-Production, Fort York VFX, Alter Ego, and Audio by Eggplant. Media by Initiative.

What: A new campaign encouraging tourists from the U.K. and Germany to visit Ontario now that travel restrictions are easing.

When & Where: The campaign is digital and social only, running from Nov. 3 to Dec. 5. There are also market-specific landing pages containing reasons to visit Ontario, and a content partnership with The Guardian.

Why: After more than 18 months of almost no international tourism, there’s some cautious optimism that leisure travel may start to recover in the months ahead. Destination Ontario wants to start reconnecting with potential visitors, and is focusing on two markets with this campaign.

“Germany and the United Kingdom are priority markets for Ontario, and throughout the pandemic we have continued to be active in those markets with travel trade and media relations to ensure Ontario was kept top-of-mind for when leisure travel resumed,” said Debra Mansillo, vice president, industry relations and international marketing for Destination Ontario, in a release announcing the campaign. “We are now building awareness to ensure [that] when consumers begin to travel, they will choose Ontario.”

How: The campaign shows two expats, one British and one German, talking with family members back in their home country about them coming to visit, and explaining how beautiful the province is. The picturesque scenes and highlighted attractions will appeal to all travel enthusiasts, but FCB went with the separated family stories because those with loved ones they haven’t seen during the pandemic are considered a “first-mover market.”

And we quote: Working on the campaign felt particularly personal for FCB’s associate creative director Guilherme Bermejo, whose family is in Brazil. “It’s been really hard not seeing my family for so long. You miss so many milestones,” said Bermejo. “But the past couple of years I’ve road-tripped a lot around Ontario. And when I do, I see lots of stuff I want to share with my family—like new fishing spots to bring my dad, and wineries to take my mom.”

David Brown