Glen Eden
Glen Eden Milton

Ventures

2017 Great Waterfall Trail Adventure through Hamilton Halton and Brant

Now in its 10th year, the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, an annual, supported, week-long cycling event, rode through our region, Hamilton, Halton, and Brant, this summer. On August 10th and 11th, we hosted 150 cyclists from across Canada and the U.S. as they travelled along Brock’s Route, the Escarpment Rail Trail, and along the Waterfront Trail. Their adventure began at Point Pelee National Park, continued through seven days of cycling and ended at the new Rouge National Urban Park, a total distance of 550 km that spanned two Great Lakes and 24 communities.

It was an immersive way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday, and allowed us to welcome them into our region to explore what we have to offer visiting cyclists. On August 10th, they rode for 100 km, leaving the Waterfront Trail at Port Dover to travel along Brock’s Route, travelling through Mount Pleasant, and enjoying a rest stop at H.M. Royal Chapel of the Mohawks, hosted by Six Nations Tourism, City of Brantford Tourism, and the Heart of Ontario. After visiting the Chapel and taking the opportunity to rest and refresh themselves with snacks, water and ice, they continued along the tree-canopied Escarpment Rail Trail. Their next rest stop was at Heart’s Content Organic Farm in Brant County, which is bisected by the Rail Trail. There, they enjoyed home-baked goods, organic refreshments, and lively conversation about the Greenbelt. Hosted by Richard Tunstall and Ella Haley, and assisted by the Heart of Ontario, riders welcomed the respite before continuing along to the Dundas Valley Conservation Area, and their final stop of the day, Mohawk College in Hamilton, where they stayed overnight. Some riders took advantage of the offer of an additional evening excursion, and visited Peace by Piece, the Quilt of Belonging Exhibition at the Cotton Factory.

The cyclists resumed their adventure through our region on August 11th as they left Hamilton, and returned to the Waterfront Trail through Halton. Their first rest stop was at Burlington’s Spencer Smith Park, hosted by the City of Burlington and Tourism Burlington. They rode into the Burlington Bike Fest with water, snacks, cycling giveaways and a Canada 150th celebration. Assistance was provided by local bike shops and the Burlington Cycling Committee.

Bronte Harbour was their next destination with its 60+ uniquely-designed Muskoka chairs, painted by Oakville artists, families, and organizations. This was followed by the Town of Oakville rest stop at Tannery Park, where water, snacks and local information were provided by the Town of Oakville staff before the cyclists continued through downtown Oakville. Their final chance to explore our region took place with a detour to Gairloch Gardens before continuing along on their way to Toronto at the end of the day.

We hosted the riders on Greenbelt Day, August 10th, where they were able to learn more about what the Greenbelt is, and have their questions answered at Heart’s Content Organic Farm, the official Greenbelt Day rest stop. Upon completion of the entire Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, the cyclists voted Heart’s Content Organic Farm as their favourite rest stop from the entire trip. They appreciated experiencing the hosts’ passion for the Greenbelt, and the delicious organic goodies that had been prepared for them.

The cyclists were an amazing group of travellers, and we enjoyed welcoming them to Hamilton, Halton and Brant. Many indicated their intention to return to, and cycle within, our region.

 

The Heart of Ontario's True Brew Path

HHBRTA has been working with six regional craft breweries to build a marketing campaign pilot promoting regional craft brews and cultural experiences to build visitation. Marketing tactics include a dedicated feature on www.theheartofontario.com and a supporting collateral guide for consumers. The pilot is also supported by the corresponding DMO in which the breweries are located. Partners involved in the marketing pilot include:

Breweries

  • Bell City Brewing Co.
  • Camerons Brewing Co.
  • Collective Arts Brewing Co.
  • Nickel Brooks Brewing Co.
  • Orange Snail Brewers
  • Shed Brewery

DMO’s

  • Halton Region
  • Oakville Tourism Partnership
  • Tourism Brantford
  • Tourism Burlington
  • Tourism Hamilton

Posted August 25

2016 Great Canadian Day Tripping Collateral Piece
As part of our summer marketing campaign, HHB recently distributed an 8.5 x 11 coupon flyer, offering consumers 21 amazing deals for day trips across the region. The offers are outdoor, arts, culture and heritage focused, and came from 21 individual partners.

  • 58,000 were distributed in Mississauga via the Toronto Star on Thursday, July 7, 2016.
  • 40,000 flyers were sent to 70 tourism sites for distribution, including DMOs, OTICs, participating partner sites, hotels, museums, 102.9 K-Lite, and other various places throughout the region and in Kitchener/Waterloo area.

The coupons are also available for download on thehearofontario.com and ourtruenature.ca, and have been pushed out through e-marketing, blogging, digital advertising and social media tactics.
Posted July 12

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:

Posted July 12

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 and outdoor blog
Posted June 8

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 Dana Murray or call 905-297-0190 ext. 102. This partnership will run from April 25 to September 18, 2017.
Posted July 7

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