• Canada was named the number 1 country to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet

    I’m very proud to see that Canada was named the number 1 country to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet. With Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations just around the corner, our Nation’s Capital is ready to host the biggest party ever thrown for our great country. Be here for Canada’s Big Year!

    Read Ottawa Tourism’s News Release below:

    Ottawa Tourism elated Lonely Planet recognizes Canada as #1 place to visit in 2017
    Capitalizing on Ottawa’s year-long celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday

    OTTAWA, October 25, 2016—Ottawa Tourism lauds the decision by Lonely Planet, announced today, to name Canada as the #1 country to visit in 2017. As Canada celebrates its 150th birthday next year, Ottawa is the only city to plan a full year’s worth of celebrations. Under the direction of Mayor Jim Watson and with the leadership of Guy Laflamme and his team at the Ottawa 2017 Bureau, Ottawa will be THE place to be in Canada in 2017.

    “Ottawa Tourism has been working closely with Mayor Watson and the Ottawa 2017 bureau throughout the planning process for next year’s celebration,” says Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Our team has been promoting Ottawa 2017 for quite some time now, in our leisure marketing, convention sales, travel trade, travel media relations and social media efforts. The Lonely Planet announcement provides yet another boost to the worldwide awareness of what is planned.”

    “As mayor of our nation’s capital, I’m very proud that Canada has been recognized as THE place to visit in 2017,” says Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “We have put a lot of time and resources in creating and promoting our exciting year-long program of events for Canada’s 150th birthday, and this recognition confirms that our efforts have indeed captured the attention of the media worldwide.”

    “The travel experts at Lonely Planet recognize that Canada will be a destination beyond compare in 2017, with festivities to mark our country’s 150th anniversary from coast to coast to coast,” said Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of the Ottawa 2017 Bureau. “Ottawa in particular, will offer Canadians and visitors from around the world an exceptional and memorable year of high-caliber experiences to celebrate this important milestone for our country.”

    Ottawa Tourism will leverage this recognition of Canada as it promotes such blockbuster events as

    • the lighting of an Ottawa 2017 cauldron at Ottawa City Hall to kick off a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that will extend to Parliament Hill on December 31, 2016;
    • the world championship Red Bull Crashed Ice event in March;
    • a series of 17 epic stunts and gatherings throughout the capital called Ignite 150 that will take place throughout the year and include a yoga session on a barge floating down a local waterway accompanied by a live orchestra, a movie on a downtown terrace rooftop, Sky Lounge, a gourmet experience 150 feet in the air, and more;
    • the Juno Awards (celebrating the best in the Canadian music industry) March 27-April 2, 2017;
    • a summer-long free underground multimedia experience in a future light rail transit tunnel downtown;
    • a series of 20 unique one-day outdoor events called Agri 150 taking place over the course of the year in rural Ottawa;
    • Inspiration Village, a free display using shipping containers in the ByWard Market neighbourhood from May 20 to September 4 to highlight each of Canada’s provinces and territories;
    • the first-ever Interprovincial Picnic on the Bridge offering picnic spots overlooking Parliament Hill and the Ottawa River on July 2;
    • the North American premiere of La Machine’s roving, larger-than-life mechanical spider and dragon roaming Ottawa streets July 26-30, 2017;
    • the Grey Cup championship football game in November; among other reasons to visit Ottawa in 2017.

    For a full list of next year’s events, visit www.ottawa2017.ca.

    Ottawa Tourism provides destination marketing, strategic direction and leadership in cooperation with members and partners to service the travel media and attract visitors, tours and conventions to Ottawa and Canada’s Capital Region. Its vision is to build recognition of Ottawa as an outstanding four-season tourism destination.


  • Mayor Watson announces Cher and many more high-profile world leaders & celebrities attending 2016 One Young World Summit

    Opening Ceremony to take place on Parliament Hill

    Ottawa, ON – Today, Mayor Jim Watson announced the high-profile names of world leaders from politics, entertainment, business and the community who will be attending the 2016 One Young World Summit taking place in Ottawa from September 28 to October 1, 2016. The Summit, which is considered the world’s premier global youth forum, will welcome 1,300 exceptional young leaders aged 18-30 from around the globe.  Attendees will be treated to a dynamic and colourful opening ceremony, which will take place on the lawn of Parliament Hill.

    “One Young World 2016 marks the first time the forum will take place in Canada and we are very excited to welcome the world to our city,” said Mayor Watson. “There are still opportunities for organizations to engage with this Summit to ensure Ottawa’s top young leaders are represented. Companies and organizations can still get involved through sponsorship and visibility opportunities as well as hosting breakout sessions and even home dinners for delegates.”

    The line-up of distinguished One Young World Counsellors that will be speaking at the Summit and mentoring delegates includes:

    • Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General
    • Cher, Activist and Musician
    • Professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
    • Sir Bob Geldof, Activist and Musician
    • Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy for Climate
    • Senator Murray Sinclair, Senator and former chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
    • Jon Landau, Oscar winning producer of Titanic and Avatar
    • Minister Marc Garneau, First Canadian in Space and Minister of Transport
    • Harley Finkelstein, COO Shopify
    • Full counsellor list available at ottawatourism.ca/OYWmedia

    “Hosting One Young World is a real feather in Ottawa’s cap,” said Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Showcasing our innovative and exciting city to such a diverse group of current and future leaders is an honour, and to be able to incorporate Parliament Hill, one of the most recognizable symbols of Canada, is particularly special.”

    The One Young World Summit Opening Ceremony on the lawn of Parliament Hill on September 28, 2016 will showcase Canada’s diverse culture, a 196-nation flag ceremony as well as One Young World Counselors, community leaders and senior government leaders.

    One Young World’s Canada Director, Antoine Pouliot remarked “One Young World is excited to be coming to Canada for the first time this fall, with our best-ever lineup of high-profile Counsellors and what promises to be a world-class opening at one of Canada’s most cherished landmarks. Young leaders are the centre of so many of the changes making our city into the vibrant, innovative and diverse capital that it is.”

    Over 100 blue-chip companies have made One Young World an integral part of their development of global talent and corporate social responsibility initiatives, with companies increasing the size of their delegations each year.  With AB Inbev and Barclays as strategic partners, One Young World 2016 will also feature an A-Z of companies including Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Facebook, Google, Janssen, KPMG, L’Oreal, Siemans, Telefonica, Unilever, Volkswagen and Westpac.

    Ottawa Tourism thanks the members of its One Young World Advisory Board, Local Organizing Committee and especially those companies and organizations which are hosting breakout sessions and/or which have committed to sponsoring the Summit, including Destination Canada; its Canadian Advisory Partner, KPMG; EY; and Microsoft Canada.

    “Destination Canada is also pleased to support One Young World 2016 in Ottawa,” says David Goldstein, President & CEO of Destination Canada. “We know that these young leaders from around the world are drawn to Canada’s vibrant cities, cultural attractions and welcoming people. We encourage delegates to take some time to explore what Canada has to offer.”

    Ottawa was chosen to host One Young World because it is a leading global capital that knows the value of young leaders. A challenge has been extended to the Ottawa community to ensure that 30 of its top young leaders will represent Canada’s capital at the Summit. Local businesses and organizations are encouraged to attend, or to support the attendance of local delegates. To learn more, e-mail OYWdelegates@ottawatourism.ca to ensure Ottawa’s top young stars will represent at the 2016 One Young World Summit.

    About One Young World

    Founded by David Jones, founder of You & Mr. Jones, and Kate Robertson former Global President, Havas Worldwide, the annual One Young World Summit is a unique event that offers international decision makers powerful insight into where our world may be heading.

    Since its inception, One Young World has hosted over 7,000 delegates between the ages of 18-30. No youth-dominated event other than the Olympic games represents as many countries as One Young World does. The reach of the event is exemplified as 8.9 million people have already been positively affected by delegate-led initiatives.

    More specifically, One Young World ambassadors are directly responsible for:

    • Immunising 1-in-3 children worldwide
    • Providing 94 million meals in 63 countries
    • Catalysing the first LGBT+ movement in Iraq
    • Founding the first rape crisis centre in Somalia
    • Supporting 10,000 health workers in 23 countries
    • Delivering free healthcare to 5,000 people in Oman
    • Educating over 80,000 people during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone

    The key areas of focus at the 2016 Summit in Ottawa will include:

    • Education
    • Global Business
    • Health
    • Human Rights
    • Peace and Security
    • Environment
    • Indigenous Reconciliation

    To date, Summits have taken place in London (2010), Zurich (2011), Pittsburgh (2012), Johannesburg (2013), Dublin (2014) and Bangkok (2015).

    For more information about the Summit, please visit: www.oneyoungworld.com or follow @OneYoungWorld or @OYWOttawa

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-9656).  You can also connect with us through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

  • Registration now open for Tourism Summit on May 30

    The City of Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism, in partnership with the Economic Club of Canada, will hold a Tourism Summit on May 30, bringing together tourism experts, stakeholders, businesses, and the general public to examine Ottawa’s tourism industry beyond 2017. The summit, part of Tourism Week in Canada, is sponsored by the Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Association and the Shaw Centre.

    “Next year is our big year as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. As the nation’s capital, Ottawa will be the epicentre of attractions for visitors from Canada and around the world, and the resulting boost to the local economy will be significant,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “In the lead up to this milestone year, the City and its partners want to look at ways to sustain the momentum and keep drawing visitors back to our beautiful city for years to come.”

    “We look forward to having a wide variety of businesses with a stake in tourism attend the Tourism Summit because everyone has a perspective on how to make Ottawa a stronger destination,” said Michael Crockatt, President & CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “It will provide a forum for networking and a synergy of ideas that will propel Ottawa to greater destination success and, ultimately, increased visitation and cachet for Ottawa.”

    The Tourism Summit will discuss what happens after 2017 and will be held in two parts. Part one will be the Tourism Outlook Luncheon, which will be a paid ticketed event ($75 +HST) and will feature:

    • Moderated by Councillor Jean Cloutier, an armchair discussion with Mayor Jim Watson and Michael Crockatt, President & CEO of Ottawa Tourism, on their vision for the industry.
    • A panel discussion on how Ottawa can leverage 2017 to build long-term strength, moderated by Guy Laflamme, Executive Director of Ottawa 2017. Panelists will include:
      • David Goldstein, President & CEO of Destination Canada
      • Charlotte Bell, President & CEO of the Tourism Industry Association of Canada
      • Daniel Gélinas, former CEO of Québec 400
      • Katherine Henderson, CEO of Curling Canada

    Part two of the summit, after the luncheon, is a facilitated workshop examining the results of the DestinationNEXT Survey, an initiative of the City of Ottawa and Ottawa Tourism. The survey was completed by hundreds of stakeholders impacted by tourism – including businesses, government and academic institutions – and asked questions about governance, attractions, accommodations and visitor experience.

    Registration is required whether participants want to attend one or both parts of the summit. Deadline for online registration is May 26.