June 17, 2022, Bridgewater, Nova Scotia - Canada’s largest and only Canadian Travel Media Association is set to gather in person, for the first time since 2019, June 22-26, in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. 200 members of the Travel Media Association of Canada (TMAC) will meet within, and experience, Southwest Nova Scotia in this much anticipated event that will showcase and celebrate this corner of Canada.
Grounded for two years, TMAC media members have played a critical and significant, role serving as champions for staying and exploring locally when COVID-19 halted travel. As restrictions eased and invitations to Canadians and international travellers were extended, TMAC members continued to use their voices and channels to raise awareness, build confidence and inspire travel once again.
With arrivals beginning June 19th for pre-media tours, and several delegates remaining until June 29th on post-media tours, their sights are set on Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.
The 2022 Travel Media Association of Canada Conference will welcome nearly 100 Canadian travel media delegates and 100 tourism industry delegates from across Canada, including every province and territory, and several from international destinations.
Selling out well ahead of schedule, excitement among the travel media members has been contagious, says TMAC President Tracy Ford, Director of Public Relations, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto.
“Lured by the dynamic and extensive, collection of pre and post media tours, and locally hosted tours and events, this rural, culturally and historically rich, and fairly undiscovered international port of entry to Canada, has literally captured the imagination of our members” says Ford, “including my own!”.
Local Host Conference Chair, Neil MacKenzie, CEO of Yarmouth & Acadian Shores Tourism Association, says they are thrilled to be able to share their destination and those of their partners within Southwest nova Scotia with TMAC delegates. “As a destination marketing organization, back in 2019, we sought the opportunity to host the Travel Media Association of Canada Conference as a means to celebrate and showcase our region.”
MacKenzie acknowledges they hadn’t anticipated having to delay hosting TMAC, but says its timing, in June 2022, could not be better.
“As we emerge from the devastating impact of COVID-19, being the focus of attention of Canada’s travel media and the subject of what is expected to be a swell of travel stories and features across such a diverse collection of communication channels, will raise awareness of our destination. We know this will motivate travel to our region, igniting the recovery of our tourism sector here, and in Nova Scotia” says MacKenzie, adding, “we’re very proud to be hosting this event.”
Working alongside MacKenzie are TMAC Board Members and Conference Co-chairs, Pam Wamback of Tourism Nova Scotia and Guy Theriault of Parks Canada. At the helm of this gathering, spanning 10 days, they say they are proud of the program, and partnerships, they have nurtured.
The four-day business Conference itself boasts a number of elements including the much anticipated, Media Marketplace. Theriault says this is an important aspect of the conference. “Nearly 1,700 individual appointments between travel media and some 73 tourism businesses and destinations will take place over the course of two mornings” adding, “for many, it will result in published articles and stories immediately, for others, it’s the start of relationships that will be key to marketing plans for years to come.”
Wamback says she’s proud to be welcoming TMAC to her home province. “Having grown up in Southwest Nova Scotia, I’m beyond excited to share my backyard with my industry colleagues and media friends, 200 of them, from across the country. It’s always a privilege, daily, to invite and inspire media to celebrate and showcase Nova Scotia but this one comes with a little more pride since I get to work with our amazing partners to show off my home turf!”
Also attending the conference will be representatives from Destination Canada, the Tourism Industry Association of Canada and key editors from publications like AFAR, National Geographic, SKIFT and more.
In addition to the various professional development sessions and media marketplace, the program includes the Awards Gala where excellence in travel writing will be recognized, nine different pre/post media tours, 17 local tours, special events onboard the CAT Ferry, Bluenose II, a Lobster Feast on the Yarmouth waterfront and a ‘Dine Around’ experience at Digby Pines.
Making this event possible is an entire crew of volunteers and sponsors. MacKenzie says, we’ve never mounted anything like this, we’re honoured to have this opportunity.
Following along and seeing this special part of Canada through the TMAC lens can be done virtually as well. All delegates and hosts are anticipated to curate a library of videos, photos and testimonials using #TMACYAS and @travelmediaCA. It is expected there’ll be a buzz on social feeds during the conference, though the real impact of hosting this event will be in the months and years to come as travel media produce and sell stories through media channels in Canada, and around the world.
TMAC is Canada’s largest and only Canadian Travel Media Association of professional and accredited travel media. Founded in 1994, the association and network of nearly 400 members, consisting of internationally connected experts in travel media in the fields of travel writing, photography, videography, bloggers and social media communicators along with tourism industry representatives who work with and among travel media. More information about the conference can be found at the Association’s website, here.