Outaouais, June 2, 2017 – Outaouais Tourism (OT) kicked off the summer tourist season today by issuing a general call to action: let’s get ready to welcome visitors! On the Zibi site in Gatineau, where Cirque du Soleil’s Big Top will be erected in August, the OT team presented its summer marketing campaign, as well as an array of new initiatives to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

“This year’s campaign is different, notably because it includes a guest experience strategy. In this year of celebration, it’s especially important to be outstanding hosts,” said Manuela Teixeira, chair of the Outaouais Tourism board. New initiatives have been developed to offer an exceptional experience to the approximately 5 million people expected to visit the Outaouais this year. Outaouais Tourism has created an information kit for front-line customer service teams in local tourist establishments, and as of this week it’s also offering those teams free training. Residents also play a key role in the guest experience by hosting friends and relatives, and Outaouais Tourism hasn’t forgotten them! Nearly 15,000 reference kits containing information about summer events and activities, local residents’ “top picks,” and some special surprises will be distributed throughout the region.* The kits will also be available online at

Outaouais Tourism also announced the 50 families selected as finalists from among the 201 families who entered the contest launched in April to find THE definitive Outaouais family. Organized by OT in partnership with Rouge FM, Ville de Gatineau and Gatineau 2017, the contest will conclude with a private party at Moore Farm, and one lucky family will win a full year of free activities in the region—a prize valued at $10,000! The theme of the summer marketing campaign and the contest is “That time …”, a lead-in to favourite vacation memories.

A satellite OT information booth will operate from June 23 to September 4 at the Canadian Museum of History. This initiative is the result of a successful pilot project conducted last summer. Another satellite office will be set up on the site of MosaïCanada 150 / Gatineau 2017. “We want to reach out to our visitors,” explained France Bélisle, Outaouais Tourism’s general manager. “We want to provide information about nearby attractions and amenities—local restaurants, for instance—but also encourage them to take part in activities in our RCMs.” With that in mind, temporary kiosks will be set up outside the Maison du tourisme to promote the overall tourism offer and the region’s various features to the many visitors who will flock to the Quebec side of the river to take part in Gatineau 2017’s signature events. “It’s an exceptional showcase for our territory, and we want everyone to know about our wonderful corner of Quebec,” added Ms. Bélisle.

“For this very special summer season, we wanted to encourage people to venture into the downtown area to discover and enjoy its many attractions,” said Gatineau mayor Maxime Pedneaud Jobin. “That’s the concept that inspired the Culture Trail, which is the result of a productive partnership between Outaouais Tourism, Vision centre-ville and the City of Gatineau, which will also be officially opened in June. Leading from Jacques-Cartier Park to La Fonderie building and featuring all kinds of cultural and heritage activities, the trail will allow residents and visitors to explore downtown on foot.”

Agritourism and gourmet tourism will be in the spotlight on Sunday, July 2 at the Ruelle gourmande (“gourmet alley”), an outdoor fair organized in association with the Table agroalimentaire de l’Outaouais.

And that’s not all: the region will have a spot alongside the Alliance de l’industrie touristique du Québec at the Inspiration Village, installed in the ByWard Market all summer.

A marketing campaign focusing on signature products for 2017

The 2017–18 campaign is built largely around the celebrations of Canada’s 150th birthday, including such crowd-pleasing attractions and events as MosaïCanada 150 / Gatineau 2017, the new Canadian History Hall at the Canadian Museum of History, Cirque du Soleil, Grease, and major summer festivals, to name a few. Once visitors arrive in the region, they can choose from a host of activities taking place throughout the Outaouais and in downtown Gatineau. Cycling remains one of the region’s key draws, and several marketing actions promote that activity.

Summary of marketing actions

  • Annual budget of $1,360,000 divided among the four seasons, with the largest portion allocated to the summer campaign.
  • Target markets: Montreal (Francophone), Ottawa (Anglophone), and Gatineau as a secondary market for the hospitality strategy.
  • Target clienteles: Families, outdoor enthusiasts, adults without children, and young adults interested in culture and entertainment.
  • Airing of TV ads in the Montreal market to promote the summer festivities and the cycling offer.
  • Online publicity: video previews, Web banners, video ads posted on social media, SEO.
  • Television content:
    • Partnership with CBC/Radio-Canada for short clips and two segments about the Outaouais presented by Chéli Sauvé Castonguay on the summer show hosted by Anne-Marie Withenshaw and Mario Tessier.
    • 30-minute episode about the Outaouais on Du haut des airs (TVA Sports).
      • Three video clips will be captured and posted on social media.
    • 60 second video clips broadcasted on RDS during the coverage of the Tour de France.
    • Sponsored clip on Génial! (Télé-Québec).
  • Creation of new content for the Outaouais Tourism website (blog posts, videos, photos and editorial content).
  • Strategy for the rollout of the marketing campaign on Outaouais Tourism’s social media platforms.
  • Production of a brochure promoting outdoor activities, including parks, reserves and bike trails in the region, sports events, adventure activities, and canoeing, kayaking and rafting sites.
  • Creation of 360° videos depicting the Outaouais experience, for use during field visits.
  • Public relations strategy for influencers 2.0.
  • Production of an Outaouais cycling map with six different cycling loops.
  • Appointment of a local cycling ambassador, Frédérick Gates, who will proudly sport the Outaouais Tourism colours as he promotes the region this summer by:
    • Attending and/or participating in a dozen cycling events over the summer
    • Producing social media content (blog posts about his experience at various cycling events, reports on the six cycling loops on the regional cycling map, video content, etc.)
    • Shadowing the RDS camera crew taping the video clips.

In short, the Outaouais has everything it takes to appeal to visitors! We’re betting that many of them will plan to return more than once to enjoy everything our region has to offer.

About Outaouais Tourism

Outaouais Tourism is a private, not-for-profit organization created by and for the tourism industry 35 years ago. A preferred contact and partner of the Quebec government in the tourism field, Outaouais Tourism contributes to the region’s economic development by coordinating regional tourism plans and projects, visitor services, information, marketing and development.

*Get your own #PerfectHost kit!

  • Friday, June 2 from 6 :30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Chocolats Favoris (455 Boulevard de la Gappe, Gatineau, QC)
  • Saturday, June 3 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at IGA des Grives (203 Boul des Grives, Gatineau, QC)
  • Thursday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. de 10 h at Place du Centre (200 Prom. du Portage, Gatineau, QC)
  • A few copies available at Radio CHGA (158, rue Laurier, Maniwaki, QC)

Distribution dates and place may be added.

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For more information, please contact:

Karl Lavoie
Director – Partnerships, Public Affairs and Guest Experience
819-778-2530 ext. 207 | 819-328-5275