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 January 16, 2002
Tourism Vancouver & VISA Partner To Boost Travel To Vancouver

 Tourism Vancouver and Visa Canada have announced a three-year marketing partnership to promote both domestic and international travel to the city. Currently more than 8.4 million domestic and international tourists spend approximately $3.5 billion visiting Vancouver every year. In British Columbia, 2.8 million Visa cardholders spend approximately $2.3 billion on the travel and entertainment industry each year, representing approximately 16 percent of Visa travel and entertainment business in Canada overall. This new partnership is designed to increase tourism spending while providing a number of benefits to tourists, Visa cardholders and to Tourism Vancouver and its members.

For Visa, the partnership further demonstrates its commitment to the travel and entertainment sector by adding a key market into its mix of destination marketing alliances. Through its Destination Marketing Program, Visa holds successful alliances with other key travel destinations including Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Whistler and the Canadian Intrawest Resorts. The new partnership also provides Visa with the opportunity to increase prominence in the important Vancouver market. "We see tremendous opportunity in the Vancouver market where the number of visitors has grown consistently for many years," said Rick Pyves, Senior Vice President, Visa Canada. "This partnership allows us to provide valuable offers to domestic and international Visa cardholders traveling to Vancouver and gives us the opportunity to support and build relations with key travel and entertainment sectors."

Tourism Vancouver Executive Vice President, Paul Vallee says the Visa partnership will help the recovery of the Vancouver tourism industry.

"Tourism Vancouver has long recognized the power of partnership through initiatives such as our Tourism Vancouver Signature Partners program. Forming strategic alliances provides us with competitive advantage in this dynamic industry allowing us to reach new customer targets and leverage our marketing resources. We're extremely excited about our partnership with Visa who are not only leaders in their business but a key part of the tourism industry internationally," said Vallee.

The first key initiative within the partnership is The VISA Vancouver Rewards program, a program allowing domestic and international Visa cardholders to benefit from great savings and rewards. As part of the agreement, Tourism Vancouver will promote Visa as the Official Vancouver Destination Payment Card. Tourism Vancouver's member businesses will sport point-of-sale decals bearing the tagline and official partnership logo "Vancouver's Best Way to Pay." Other activities include jointly branded advertising and online savings programs.

The travel and entertainment sector also represents an important market for Visa. "In Canada, travel and entertainment represents approximately 17 percent of Visa's overall sales," said Pyves. "While the industry has faced some challenges over the last few months, we believe that partnerships and alliances like this one will help get the industry back on track."