Revelstoke, BC, Canada, November 3, 2015 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- Colin and Greg Girard (co founders of ehCanadaTravel.com) think tourism businesses in Canada need to take control of their own destiny instead of waiting for local tourism associations to do the work for them because tourism in Canada is not doing an effective job. Canada use to be a TOP 8 travel destination and now Canada is teetering around TOP 20 status (UNWTO World Rankings 2014 and World Development Indicators 2014). And, no Canadian cities are recognized as Top 20 Travel Destinations anymore (MC Top 20 Global Destinations 2014).
“It is the age of the internet. Tourism businesses now have access to information and can make very intelligent decisions. Now, more than ever tourism needs to tear down the walls and interact with travelers instead of preaching to them. Canada tourism needs to get out from behind their desks and get their hands dirty," says Greg Girard
Colin Girard adds, "Old school marketing is costing the country millions in revenues and status around the globe. Our tourism bodies continually switch, back and forth, on many issues including branding and targeting tourism markets. First we market to the Americans. Then we switch our focus on China resulting in huge loses in American tourists. Now we are back at targeting the USA market again. Back and forth we go. It seems to be an all or nothing mentality. We cannot maintain a high level of brand awareness globally when we change our brand every couple of years and we implement a put-all-our-eggs-in-one-basket type of marketing from year to year.”
ehCanadaTravel.com is putting in place funding so to compliment their national expansion across Canada becoming the first privately owned booking, planning and interactive 100% Canadian travel and adventure website. Unlike traditional tourism models, they have launched an innovative approach to tourism utilizing a series of interactive and content marketing tools.
"Content marketing is the "it" word in today's online world and we are applying this technology to the Canadian tourism industry," boosts Greg Girard.
Content for the ehCanadaTravel.com website is provided by participating locals, travelers, bloggers, photographers, media, tourism businesses and tourism researchers. All content contributions are marketed extensively on live travel community walls (think Facebook and Twitter) located on the front pages of the provinces, territories and Canada and then shared on social media. The content is also presented in a format which gives the credit to the content contributor therefore promoting businesses and linking travelers back to, what are called, Member Profiles. The more content and interactions submitted the more the content contributor is promoted throughout the website.
“Travelers are tired of jumping from one community website to another - province to province - when booking and planning a Canadian vacation or adventure. Every Government funded tourism website is so different - each with different looks and navigation systems - operating individually. It is like learning a new language over and over again. Why is Canada tourism so departmentalized,” asks Greg Girard?
The eh Canada Travel brother team are currently working on ehCanadaTravel.com 2.0. The British Columbia-based travel and adventure tourism company is launching a 37-day Indiegogo #CrowdfundCanada campaign for funding their expansion plans into Eastern and Atlantic Canada and for the product development of their content marketing and interactive features.
In exchange for pledging to the project, backers can gain access to a variety of 15+ Thank You Prizes ranging from $2 and up including induction into the “Canadian Hall of Fame”, “I am Canadian” T-shirts, advertising discount coupons for tourism businesses, adventure dates, community tourism ambassadors, pure wool Canadian made sweaters, and public speaking engagements capitalizing on the brothers 40+ years of tourism and internet marketing experience.
Greg Girard adds, “With our tourism model people with the experience and knowledge about travel and adventure will create the content for a Canadian tourism website. No more do we see the logic in some suit behind the desk rehashing third hand information posting content for travelers to rely on. Canada deserves a travel website where people can take part in its creation and can take ownership in growing Canada as a top travel destination.”
The journey has not been an easy one for the eh Team Brothers. In 2007 the brothers were building a privately operated Vancouver Island Tourism Information Centre in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island to compliment their VancouverIslandAccommodations.com website. "The centre enjoyed a better location than the Government tourism offices. We had many in-house computers for booking online before it was cool. We collected hundreds of brochures from participating tourism businesses. We landscaped our front yard with a giant rock garden in the shape of Vancouver Island with highways, communities and even little ferries and then the walls all came crashing down," shares Greg Girard.
One day out of the blue the head of the local tourism association called the Girard brothers with a disturbing message, "we are going crush you as we do not like competition or take it lightly." Word also got back to the brothers that some tourism businesses who advertised with them were going to be blacklisted if they continued to advertise with them. "We lost most of our advertisers," adds Colin Girard, "and none of them would go on record in fear of the tourism associations."
The brothers were forced to discontinue the project. "In a way they did us a favor. At that time we had no plans of expanding outside of Vancouver Island. Because of the threat we became more determined and decided to take our brand across the country and take the battle online. So we sold off all our assets, swallowed the $6ooo lost and took the next 6 years crisscrossing the country researching tourism opportunities for what was now going to be a national website. We got back just over a year ago and now the project is in motion."
With ehCanadaTravel.com travelers can book, plan and interact with any type of participating accommodation, tour, guide, outfitter, restaurant, transportation, etc., as well as , parks, historic sites, trails, beaches, waterfalls and more connecting BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and NWT and soon all of Canada.
"The conversations behind the walls of tourism is very different from what the public hears. In many cases there is very little hospitality in the hospitality industry when you are in the same room as the Government tourism associations," Colin Girard says with a smile.
Contact-Details: Contact Information