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Edmontonians get a blast of winter and Victoria tourism ads

Nov 14 2012

Edmontonians commuting by bus during the city's first icy blast of winter might be driven to distraction if they scan the Tourism Victoria ads on their transfers this month.

During November, Tourism Victoria is running advertising on bus transfers in Edmonton, which was slammed last week with between 15 and 35 cen-timeters of snow.

Since then, the thermometer has hovered around the freezing mark and was expected to dip to -4 C Tuesday night, while Victoria was projected to remain a relatively balmy 6 C.

When a Quick Response code - a sort of matrix barcode - on the Edmonton bus transfers is scanned by a smartphone, it takes users to the Tourism Victoria website, which features tourists strolling around the Inner Harbour in summer, children splashing in the ocean and Butchart Gardens in autumn.

November is an ideal time to remind Albertans that while they've got snow, we don't, according to Tourism Victoria.

"I hope [Edmontonians] realize they have options and they can get out of the snow or whatever minus-degree weather they are having," said Trina Mousseau, Tourism Victoria's director of destination marketing.

Victoria is already a popular destination for people from Calgary, Seattle and Vancouver, but it's Albertans who spend the most money while they're here, according to a 2011 study, Mousseau said.

That study showed that on average, Vancouverites spent $1,100 per short-term visit - two to three days - while Seattle visitors spent $1,175 and Calgarians spent $1,791.

"Alberta is definitely a strong market for us," Mousseau said.

It's only the second time Tourism Victoria has tried the new marketing tool, for an undisclosed introductory price. When it was used on Vancouver bus transfers in June, 1,500 bus riders scanned the code.

Tourism Victoria plans to increase its advertising targeting Alberta visitors to $100,000 in 2013, up from $60,000 this year.