I have noticed a brilliant trend in marketing and advertising in Canada lately that I think is really resonating with Canadians. In the face of a challenging economic environment, increasing competition, and perhaps the influence of Canada hosting the upcoming Winter Olympic Games, Canadians are being encouraged to get out and explore their own backyards when travelling. Supporting businesses that are “locally owned and operated” has never been more important.
That being said, here are some tips for vacationers looking to support Canadians by travelling domestically:
- Look for hotel properties owned and operated locally – bed and breakfasts, small inns and locally-owned chain properties are a great place to start. Best Western is a great example of large chain where properties are owned by independent hoteliers across Canada.
- Eat at smaller, independent diners and restaurants in addition to visiting the larger chain restaurants. These establishments are often cheaper and may serve local favorites too!
- Visit community-based festivals that offer goods and activities from local artists, bakers and entertainers. A great Web site to find these types of events is www.canada.travel.
Tell your friends and family about how you are keeping Canadian dollars and home and encourage them to do it do!
The “locally owned and operated” extends beyond the travel market. A great example is Home Hardware, www.homehardware.ca. One of the most prominent links on their homepage is simply labelled “Our Canadian Heritage”. Although this angle is not necessarily new for the 42 year old national retailer, they have increased the focus recently, including a series of television commercials highlighting a cross section of actual owners from coast to coast.
Supporting local business does make me feel good, both when travelling and in day-to-day activities. Does locally owned and operated mean more to you lately?