Q2 Marketing Highlights - RTO 9

Q2 Marketing Highlights

We are excited to share the collective accomplishments we have made for Q2 (July 1st-September 30th 2021).


Owned & Paid Media

RTO 9’s Digital Marketing Support Program provided six Digital Marketing members (from Destination Marketing Organizations & Tourism Offices in South Eastern Ontario) the opportunity to partner with RTO 9 on digital marketing tactics such as Facebook Ads, Blog creation, and Giveaways. This content was managed and paid for by RTO 9. On our Facebook channel, we featured Facebook Ads on behalf of the following destinations: 1000 Islands Tourism, County of Frontenac, Bay of Quinte Regional Marketing Board, SDG Tourism, Cornwall Tourism, and ‘What’s on Westport.’ Our ‘Storytelling Campaigns’ featured Cornwall, Frontenac County, SDG, and the Bay of Quinte. The content featured on these campaigns included a blog, Instagram Stories, Instagram Reels, and a giveaway.

Earned & Paid Media

RTO 9 participated in the Great Taste of Ontario (GTOO); a provincial recovery program involving +90 partners (including DMOs, RTOs, Sector Organizations, media, and charities). The program was designed to encourage Ontarians to rediscover the province and boost regional economies by increasing tourism visits. Its success was dependent on a unique mix of destination development, market readiness training, procurement tracking and strategic marketing partnerships. The program began with a series of training modules for destinations and businesses to adhere to safe travel protocols; meet visitor expectations in the re-opened tourism space; increase collaboration between the agriculture and hospitality sector and finally, inform business operators on how to communicate to appeal to the ‘food connected consumer’. This training coincides with a strategic, collaborative marketing campaign entitled ‘The Great Taste of Ontario’. The Great Taste of Ontario (GTOO) campaign was centered around a collection of hyper-local passports that inspire Ontario residents to first (re)discover their home region and then, when safe to do so, travel around the province. Downloadable passports were created per region/destination. The following is a list of participating regions in South Eastern Ontario and the number of passport downloads that have occurred. 

Bay of Quinte 131
Cornwall & SDG Counties Adventure Pass 41
Cornwall & SDG Counties Foodie Pass 37
Eastern Ontario Brewery Tour 41
Frontenac County 27
Lennox & Addington County 24
Prince Edward County 395
South Eastern Ontario 79
Visit Kingston 85

Here’s a look at just some of the media our operators and destinations in South Eastern Ontario gained in Q2.

Don’t miss the art scene in Gananoque: Where to dine, explore and take in a show in the ‘Gateway to the 1000 Islands’ – Toronto Star

8 Hikes Around Ottawa With Epic Views That Will Show You All The Fall Colours – Narcity

Four of the best spots for a friend-group vacation – The Globe and Mail

Open Farms 2021 showcases local food and agriculture – Global News

A Scenic Weekend Gateway to Prince Edward County, a Place With Bucolic Fields, Old Vineyards, and Vast Waterfront Vistas – Medium

RTO 9 was able to host 9 Familiarization Tours to the region. In Q4 of 2020-2021, TartanBond and RTO 9 participated in the International Media Marketplace (IMM) virtually where both representatives met with a total of 48 media personalities. It was through these contacts that connections were made and invitations were sent to media to participate in this year’s FAM tours to the region. A media kit was developed in both official languages for IMM and it has subsequently been used to help tell South Eastern Ontario’s stories. The following is a list of the FAM Tours and media personalities that were brought into the region. 

Maryam Siddiqi
Outlet: The Globe and Mail
Story Angle: A lifestyle, culinary piece about a getaway to Kingston and Frontenac County. 
Location: Kingston, Frontenac County

Andrea Traynor
Outlet: Mommy Gearest Blog Toronto Star story
Story Angle: Vacation on the Rideau Canal with Le Boat
Location: Rideau Canal, Kingston, 

Donald Duench
Outlets: Toronto Sun/ Post Media
Story Angle: 1000 Islands, boating, fishing, etc. Gananoque area that can be enjoyed year-round — parks, nature, restaurants, shopping, museums, etc.
Location: Gananoque 1000 Islands

Diana Ballon
Outlets: Vacay.ca, Travel Life
Story Angle: Small towns in South Eastern Ontario, hidden gems, unique experiences. 
Location: Cornwall, Brockville, Newboro, Westport, Chaffey’s Lock

Adam Waxman
Outlets: Dine Magazine
Story Angle: Food and Unique Experiences in South Eastern Ontario
Location: Gananoque, Kingston, Rideau Canal – Chaffey’s Lock, Lyndhurst

Isabelle Pion
Outlets: Québec dailies: Le Droit (Ottawa), Le Soleil (Québec), Le Nouvelliste (Trois-Rivières), La Voix de l’Est (Granby), Le Quotidien (Saguenay) and La Tribune (Sherbrooke)
Story Angle: Outdoor activities: Hiking, cycling, kayak, fishing, Jones Creek trail, Tunnel, Brockville cruise
Location: 1000 Islands Brockville, Cornwall

Carolyne Parent
Outlets: Elle Québec, Le Devoir
Story Angle: A lifestyle, culinary piece about a getaway in PEC with a family angle.
Location: Prince Edward County

Samantha Cutler
Outlets: Influencer – The Fit Fatale: Post 1, Video 1
Story Angle: Food and unique Experiences in South Eastern Ontario
Location: Bay of Quinte

Tiny Town Tours
Outlets: Influencers: http://www.apieceofelise.com/ & https://brigittetruong.com/
Story Angle: Food and Unique Experiences in South Eastern Ontario
Location: Cornwall, Gananoque, Rideau Canal


Paid & Earned Media 

Total Stories: 271
Print: 20
TV Segments: 6
Online: 241
Newsletter: 3
Radio: 1

Total Media Impressions for Q2: 3,447,362,795

Owned & Paid Media for South Eastern Ontario

Total Reach: 2,864,451 (+50% YoY)
Total Engagement: 251,214 (+23% YoY)

Total User Visits: 209,491 (+5% YoY)
Total Page Views: 321,703 (+1% YoY)

Total Events (direct links to tourism operators’ websites): 124,579

Top Website Content
Bucket List: 25 Restaurants You Need To Try In Prince Edward County (33,107 Page Views)

11 Things You Can Do This Summer In The 1000 Island Gananoque (20,605 Page Views)
Bucket List: 24 Restaurants You Need To Try In Kingston (8,491 Page Views)
Destination Page (5,964 Page Views)
9 Places To Visit This Fall (5,947 Page Views)

Future Initiatives

RTO 9 will be co-hosting a FAM Tour with Cornwall Tourism and Akwesasne Travel

The first-ever combined FAM of Cornwall Tourism and Akwesasne Travel is the opportunity to showcase the partnership and cohesion of two destinations offering unique and experiential tourist offerings for day-trippers and international visitors alike. The two-day FAM will show existing highlights of Cornwall and bring light to the rich Mohawk culture of Akwesasne, a perfect marriage of past and present. This is the first step in the right direction for the tourism industry’s regional recovery from COVID and a pathway to create awareness about the destination for the future.

Winter Campaign – Rail + Roam

RTO 9, in partnership with VIA Rail and Landsby.ca, will be in-market with a winter Campaign – Rail + Roam. This campaign will drive interest in winter getaway travel to South Eastern Ontario city destinations such as Cornwall, Brockville, Kingston, and Belleville and will promote unique hub and spoke winter experiences and stays through packaging created by Landsby.ca. The campaign will promote safe, local travel by train from key Canadian markets and will provide a VIA fare discount from November 1, 2021- March 31, 2022 (some blackout dates will apply) when experiences are booked through Landsby.ca.

Owned & Paid Media For South Eastern Ontario

In Q3, we will be launching over 14 blogs that will be promoted on our Facebook channel. We will also feature a Storytelling Campaign for Prince Edward County.

RTO 9 provides regional leadership and coordination for tourism in South Eastern Ontario. We are fiercely working on your behalf to grow all aspects of tourism and attract more visitors, increase revenues, and generate economic activity such as investment and job creation. Connect with a team member who can assist you in your tourism initiatives.