GoMedia Marketplace showcases P.E.I. to 125 world travel writers, broadcasters
The province made a good investment by spending $300,000 to host travel writers and broadcasters from across the globe next week. There is no way those writers would come here on their own dime. If P.E.I. can get some international exposure for the province as a tourism destination, it will be money well spent.
This year’s GoMedia Marketplace will bring 125 journalists and editors to meet with hundreds of agents from Canadian destinations and attractions. The plan is that journalists will be persuaded into writing stories, blogs or features that will encourage travellers into booking vacations in Canada and especially P.E.I.
This province could spend $50,000 to buy a full page ad in a national newspaper, or spend $5,000 to bring in a reporter and photographer from that same publication, show them a good time and hope they will write a glowing article and encourage visitors to come here. The $300,000 wouldn’t go too far with TV commercials, national newspaper ads or international magazine articles, but it goes very far when you bring in the actual writers and photographers and let them see for themselves what P.E.I. has to offer.
There will always be critics who will argue the money could be better spent on health care, education and roads. Government needs to collect lots of taxes and that happens when people spend money, both visitors and Islanders. The province could always do nothing and hope tourists stumble here by chance. That would be silly. Marketing is essential in the highly competitive tourism sector and this is a way to ensure we battle for the tourist dollar in a fashion that makes us stand out above other jurisdictions.
Two big evening dinner and social events will showcase the province’s culinary and hospitality delights. Tours across the province are also planned. A good start would be to get them onto tuna charter boats in North Lake next week and let them experience the thrill of fishing for giant bluephin tuna.
The overall spinoffs for this event are estimated in the range of $5 million in ‘media value,’ or the amount it would have cost to place ads in the various publications represented. It is a good bang for the buck.
…Some weekend thoughts
…It’s good to see that free speech is alive and well in the ranks of the P.E.I. medical community. Dr. David Bannon, president of the P.E.I. Medical Society, says he has no problem with doctors who are passionate about public health issues and willing to speak out on them. There were some raised eyebrows when an ER doctor at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital tweeted about workloads and other issues in the emergency room. This refreshing comment comes from a group not normally willing to say anything on the record unless it comes from “an official spokesperson.”
… Hockey fans are encouraged to tune in to Sportsnet on Monday and Tuesday next week to see a couple of special broadcasts featuring P.E.I.’s favourite adopted son Dion Phaneuf, captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sports reporter Arash Madini spent several days with Phaneuf and his new bride Elisha Cuthbert at their summer home in the New London area two weeks ago. They played golf where Phaneuf dominated and tennis where Madani gave Phaneuf a surprising run for his money. The broadcasts show Phaneuf in a new light, and it wasn’t just the golden glow of a spectacular summer evening on his deck. The captain may come across as stiff and unemotional in the dressing room, but in the relaxed setting of home, he’s engaging, personable and a great interview.