Glen Eden
Glen Eden Milton

Leveraged Projects

TRUE BREW PATH

The True Brew Path was created in 2016 to showcase the growing tourism interest in Ontario’s fledgling Craft Beer industry.  A brand was developed, and 6 Regional Craft Breweries in Hamilton Halton Brant came on board to help promote this new tourism initiative.  Over the past 4 years the number of partners included in the True Brew Path promotions has grown to also include cideries, wineries and unique brew pubs in this regional culinary experience.  Visitors can savour an unique variety of beers, ciders and wines from 26 locally operated businesses that produce or serve these regional beverages.  These businesses also offer visitors entertainment through live music events, experiential VIP tours and workshops (learn how to make sausages at Merit Brewing) and even accommodations (West Avenue Cidery has a B&B available beside the orchard).

Each year the True Brew Path has focussed on unique aspects that would attract consumers to these businesses.  In the first year, 5 two-day trip itineraries were developed to help visitors navigate the True Brew Path in a relaxed way that also suggested outdoor and cultural activities people could do after their visit to the brewery.  These itineraries focused on individual cities and areas, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local activities.  These itineraries have been repurposed and refreshed and are still available to visitors.  

For a couple of years, Ontario’s Greenbelt developed and promoted the Brewery Discovery Trail and established nine routes with about 20 recommended stops on each route.  This initiative focused on the farm fresh and active living elements also enjoyed by people who like unique craft brews.  Partnering with FeastON, this campaign promoted local restaurants and Farmer’s Markets as well as outdoor activities to get people to enjoy Ontario’s Greenbelt.  The True Brew Path was the first to brand the route that went through Hamilton Halton Brant.  By the second year, all the routes were branded by similar tourism brewery trails developed by local Tourism Offices and Regional Tourism Organizations.

In the first year of the True Brew Path we ran a passport program where visitors would get a free branded glass when they had the True Brew Path booklet stamped by all 6 breweries.  Then we tried a Wagjag Passport program, which was fine in telling us who was buying the passport but had no information on where and how often they were being redeemed.  In early 2018, we were introduced to a new digital passport program for craft breweries.  The Craft Beer Passport was growing quickly in Toronto and the owner wanted to move into the Hamilton area.  A partnership was born.  This app can not only tell us who is buying the tokens (redeemed at participating breweries to get a $2 pint), but when they are redeeming the tokens, and who is redeeming at which locations.  This means that we can obtain valuable information on who is interested in breweries along the True Brew Path and where they are coming from for this experience.  The Heart of Ontario has helped to secure regional breweries to participate in the Passport and engages in annual marketing efforts to promote the True Brew Path brand to the Passport app users.

In 2018, the True Brew Path marketing initiative partnered with both the Greenbelt and Attractions Ontario to send influencers to regional beer events as well as food and drink festivals, such as the Taste of Oakville and Taste of Burlington.  Building on this focus, the 2019 campaign saw partnerships develop between food & drink tour operators with regional beer events.  Five large scale beer-focused events were partnered with two tour operators where unique VIP experiential tours were developed for visitors attending the events.  A hotel offer was often added to the mix and the digital marketing campaign promoted each event and tour (with hotel offer) for 6 weeks leading up to the event.  This year also saw the creation of a dedicated page on theheartofontario.com website for the True Brew Path, listing the various breweries, cideries, wineries and brew pubs, as well as the brew themed events and trip itineraries.  Today, we are excited to host the LCBO in October as they come to showcase True Brew Path partners in a 5-Stop edition of a 10-episode series as they explore the Craft Beer industry across Ontario.

Each year the partners involved in the True Brew Path increase, offering more opportunities for cross-promotion and collaboration to promote the culinary and entertainment experiences available in Hamilton Halton Brant.  The seasonal marketing efforts have the most effect and positive outcome when all participants buy-in to the collaborative nature of the initiative, where each partner promotes the other’s activities.  Moving forward we will continue to foster these partnerships and find new and innovative ways to get visitors out onto the True Brew Path and increase tourism receipts.


Hamilton Culture Pass 

Tourism Hamilton initiated a collaborative marketing initiative to enhance promotional appeal for four major cultural attractions in Hamilton.  Working with the Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canadian Heritage Warplane Museum, Royal Botanical Gardens and Dundurn Castle, Tourism Hamilton developed the framework and pricing for a Hamilton Culture Pass.  The first of its kind in the region; this promotion offers visitors a 15% savings when they purchase the pass, which gives them access to the four attractions, plus value-added offers at each location, such as 10% off in the gift shop, to enhance visitor experiences. 

The partners then approached The Heart of Ontario for support through the Partnership Fund program to elevate their marketing dollars and reach.  Each partner made a financial contribution that was then leveraged with an allocation from the Partnership Fund. This partnership is an ideal project for the Ministry of Tourism Culture and Sport’s Partnership Fund, as it involves several partners working with their municipal tourism office to develop a comprehensive tourism product for visitors to be attracted to the area, where they are then encouraged to stay longer and spend more money.  The nature of the Hamilton Culture Pass also provides incentive for visitors to return to the area multiple times as it would require a day at each attraction to be fully enjoyed. This opens the opportunity to generate additional tourism receipts as meals will be purchased and overnight stays are more likely to be booked.

A brand was developed for the Hamilton Culture Pass and promotion of the offer was launched on June 21, in advance of school ending and the Canada Day long weekend.  The program will be promoted until the end of September with the passes valid until December 31, 2019. Go to https://tourismhamilton.com/culturepass to view and purchase the offer. 

The marketing effort was coordinated through The Heart of Ontario office so there is shared group of creative assets that are used on all the partner’s websites and social media channels.  The Pass is targeted to families and couples, with a focus on the women in the household.  Hamilton Halton Brant has also boosted the social media posts on it’s Facebook and Instragram channels as part of the marketing investment through the Partnership Fund.  The pass is listed in the Travel Deal section on Hamilton Halton Brant site; https://theheartofontario.com/offer/hamilton-culture-pass-save-15-on-admission/

The target audience and reach will be continually monitored throughout the campaign and adjusted to maximize consumer engagement and sales.  If successful, this pilot project will be considered again for next summer/fall season.   

 


Rendez-vous Canada 2019

Led by Destination Canada and the Travel Industry Association of Canada, RVC showcases the rich diversity of Canada and contributes to the prosperity and growth of our tourism industry.  Held in Toronto, RVC introduced some 680 plus qualified Tour Operators from 30 countries, and selected Travel Trade Media of Destination Canada’s 10 international markets to Canadian sellers of tourism products. A total of 1700 delegates were in attendance, over a 4-day marketplace.

HHBRTA partnered with 11 market-ready regional tourism experience businesses, in a co-investment strategy, that showcased our destination as a must-experience for Canadian Landscapes, Gardens, Grand River, Canadian Stories, First Nations, and a feature of our two Ontario Signature Experiences. We co-shared a half booth with our key partner, Royal Botanical Gardens. Through this strategy, we mentored the development of Travel Trade profile/sales sheet collateral, as a standard tool to present buyable packages. A 12-page collection of authentic Canadian experiences – “A Place to be Canadian” booklet was developed that featured 19 trade-friendly experiential and unique packages, and of the 19 packages offered, 13 were developed specific to this opportunity. A Media Kit was also developed that further elevated our message and product offerings, and was provided to media in attendance, as well as post-marketplace engagement.

Read More.


 

Ontario Canadian Canoe Culture 2018

Elevating the Grand River Visitor Experience brand is a top priority for HHBRTA’s marketing initiatives. The 2018 Canadian Paddling Campaign is the beginning of a multi-year marketing campaign that focuses on the paddling experience that delivers the demands of the target consumers. HHBRTA’s canoe campaign aligns with Destination Ontario’s “Canadian Canoe Culture” campaign and strategy. 2018 marketing tactics include:

  • An influencer program; that showcases the Grand River canoe experiences as well as the see, do, eat, stay roofed and non-roofed opportunities within the region “Beyond The Canoe”
  • Amplifying the Grand River destination as a strong paddling destination
  • Marketing the destinations and the buyable offers through our leisure website with a focus on an ease of purchase
  • Engagement of all available digital platforms and content marketing (leisure website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, blog posts)

The Heart of Ontario's True Brew Path

HHBRTA is continuing to build on the marketing campaign promoting regional craft breweries and cultural experiences in the region. True Brew Path originally started with six regional craft breweries and has grown to include over 20 breweries, distilleries, and cideries within the region. HHBRTA has renewed our partnership with Greenbelt Brewery Discovery Route to brand Route 5 as TBP and has also partnered with Craft Beer Passport on this marketing initiative to collectively drive visitation and track metrics. The 2018 True Brew Path marketing tactics include:

  • A regional digital marketing plan for Fall 2018; involving an influencer program, the creation and promotion of trip itineraries for consumers, and marketing initiatives around live music events
  • Promotional collateral; including window decals, posters, lure cards, and event banners distributed to partners to be promoted through consumers and at corresponding events
  • Leveraging other HHBRTA marketing initiatives; to attract and reach specific visitors to beer and culinary experiences in the region
    • Canadian Canoe Culture – outdoor enthusiasts
    • Hiking and cycling itineraries
  • Coordinated Social Media Plan; to engage DMO’s, industry partners, and visitors including a promotional kit to partners and a mobile app for visitor interaction
  • Sponsorship in the Keg Masters TV series
  • Promotion of TBP at regional culinary events

The True Brew Path is also supported by the corresponding DMO in which the breweries, distilleries, and cideries are located in.


2018 Great Canadian Day Tripping Collateral Piece

In continuation with the previous marketing campaign, the 2018 Great Canadian Day Tripping campaign is back offering new and unique experiences within the region. The 2018 Great Canadian Day Tripping Lure showcases 15 family road trip ideas, 4 ways to make your trip to Hamilton, Halton, Brant multi-day and numerous other must-do experiences when visiting the region. As a kick off to summer, HHBRTA distributed 10,000 pamphlets to DMOs, OTICs, participating partner sites, hotels, and museums.

Find more day tripping, multi-day excursions, and family fun trip ideas on our leisure website.

Download the Great Canadian Day Tripping collateral piece.


Great Canadian Day Tripping Promotional Videos

Another tactic in our summer marketing campaign was the development of two 30 second promotional videos to share through e-marketing tactics, social media and display on the home page of our website. Take a look at the awesome results:


2016/17 Marketing Framework and Campaigns

This year’s marketing framework and campaigns build on the success of last year’s Great Canadian Day Tripping theme, as well as introduce new tactical approaches to position Hamilton Halton Brant as a compelling tourism destination. Our priority markets include:

  • Near Ontario markets (GTA, KW, SWO, Niagara)
  • Engaged Audiences consumer database and social media audiences
  • Niche Markets/Audiences
    • Relevant interest targeting within priority geographic markets
    • Visiting Friends & Relatives (VFR)
    • Quebec
    • Canadian Newcomers
  • Opportunity Markets—Near U.S. Border

The marketing framework will be product focused and will be optimized through three targeted campaigns:

  • Summer Travel Product (family audiences)
  • Outdoor Product (outdoor enthusiasts)
  • Secondary Product (product enthusiast/niche audiences incl. couples)

Ongoing marketing to HHB’s Engaged Audience (consumer database) will also be prioritized and will align with this product-focused framework.

Priority tactics to support the marketing framework and campaigns include:

  • Digital Tactics - continue to migrate budgets away from print media and printed collateral in favour of efficient, effective, measurable digital tactics with high ROI
  • Content Marketing Tactics focus on publishing branded content on HHB’s owned properties (websites, blogs, video, social channels, etc) and via paid media (Facebook advertising, programmatic native advertising, influencer marketing etc.); develop new content and repurpose existing content

For full details, please our 2016/17 Marketing Overview slidedeck. To see what’s already in marketing, take a look at our leisure blog.


Partnerships

102.9 K-LITE
Following the success of HHB’s partnership with 102.9 K-Lite in 2017, we are once again partnering with the local radio station to leverage our Visiting Friends and Relatives (VFR) market, increase the number of local ambassadors, and promote our region's best tourism experiences and offers. The partnership involves on-air promotions, contesting, prizing and blogging for 102.9 K-Lite’s website. If you are interested in participating and providing contest prizes to promote your business, please email Brittany Hunter or call 905-297-0190 ext.104.

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