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KEEPING UP WITH THE CANADIANS: Visit California Has the Official Ticket

A group of hipster influencers and Canada’s top media mingled with other tribes of the travel trade industry recently as Visit California hosted an exciting media event fuelled by loads of entertainment at the Soluna Supper Club in downtown T.O. So apropos! The venue—once the ‘80s breeding ground of the legendary Bamboo Club where Queen Street icons converged—was now the setting for Visit California guests who got an exclusive boarding pass a.k.a. an “Official Ticket” to network on an “I Get to Know You Bingo” night where there were boundless surprises in the mix.

California was in the House

Through interactive play stations, an old-fashioned quiz board, and custom-made bag tags made in real time right on the spot, attendees got a taste of California in so many different ways as they quizzed each other during the event, making “X”s on their bingo card.

But the biggest California sampler was watching some sneak peek teaser videos of a soon-to-be released Canadian consumer marketing campaign dubbed, “Keeping Up with the Canadians.”

The drop date of the national campaign is currently hush-hush but Veronica Petcoff, travel trade rep on the Visit California account for the PR company Zeno Group told Travel Industry Today that California has come back in a big way and that this sun destination should be considered especially as this winter travel bookings ramp up fast and furious.

The Comeback Sun Destination

Forget the fly and flop type of vacation in the sun.

“I would like to showcase California as a sun destination with something for everybody. Whether that’s outdoor adventure, touring, wine country, learning how to surf, or going on an epic road trip, there is something for everybody across all verticals for them and their clients,” notes Petcoff adding the client base is wide. “We’re really lucky with California because we can stretch across a ton of demographics. We don’t have to stick with one area of expertise. We can go with luxury, we can go with health and wellness, we can go with fitness retreats, we can go with food and beverage, culinary arts and culture, all of it.”

Elvi Cal, Vice-President of Product Development at TravelBrands, told Travel Industry Today that California has evolved into a last-minute market where travellers are seeking more value for money especially among families. “So I think California would fit perfectly,” he suggests for clients seeking family holiday bookings. He adds that sustainability, which is an important topic for Canadians, is a huge differentiator and California provides this in spades. “Nature is so important. You can hike and visit places like Joshua Tree and Palm Springs or even San Andreas Fault, which is iconic. You are standing literally on a fault line.”

The Darcys’ and Andrew Walker

Canadians Love California

Tons of Canadians are living in California, the audience heard as three Canadian expats later approached the mic, sharing their love of the California Republic. Liz Trinnear of CTV’s ETALK (she’s the show’s L.A. correspondent) shared some of her California travel tips and interviewed LA/Toronto music duo The Darcy’s who performed a musical set.

Meanwhile Canadian actor Andrew Walker who has starred in popular Hallmark Holiday RomCom movies as well as Wes Marskell and Jason Couse from The Darcys made video appearances in the new “Keeping up with the Canadians.”

End Note

It got even more super-hot when a fire dancer gave a spectacular dance of fire wagging, finger waving to the spellbound audience. This moment of creative courage could have easily spun back time to the old Bamboo Club days.

Plenty of air access with five major gateways out of Canada flying to California to such hubs as LAX, San Francisco, San Diego, and Palm Springs to name a few.

For more trade info see

The Fire Dancer / Sana Keller, Liz Trinnear, Elvi Cal, Ilona Kauremszky


First published at Travel Industry Today

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