2023 marked an active year for Tourism Kelowna's travel media program as we highlighted itineraries on sustainability, food culture, local sips, outdoor experiences, and cycling.

We hosted group and individual familiarization (FAM) tours, including branching out to host non-local content creators. This growth in separating writer groups from creators recognizes the change in direction media is being consumed, along with different content styles, and allowed us to ensure aligned content for pitches.

Travel Classics 2023
Pre Travel Classics dinner at Quails' Gate Estate Winery

We attended the Travel Media Association of Canada and the Society of American Travel Writers media marketplaces during the year. We sponsored Gold at Travel Classics, a global writer and editor conference hosted in Vancouver this year. These marketplaces and events allow us to pitch the destination, create new relationships, and strengthen existing ones with both writers and publications for consideration to highlight our destination in the future.

We also submitted responses to media pitch requests and supported and hosted Kelowna media visits organized by our partners at Destination BC, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, and Wines of BC.

Over this year, we hosted 11 media FAMs with over 20 writers and editors and had 350+ placements with a reach of 62 million. Along with the articles published this year from visits, there are still articles to be released in both spring and summer from 2023 visits. Articles were published in Canada and the USA with features ranging from the Calgary Herald, The Globe & Mail, and Wine Enthusiast.

Media FAM April 2023
Media FAM, April 2023

Articles and content from the year included:

As we wrap up the media year, we extend a special thank you to the Tourism Kelowna Members and local businesses in the area who continue to support our travel media program, working with us to showcase experiences through friendly hospitality. With the adversity of the late summer, our requests to partner on itineraries were met with enthusiasm and positivity, representing our collaborative and resilient community.

We will kick off the new year by attending International Media Marketplace (IMM), the largest North American media event with over 500 writers and 24 guaranteed one-on-one appointments. The focus of our stories for 2024 will continue to highlight sustainability, Indigenous culture, and outdoor experiences, with a fall focus on harvest season and local bounty. We will continue to pitch to publications and increase our content presence on YouTube and Instagram.

If you are interested in showcasing your business for a future itinerary, please get in touch with me at shereen@tourismkelowna.com with your experience to be added for consideration when planning trips or responding to media requests.