2022 was a big year for Must Do Canada. We travelled across the country making videos about incredible experiences, went to our first travel conference, had our best year in terms of income, and won the TMAC Travel Media Award at the TIAC Canadian Tourism Awards, which was a great way to end the year and solidify our position as having the best Canadian travel blog.
For those unfamiliar with those organizations, TIAC stands for Tourism Industry Association of Canada and TMAC stands for Travel Media Association of Canada. TIAC essentially represents Canada’s tourism industry and acts as their voice to the Canadian government whereas TMAC is the voice of the travel media, such as us. In 2022, however, both formed a partnership to bridge the gap between industry and media. As part of this new partnership, TMAC set up the Travel Media Award, a new award that would be given out at the 2022 Canadian Tourism Awards in Ottawa, Canada.
The criteria for the award are as follows:
Travel Media Association of Canada – Travel Media Award
The Travel Media Award celebrates and rewards the very best representation of Canada by the media industry in the areas of writing, digital media, broadcast media, and publishing.
The judging criteria in this category are:
- Representation of Canada as a world-class travel destination (20%)
- Engagement/interactivity with the target audience (20%)
- Demonstrably attracts or enhances awareness. Converts awareness into visitor traffic (20%)
- Contributes to or enhances the local, provincial, and/or national tourism industry (20%)
- The originality of overall work (20%)
As you can likely glean from the criteria, our Canadian travel blog seemed like the perfect fit. We had both fans and industry nominate us, and in November, we were notified that we had been selected as one of the three finalists for the award.
Although winning the award was certainly not guaranteed, we had a good feeling about it and decided to go to the awards gala and cross our fingers. We don’t go to a lot of conferences, and we’ve never been up for an award like this, so we booked a flight with Air Canada, wrote a short speech, got all dressed up, and made our way to the nation’s capital.
Thankfully, it all worked out and we won the award. The anticipation leading up to it was intense, but it was such a relief to hear our names being called out as the winners. Not only was it wonderful to be validated for all of the hard work we do, but it was also an honour to stand in front of many of the tourism leaders that shape the travel industry we have here in Canada.
Winning the Travel Media Award was the perfect way to end 2022, our best year ever at Must Do Canada. Not only does this strengthen our thoughts of having the best Canadian travel blog, but it’s also great to be recognized as a company that successfully promotes tourism in Canada. It might seem funny to those reading this, but media platforms like Youtube, and social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook, are still not always looked at in the same fashion as traditional outlets like magazines and newspapers. Since Must Do Canada operates in the online world, it really is a thrill to see these platforms being taken more seriously year after year.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, 2022 was a big year for us. In fact, 2020 and 2021, both of which will go down as the “covid years”, were also exciting years for us. Although the first half of 2020 was terrible as lost dozens of high-end projects, it did give us time to focus on the business, creating a stronger foundation, and forced us to dig deeper into smaller, local destinations. It was a very slow year but the foundation we built that year led to a successful 2021. It helped us focus on growing the website and creating a stronger plan for our business, while also working with new types of partners, such as national brands. Although 2021 was still not a great year for international travel, it did open up nationwide, allowing us to finally leave Alberta and visit places like Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and British Columbia. Once 2022 arrived, and travel really opened up, business took off and we had the busiest year ever. We explored many parts of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. We worked with major national brands such as Toyota, Best Western, and Canadian Tire while continuing to work with tourism boards from across the country.
However, as we mentioned in our speech, there’s been some interesting surprises along the way as well. Of course, our Canadian travel blog has inspired many Canadians and non-Canadians to explore Canada. But in addition to this, we’ve also inspired many people to immigrate to Canada. We’ve literally been stopped on the street in our home city of Calgary by people saying thank you for helping them decide on Calgary or on Canada as a new place to call home. I can’t imagine how difficult, exciting, and scary it must be to move to a new country, so to know that our videos helped make that transition easier really means a lot. Some of them even followed in our footsteps and did their own cross-Canada road trip to learn about the country they would be calling home.
Perhaps more surprisingly, we’ve also learned that our videos on Youtube have been used in elementary schools across the country, helping to educate their students on the diversity, nature, and different provinces of Canada. We even did a video call with some students in Toronto that were eager to meet us. They asked us all sorts of questions and it was so cool to see their faces light up. If we can accomplish all of this with a media channel focused on Canada, I think we’re heading in the right direction.
However, like all businesses, we’re now focused on 2023. Typically, as the winter starts, business declines rapidly and we never really know what the next year will look like until well into the spring. That’s something that we’d like to change as it can be hard to plan and stressful to budget. So, if you’re keen to advertise with us or hire us to create content for you, send us an email!
We offer a variety of services for tourism companies, travel-related products, and destinations, including content creation (video, articles, photos, etc), advertising (website ads, sponsored articles, newsletter advertising, etc), promotion (social media advertising, giveaways, etc), and more. Check out our “work with us” page to learn more and send us an email if you’d like a media and sales kit.
If you’d like to see some samples of work we’ve done, we’ll list some below:
Rocky Mountaineer Video (Travel Experience)
This video we did for the Rocky Mountaineer has more than 300,000 views and was our most popular video for 2022. In addition to the video, we also included a detailed article about the Rocky Mountain Train on our website, lots of social media promotions, and a feature ad in our newsletter, which goes out to 70,000 Canadians every Wednesday.
Toyota Road Trip Video (Vehicle Marketing)
In this video, we combine a destination in Alberta while organically promoting the new 2022 Toyota Tundra Hybrid. This video is a great example of how we integrate travel-related products into our videos. In addition, we promote this truck in our newsletter and across our social media channels.
Canadian Tire Product Video (Travel Products)
In this video, we featured camping and hiking along the Icefields Parkway while promoting travel-related products from Canadian Tire. This is a great example of how we can organically integrate products into our videos. In addition to the video, we created a travel article about how to plan a road trip while integrating the products into the article and combined it with social media and multiple newsletter ads.
Working with the Best Canadian Travel Blog
Once again, if you’re interested in working with us, send us an email to matt (@) mustdocanada (dot) com. Whether you represent a destination, a product, anything travel-related, or “Canadiana”, we can certainly help with marketing, advertising, and content creation.
If you’d like to see more articles that we’ve created, here are some links below: