Yukon North Of Ordinary

News archive for January 24, 2014

Minister cautious about funding request

The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA) has asked the government for $5 million over two years to fund a nation-wide television advertising campaign.

By Ainslie Cruickshank on January 24, 2014 at 3:47 pm


Photo by Vince Fedoroff

MARKET THE YUKON – Neil Hartling, the chair of the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon, is asking the Yukon govern- ment for $5 million over two years to develop a nation-wide TV marketing campaign to promote the territory.

The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA) has asked the government for $5 million over two years to fund a nation-wide television advertising campaign.

“The Yukon has a fantastic and strong brand but we don’t have enough awareness of this brand,” Neil Hartling, TIA Yukon’s chair, told a news conference Thursday afternoon.

“We don’t have enough market penetration. Yukon tourism is doing the best they can with the tools they have, and we want to give them another tool to work with to see what they can do. We know that this will bring good return,” he said.

Hartling noted Newfoundland has found great success with its own television advertising campaign and other provinces, including Manitoba, are following suit.

“A TV campaign would raise awareness of the Yukon in such a way that it would benefit all the other industries in the Yukon. It would showcase the Yukon as a great place to visit but also a great place to live and to do business,” he said.

The timing makes sense, with Air North recently opening up new gateways to Kelowna, B.C., and Ottawa, beginning in March, he said.

“A TV campaign would also promote the Yukon in the lead-up to 2017, when Canada celebrates its 150th birthday and more people will be looking to explore the country,” Hartling said.

“We want Yukon to be on that list of places for people to explore.”

Yukon MP Ryan Leef is supportive of the idea.

“On the face of it, I’m certainly supportive of moving forward with the exploration of it and helping whatever way I can to determine really the feasibility of being able to move into actually engaging in that kind of marketing strategy,” he said this morning.

Leef said the timing is right, as the market isn’t over-saturated but provinces like Newfoundland and Alberta are finding success with the advertising campaigns.

“As always, you just want to be cautiously optimistic about it and make sure it’s done right, and I’m really looking forward to hearing how the industry progresses this in the next little bit,” the MP said.

“They certainly have my support early on with this.”

If the development goes well, Leef said, he’s certainly open to approaching the federal government for funding.

The Yukon’s minister of Tourism and Culture was more cautious in his response to the idea Thursday.

“To be quite honest with you, we just received the proposal today just about an hour before the press release,” Mike Nixon told the Star.

“We’ll continue the dialogue with TIA, but this is obviously something that’s very new to us.”

Nixon noted the government has seen some success from a pan-territorial advertising campaign done in partnership with the Northwest Territories and Nunavut – Amazing Race Canada approached the territory as a result of the advertising.

Hartling said there’s definitely more the Yukon government could do, highlighting success the N.W.T. has had partnering with shows like Arctic Air and Ice Road Truckers.

The Klondike mini-series aired on the Discovery Channel this week could have been a good advertising opportunity to leverage, he said.

“Regardless of what people thought of the show, there was a lot of eyeballs on that show thinking Yukon, and it’s the perfect time to slip in an ad.”

The Yukon’s tourism marketing budget sits at just over $5.8 million,  including staff.

Hartling said the budget hasn’t seen a significant increase in more than 10 years.

He was also quick to note that tourism has shown it achieves a 28:1 return on marketing investments in the territory.

“The premier and minister led a tourism mission to Europe (last) fall, and the premier spoke at the TIA fall roundup about the importance of tourism to Yukon’s economy,” Hartling said.

“These displays of support are encouraging. Now what the industry really needs is a strategic financial commitment that will allow tourism to live up to its full potential,” he said.

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Star Reporter

CommentsAdd a comment


Jan 24, 2014 at 7:27 pm

This is not the right time to market the Yukon for tourism.
We have to sort out why the government has chosen to not protect the Peel and change that horrible decision.

If Yukoners do not have the power to protect pristine wilderness in their backyard the tourism industry and government should not promote tourism.


Jan 25, 2014 at 1:24 am

It’s a typical Yukon move, way too many people on the government payroll that have never lived outside of the territory in a metropolitan city. Eyes need to be opened wide and ears need to cleaned, the writing has been on the wall for several years, and tourism of any sort in the Yukon has failed over and over.
I’ve seen Alaska based shows that even when showing a map on camera, the title Yukon is missing, Alberta is there, why? NFIVA could have had a contest to produce a spot, there is raw talented people in the Yukon, but they are not really heard or seen outside of Whse. Don’t get me started with the film & sound commission that has never communicated with the very short list of possible businesses that could have contributed to an infrastructure to bring those costs down, but Klondike didn’t shoot in the Yukon because $ and the people in charge of it, they took the easy way out by riding the coat tails of its title and story.
Obviously a big ball was dropped, and it continues to roll away, as it gets kicked out of the way by its other foot.


Jan 26, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Here’s a novel idea: why not drop a few less $$ into local groups who are trying to promote YT by bringing National events to town? 5 million; who won that lottery so tax payers are spared?

Wes Larson

Jan 28, 2014 at 10:26 am

I’m glad Art brought that up about Discovery channel. Because I was the only one who actually took time to write to the local papers about that exact thing years ago. We had free TV time. But they deliberately made it look like Dawson was part of Alaska. And that BS still continues to this day. Just go watch their pathetic show called Gold Rush.

Karen Baltgailis

Jan 28, 2014 at 2:22 pm

Frank has a point, check out the National Geographic coverage of the Peel. Take particular note of the comments; there appears to be the impression that Yukon is inhabited by a bunch of land rapers. This does our image no good.
Should we counteract this negative press with a concerted campaign- or could we change out attitude towards our greatest tourism asset?

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