DMO Stories

For destination marketers today, the biggest challenge is to keep up with the speed of change and the ever-changing traveller. So how best to stand out from the competition? Is it through technology? Offers? Experiences? Brand? 

Here is an extract of Destination Canada's talk about brand transformation.  We have highlighted the key messages.  The full Case Study is available for #DTTT Members.


For Destination Canada, it was a change in strategy. A shift to focusing on transformational travel to respond to the changing desires of today’s traveller who is now seeking experiences that will ‘change’ them, informing their beliefs and values, and truly touching their hearts in some way. 

To align with the transformational travel experience, Destination Canada changed its practice to focus on matching target travellers personal passions to Canadian experiences, and evolving from a destination brand to a passion brand. 

Video: “More than travel - it’s a journey” 

What is a passion brand?

What is your favourite brand? Now think about why it’s your favourite brand? How does it make you feel? 

Passion brands are built on shared passions, loyalty and personal connection. Brands that connect with their audience on an emotive level based on shared values that often go beyond the product itself, amassing a dedicated following over time. It’s about the experience and it’s about the story. For example, when you buy a pair of Nike trainers or an Apple phone, it’s probably not because they are technically the best on the market, but it’s the relationship you have with that brand and what it means to you.

Building a passion brand takes time. Here is how Destination Canada has laid the foundations to evolving from a destination brand to a passion brand. 

A focus on outcomes

Rather than starting with marketing tactics and outputs, it starts with focusing on results and impact. The desired result is for travellers to fall in love with Canada, and so it’s ensuring that everything aligns with this. 

A new structure 

A new strategy requires a new structure. Destination Canada restructured the whole team to promote an agile working environment that could respond to the speed of change. The team was reorganised into ‘squads’ that supported a new cross-functional way of working, pooling together skills and learnings as opposed to working in divided teams as before. 

A change in culture

Along with a physical restructuring, this required a change in culture which is really important when it comes to reorganising the work environment. The whole team needs to be on the same page which required a shift in mindset from ‘fear of failure’ to ‘experimentation’. 

Canadian Signature Experiences Program

Destination Canada’s Canadian Signature Experiences (CSE) are a collection of once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences found only in Canada. The program is designed to help eligible tourism businesses promote their product internationally and enables Destination Canada to deliver brand-aligned experiences from all over Canada. The Signature Experiences programme can change lives for small businesses - giving them opportunities they would never have had otherwise.

Content Partners

The challenge with existing content creation was the amount of time spent from creating the content before it reaches the viewer. The solution to this was experimenting with other content partners that already have a content format ready to go, and using influencers to try and reach off season audiences.

We were lucky to have Gloria Loree, Vice President of Global Marketing at Destination Canada, join us at #DTTTCampus 2019 in Oslo to share insights into this brand journey.

#DTTT Members can watch the FULL talk here. If you are not yet a #DTTT Member and want to be part of the Community, contact us on the chat or via email


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