Tourisme Montreal fights the recession with multiple targets

The city's tourism bureau is aggressively trying to counter dwindling visitors.

In an effort to attract more visitors during the recession, Tourisme Montreal has launched new campaigns to draw in both the leisure and business markets. All creative was handled by Sid Lee, while Cossette Media conducted the media planning and purchasing for both efforts, which run from May until mid-June and then again in September.

Deployed in a number of different markets, Tourisme Montreal’s leisure campaign has three goals: to increase Montreal’s notoriety as a destination of choice for short urban getaways, to showcase Montreal’s ‘sweet deal’ offer (a third night at a hotel for half price) and to help potential tourists plan trips. For the North American markets this campaign is completely web-based, and targets adults 25 to 54 from Toronto and New York State. Banner ads will feature on such websites as,,, and

The campaign also relies on the Tourisme Montreal website to promote the city. The site features the usual travel info plus five newly created blogs, one each for arts and culture, epicurean life, gay life, nightlife and girls’ getaways. They were established to offer insider info to potential visitors. ‘Half a page in a newspaper limits you in trying to tell a great story,’ explains Tourisme Montreal’s VP of communications marketing Carmen Ciotola.

The tourism bureau is also launching a new business campaign in North America and abroad. The $1.4 million marketing initiative will promote Montreal as a good city to host conventions, and will include direct marketing, print advertising and online ads. The print ads will appear in such trade publications as ASAE’s Associations Now, PCMA’s Convene, MPI’s One+, Meetings and Conventions and Headquarters. The online ads will appear on such websites as, and

To further increase the number of conventions in the city, Tourisme Montreal is also launching a campaign within Montreal, relying mostly on word of mouth and presentations, but also featuring print advertising in La Presse, with plans for more. The strategy is to entice key people in the academic, scientific and business communities to stage conventions and meetings in Montreal.