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New Private Sector-Led Group Spearheads Campaign to Mobilize Toronto Tourism Recovery: Offshoot of Toronto City Summit Alliance Secures First Round of Funding From the Chartered Banks  

 

A newly formed, private sector-led group will spearhead a special, post-SARS campaign to help mobilize the recovery of Toronto’s tourism industry, it was announced today. The Toront03 Alliance, an offshoot of The Toronto City Summit Alliance, has successfully secured its first round of funding, $1 million, with equal commitments of $200,000 from each of Canada’s major chartered banks – BMO Financial Group, CIBC, RBC Financial Group, Scotiabank Group and TD Bank Financial Group.

“After several weeks of intensive effort to put together a viable, private sector-led initiative, we’re ready to move ahead with solid backing,” said David Pecaut, chair of The Toronto City Summit Alliance and founder of The Toront03 Alliance. “The banks have now confirmed their contribution to tourism recovery, and their leadership in launching this initiative, has been critical,” he added.  A wide range of respected members of Toronto’s corporate community have been at the table over the past few weeks, along with the chartered banks’ representatives and all three levels of government, working to develop a strong and executable concept.

The mandate of The Toront03 Alliance is to “package” Toronto’s summer offerings, both literally and conceptually, by re-enforcing and promoting existing events, creating select new high-profile signature events and branding the summer season.  While affordable and easily accessible tourism packages will be marketed and made available for on-line purchase, Toronto’s entire summer season will also effectively be packaged and branded, in a bid to boost the city’s economy and its morale. The Toront03 Alliance is working closely with other tourism groups and all levels of government to ensure maximum impact.

Advertising agency BBDO Toronto is engaged in developing the branding strategy and creative campaign that will include print, radio and television advertising as well as celebrity-driven public service announcements.

An intensive media, public relations and web-based campaign will be designed to direct consumers to The Toront03 Alliance website where Toronto summer 2003 travel and tourism information will be fully detailed. The website will, in turn be linked to all other appropriate websites including events, sponsors, official tourism sites and sites with transactional capability.  The campaign could potentially be ready to go live in a matter of weeks.

The Toront03 Alliance will be structured as a non-profit corporation.  A management team has been formed to bring its plans to fruition headed up by seasoned broadcast executive Kevin Shea.  The other members of The Toront03 Alliance team include technology/media consultant Chantal Payette, Ed Pietrowski who will handle finance, and communications consultant Anne O’Hagan who will manage public affairs and publicity.  The management team will be supported by a Board of Directors from all sectors of the Toronto region and an advisory group of senior marketing and communication executives.

The Toronto City Summit Alliance is a coalition of Toronto leaders from the private, labour, voluntary and public sectors formed to advance the Framework for Action developed at the June 2002, Toronto City Summit. The Alliance’s report, Enough Talk: An Action Plan for the Toronto Region, was released in April, 2003, and is available at torontocitysummit.ca.

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