Good Sam Club Highway Magazine – Aug. 20-26
With valuable assistance from Kamloops, Kelowna and Penticton city DMOs, TOTA co-ordinated a FAM tour for a journalist who was on assignment from Highways Magazine. Recreational vehicle owners may recognize this as the Good Sam Club publication. This was a whirlwind tour of the province for the writer, with visits ranging from Vancouver to a point as far north as Haida Gwaii and another as far south as Osoyoos. The focus was what many RVers like – discovering hidden gems and off-the-radar destinations around B.C.
Australia Yahoo 7 – Aug. 21-25
TOTA hosted a writer and a videographer from Australia on assignment for Yahoo 7, a leading online travel channel with a weekly audience of over 3.5 million viewers a week! Their trip was designed to generate awareness for the Thompson Okanagan among 25- 45-year-olds looking for “free spirit/cultural explorer” type activities. The two spent considerable time in the Okanagan Valley from Vernon to Osoyoos. Given that TOTA does not usually have journalists tour more than three or four days in one sub-region, this trip was an exception and we were able to hook the writers up with many industry stakeholders who assisted greatly in providing a balanced, fun and interesting experience at the many stops along the way.
Ironman Press Trip – Aug. 26-29
In a collaborative effort with Ironman Canada officials in Penticton, TOTA co-ordinated an Ironman press trip in late August to provide additional media coverage for the venerable event. One of the reporters attending the race was developing a story based on an athlete who was training for the 2009 Ironman but was hit by a car, resulting in her missing the 2009 and 2010 Ironman races. The story for the national Globe & Mail newspaper will be titled: “Race for Recovery”.
Peter Szymczak – Sept. 1-4
With assistance from Tourism Kelowna, Tourism Penticton and many suppliers in the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys, TOTA hosted writer Peter Szymczak who was on assignment from Northwest Palate magazine. NW Palate is a publication and website known for many years as a leader in food, drink, wine and travel reporting in the Pacific Northwest.
Ute Junker – Sept. 13-18
TOTA co-ordinated an itinerary for this Australian freelance writer. On assignment for the Wine Selector and the Sydney Herald, two publications with large circulations, Ute’s focus was to feature the wine of the Okanagan Valley and complement it with the unique foods and experiences that are unique or indigenous to the Okanagan. In Australia – where wineries number over 1,000 – we hope word of the work from all the passionate people in our wine industry travels fast! There was also interest in the growing number of Australian ex-pats working in the wine industry that Ute’s itinerary focused on, in part.
Calgary Breakfast TV – Sept. 3
TOTA was able to secure a Guest Chef segment on Global Calgary’s Weekend News. Joy Road Catering’s Dana Ewart graciously accepted our invitation to take time out of her busy schedule to fly to Calgary for 24 hours to be our ambassador and show Calgary some wonderful culinary creations from the Thompson Okanagan.
Bel Mooney – Sept. 16-18
TOTA co-ordinated an itinerary for established United Kingdom freelance writer and columnist Bel Mooney, who writes travel features, advice columns, spa features and a wealth of other pieces for Britain’s national newspapers. This press trip provided an opportunity to promote provincewide touring destinations, highlighting Vancouver as a city break destination, the great outdoors of Whistler and of course the wineries and spas of the Thompson Okanagan and romantic lakeside/ mountain lodge stays. Her experiences will result in a travel piece in a major national newspaper, as well as online items.
Two Korean Bloggers – September
TOTA hosted two Korean Bloggers to the region on separate occasions. This was the second blogger visit to B.C. and our region from Korea on the past six months. Working with the Tourism BC office in Korea, in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission’s Canada Supporter program, this influential blogger was chosen to gather material for CTC’s Korean website and blog. This method of reporting is becoming increasingly popular as it produces live material as well as items for a later audience.
Ole Helmhausen – Sept. 4-8
Freelance German journalist Ole Helmhausen is no stranger to the Thompson Okanagan. Ole has visited the region several times to gain material, most recently to tour some of the iconic sights and activities in and around Wells Gray Park. In the past Ole has written for a number of German publications including FAZ, SPON, Die Welt and Focus Online – and he currently produces print and video as well as travel updates for German Canada webportal Mein Kanada Reiseplaner at www.meinkanada-reiseplaner.de. Ole was also covering BC Parks’ 100th Anniversary and the Spirit Bear.