Skip to main content

The NWT Tourism Marketing Plan - Towards Resilience

NWT Tourism Marketing Plan 2023/24

The NWT Tourism Marketing Plan is developed annually by the NWT Tourism Marketing Director. The process involved in developing the marketing plan is robust, and involves input from industry and stakeholders.

Executive Summary

Again, this year’s marketing plan comes at a time when travel restrictions issued by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer have restricted leisure travel to the Northwest Territories. Canada’s borders have opened to international visitors, yet COVID-19 is still causing havoc across the globe. Uncertainty remains about when and where restrictions on travel or gatherings will be lifted in the Northwest Territories. We are not alone in this challenge, as the whole world is grappling with the impacts of COVID-19. The global tourism economy is feeling the effects.

With rapidly changing external factors, continued uncertainty regarding timelines for border re-openings and, with resident perceptions about travel and visitors influenced by communications regarding COVID-19, the role of NWT Tourism’s marketing for the tourism industry’s recovery and eventual return to resilience is critical.

This year’s marketing plan for the Northwest Territories builds on the steps taken last year in response to our quickly changing external environment. We have continued to shift some marketing resources back to operator support programs. We have also built flexibility in our plan to work with our core funding partner, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), to monitor those needs and adjust accordingly. This approach enables the continued availability of relief programs by the GNWT for our industry to protect important destination development and marketing investments made by the private and public sectors.

While our target audience has traditionally been outside of the NWT, this plan includes a second year for northern staycation marketing, which targets NWT residents. Encouraging NWT residents to travel within the territory and enabling stronger connections between local residents and tourism operators offering spectacular visitor experiences, will build pride of place and resident hospitality for visitors. These are important foundations that will help NWT residents become comfortable and welcoming to visitors from outside of the territory once again, when the time is right.

As borders across Canada begin to open up for visitors and our territory also signals its readiness to host travellers from outside of the territory, NWT Tourism will be prepared. Premium story content produced will showcase spectacular stories that compel Canadians to visit our territory. This will also encourage communities to become tourism champions. General sales agents in key international markets will continue to nurture our long-term travel relationships, which are important to position the territory for recovery of international markets in the future. Strategic partnerships with Destination Canada and new funding support from the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency will strengthen our core investments. Underpinning all of this work will be flexibility in timing and tactics, sensitivity to NWT residents’ readiness to welcome visitors and a passion by NWT Tourism’s marketing staff and our industry partners who work hard to showcase and share this spectacular territory.