Video: Route 97 | Our Story

Promotional - Video | Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association

The Columbia Cascades of the BC Interior and Washington state form a destination steeped in history and graced with the most diverse and resplendent landscapes on the planet. To fully convey the wonder of the region required us to immerse virtual visitors in an experience so authentic that they would not hesitate in taking the first step on the journey known as Route 97, the longest continuous Highway in North America.

Spilling over borders it’s a four season travel destination waiting to be discovered but not just by anyone. Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) has identified the traveller types that the people of the Region want to attract and have created an inspired 10 Year Regional Tourism strategy to guide their messaging. The Strategy, “Embracing our Potential”, was created in 2012 and endorsed by the Thompson Okanagan’s ninety communities and hamlets and thirty-three indigenous communities representing the three Nations that call this place home – Canada, the United States, and our First Nations People.
The purpose of the video is to increase our visitor economy resulting in increased economic stimulus more evenly distributed throughout the year, and the Region.

Target Audience
TOTA desired to introduce visitors to the Thompson Okanagan through an impact video specifically targeting Authentic Experiencers aged 35+ arriving from BC, Alberta, northern Washington, and California. Peripheral subsets within the Learner Profiles include Free Spirits and Cultural Explorers. The video provides TOTA the opportunity to target visitors using suggestive messaging focused on diversity, authenticity, and culture. Our story is told by Frank Antoine, a respected Cultural Interpreter and TOTA’s Board Chair, whose words reflect the wisdom of our Regions first people: the Nlaka’pamux, Okanagan (Syilx), and Secwepemc Nations.

Tourism is the number one economic sector in the Region. Drawing inspiration from our Biosphere Designation, TOTA will establish a profound and actionable connection between visitors, nature, and the need to tread softly on the lands through which Route 97 passes. This messaging is woven through communications pieces supporting the Route 97 brand, and Regional focus on sustainable tourism, indigenous culture, history, and experiential travel that will establish the Thompson Okanagan as a premiere sustainable tourist destination on a global platform.

Challenges and Changes
The video is a key component in an upcoming campaign. Soft launched in June 2018 it was screened at industry events and introduced to markets that are not familiar with the region. Hosted on YouTube: Discover Route97 for just over a month, it has received 12,165 unique views. The objective “to ignite tourists imagination through storytelling” inspiring viewers to invest in an epic journey built upon the idea of an uncomplicated road trip through diverse lands is taking hold. For industry, the video is intended to bring communities together under a unified brand that represents the unique offerings of the three Nations.

Our challenge was that the existing Route 97 website needed to be revisited to ensure it aligned with the video and intent of our messaging. The website is currently being refreshed to reflect our indigenous voice and hard launch of our Discover Route 97 video and campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the diverse and pristine visitor opportunities in the region, specifically indigenous and sustainable.

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