TORONTO—With the global economy in recession, many would-be travellers are staying put. But one country is hoping an aggressive advertising campaign will make their destination the exception.
On Wednesday, Indiatourism Toronto inaugurated its new mobile outdoor campaign at the Novotel Hotel in North York to promote the country’s diverse attractions. And they’re taking their message to Torontonians on the move.
For the next twelve months, coach buses decked in India travel ads will make their way through Toronto’s Pearson International Airport every twenty minutes, 21 hours a day, transporting passengers to downtown locations such as the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
The vehicles are covered with a special vinyl which is smoothed in place and trimmed. It’s is a labour-intensive process but the ads can stay in place for more than a year.
“We hope that these kinds of initiatives will increase awareness of India and will be able to attract more people from Toronto and from Canada to visit India because it has so much to offer,” said Mr. Gavai, the High Commissioner for India to Canada, who was in Toronto for the launch.
India already receives five million tourists a year, including close to 200,000 Canadians. Despite the economic downturn, the tourism board is determined to see this number increase.
“India is one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Despite the recession, we are still growing five percent a year, but we have barely scratched the surface,” said Mr. Gavai.
Ronjon Lahiri, the director of Indiatourism Toronto says tourism industry is one of the most sensitive indexes to any economic turbulence, so the current downturn is bound to keep some people home.
That’s why Indiatourism is presenting India as a premium destination, something more than a vacation, and targeting those with more disposable income to begin with.
“The pricing for India is high because we want to showcase our best. We showcase our destination as a class destination and to people who are culturally oriented,” said Mr. Lahiri.
“Those who go to India, they really study the civilization aspect of India, the culture, the cuisine, the cities, the colours, etc., and what they want to do is to experience India, feel it,” he said.
The mobile campaign is also planned around major airports in other large Canadian cities and is scheduled to run for one year.