UrbanTraveller.com to advise trippers what’s on in their destinations

As of mid-February, people planning trips to major Canadian cities will have a one-stop site for checking which cultural events will be happening during their stays. And advertisers will have the option of a full urban media buy.

The concept for UrbanTraveller.com, Jan Frolic tells MiC, is ‘to help travelers better navigate their ever-expanding options and get the most out of life on the road. If you’re from out of town, you may not know where to find this kind of information.’ Frolic is president of the Toronto-based Magazine Network, a national sales network that debuted in 1985.

The weekly online newsletter will go live in mid-February, continuously updating subscribers on top cultural events in every major Canadian city. Frolic says the target demo is adults 18-44, a choice partly based on a Statistics Canada estimate (in the 2001 census) that 175,084,000 trips are made by Canadians within their own country, and that 43.7% of our population is aged 15-44. That, she says, makes it ‘probably safe to say that about 70 million travellers are within our targeted demographic.’

TheUrbanTraveller.com will provide links to the websites of various English-language urban weeklies to provide not just event listings but regional editorial coverage. Participating publications so far are: Victoria Monday, Vancouver WE, Calgary Fast Forward, Edmonton SEE, Regina Prairie Dog, Saskatoon Planet S, Winnipeg Uptown, London Scene Magazine, Toronto Eye Weekly, Ottawa Xpress, Montreal Hour and Halifax Coast.

Advertising space will be offered on both a per-market basis and for the entire urban network, and Frolic – who is heading up the site’s sales force – says agencies ‘whose clients are interested in reaching hip, urban consumers’ will soon be contacted.

The newsletter’s launch will be supported through national outdoor, print, web and radio advertising commencing in about two weeks. Contesting to drive traffic to the site is also in the works. As well, banner ads are expected to appear in each of the weekly publications from Victoria to Halifax. And negotiations are currently underway for outdoor ads, with Wild Postings in some markets and ocal transit companies in others. To prompt viral buzz, the site will have a posting on MySpace.

www.theurbantraveller.com (as of mid-February)