Ottawa Tourism welcomed more than 50 guests from the association, agency, travel trade and media for a weekend focused on building long-term relationships. It is the second time the event has been held – following an ever increasing $2.3 million return on investment after the 2018 event.
Ottawa Same But Different took place at the Gleneagles resort in Perthshire, Scotland. During the event guests were educated by Olympic Gold Medalist Mark Tewksbury, entertained by Canadian singing star Ann Vriend and made to feel welcome by an Ottawa Tourism team that included board members, industry experts and UK based hosts and representatives.
Guests were also given the opportunity to relax and make the most of the Gleneagles offering including golf, shooting, blind driving, zip wire, a ceilidh and a highly competitive Highland Games to round off the weekend.
Ottawa Tourism’s Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer, Glenn Duncan commented: “Last year’s event was such a success that it was an absolute no-brainer to repeat it again this year. The long-tail legacy of 2018 is still delivering in terms of business, media activity and relationships that have included two confirmed city-wide conventions. Once again we targeted specific buyers with a genuine interest and potential for business in our city. We used the weekend to get to know them better, learn about and from them, and build close working relationships that we hope will deliver in the long term. Going forward we will also use our new ambassador programme, ThinkOttawa!, to ensure we support these organisers at a local level as they start to consider Ottawa, develop bids and plan future events.”
Nick Newland, Policy and Communications Manager from the Associated Country Women of the World said “This weekend has changed my perceptions of Ottawa – it has been a fantastic event. In particular I have been impressed about how it has a truly city-wide offering. Ottawa is clearly not isolated venues working in their own silos – instead it has a genuinely cohesive approach that brings together a complete offering. I have also been delighted at the way Ottawa perfectly balances friendliness with professionalism. The host team has been so welcoming, they don’t boast or sell, because there is no need – Ottawa is such a great city for events.”
Ray McMahon, Secretary General, International Academy of Pathology added: “It has been a very friendly weekend with a diverse group of attendees. It has been incredibly well organised and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. As an international association it is down to our regional teams to select destinations and this weekend has created an opportunity for me to talk in depth with our North American team and push Ottawa forward as a future destination for our events. I knew the city could deliver fantastic events and the last three days has not just cemented that opinion it has given a wealth of new ideas and opportunities for me to explore.”
Dr Christine Gaylarde, hon. Secretary International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation Society concluded: “It has been a great weekend and in particular the hosting has been superb. There has been so much to do and learn, balanced by opportunities to relax and take time out to enjoy the surroundings. Clearly there is a lot more to Ottawa than I was originally aware of and these three days have not just expanded my knowledge, they have allowed me to take a different view of the city and consider it as a potential destination for future events.”