• Mayor Watson to lead economic mission to Los Angeles and Seattle

    Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson announced today that on September 18, 2017, he will head to Los Angeles, California, with the heads of Ottawa’s local tourism and film industries, as well as representation from Invest Ottawa.

    On September 21, Mayor Watson will head to Seattle, Washington, to tour the Amazon Headquarters.

    The economic mission’s participants are:

    • Mr. Michael Crockatt, President and CEO, Ottawa Tourism
    • Mr. Bruce Harvey, Film Commissioner, Ottawa Film Office
    • Ms. Kelly Daize, Market Director, Americas, Invest Ottawa

    The purpose of this mission is to promote Ottawa as a filming destination and a technology hub, explore tourism development opportunities with worldwide partners during the World Tourism Cities Federation Summit, and create jobs and economic opportunities for residents in the tourism and hospitality sector.

    Film & Television Opportunities

    The mission will include a series of targeted meetings with decision-makers from American film and television production studios to promote Ottawa as a prime filming location, due to its affordability, beautiful and unique landscapes, and access to a talented and bilingual cast and film crew.

    On September 18, the day after the Emmys, Mayor Watson and the delegates will have the opportunity to build ties and attract interest in the film industry at a reception celebrating Canadian Emmy nominees, hosted by the Consul General of Canada, James Villeneuve.

    On September 19, the delegation will have further opportunities to develop relationships at an industry dinner where the Consul General has convened local film and television industry leaders, as well as other business development contacts.

    Tourism Opportunities

    Mayor Watson and Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, will also attend the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Summit as a guest of the organizers, where on September 20, the Mayor will speak at a forum on solutions to challenges faced by tourism cities. Mayor Watson will discuss Ottawa’s lessons learned from hosting a wide variety of major events in the context of Ottawa 2017, namely the need for early community outreach and identifying the right partners and logistical teams to deliver major events. He will showcase the recent La Machine performances that swept the entire city with excitement as an example of Ottawa’s strength and wealth of experience in planning and ensuring safe and orderly conduct for large crowds.

    The WTCF Summit will also present opportunities to strengthen our international networks. Mayor Watson will meet with the Mayor of Beijing, Chen Jining, and the Chairman of Beijing Municipal Commission of Tourism Development, Mr. Song Yu, to explore further partnership opportunities.

    Mayor Watson will be meeting with a number of Chinese media to promote Ottawa as a tourism destination of choice, particularly in 2018, which marks the Canada-China Year of Tourism. The governments of Canada and China have signed an agreement to increase cooperation between the two countries and boost the two-way flow of visitors.

    Ottawa has maintained an active relationship with Beijing since 1999, when Mayor Watson first signed the Ottawa-Beijing Sister City Agreement. Mayor Watson has led a number of trade missions to China since the signing of that Agreement.

    While at the Summit, Mayor Watson will also have an opportunity to meet with the Mayor of Los Angeles, Mr. Eric Garcetti.

    Foreign Investment and Trade

    Invest Ottawa and the Consulate General in Los Angeles are jointly coordinating site visits and business development meetings with other leads, particularly small to medium-sized enterprises who are interested in establishing a presence in Canada or growing their Canadian footprint in Ottawa.

    Visit of Amazon Headquarters in Seattle

    Mayor Watson will tour the 33-building complex that Amazon has built in Seattle, accompanied by Michael Wooff, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner at the Consulate General of Canada. The goal of the visit and briefing is to gain a better understanding of the scope and infrastructure requirements of the campus, in order to put forward the strongest bid to attract Amazon HQ2 to Ottawa.


    “Ottawa is well-positioned to attract interest from partners located around the world, including keen investors and producers in the United States. We need to strengthen our current relationships and build new ties abroad to keep building Ottawa’s international reputation and ensure we stay competitive in the global marketplace.

    My tour of the Amazon campus in Seattle will hopefully let me see what Amazon needs and what they will be looking to achieve with their second headquarters. I look forward to this opportunity to tour the campus and gain insight from the Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner in Seattle.’’
    Mayor Jim Watson, City of Ottawa

    Quick facts:

    • Ottawa is Canada’s technology hub, with the most educated workforce in Canada, counting 1,750 companies and 77,000 employees in the information and telecommunications industry.
    • Tourism is Ottawa’s third-largest industry and creator of jobs. As a former President and CEO of the Canadian Tourism Commission, Mayor Watson has brought a renewed focus to leveraging tourism for economic growth since he was elected in 2010.
    • The number of Chinese visitors to Canada grew by 170 per cent between 2011 and 2014.
    • The yearly average for film and television production in the Ottawa area translates into over $100 million spent directly in the local economy, including more than $50 million in Ottawa’s established animation sector.
    • Mayor Watson’s travel and accommodations expenses in Los Angeles will be paid for by the World Tourism Cities Federation. The portion of expenses related to Seattle will be covered by the City’s Economic Development Branch.

    For more information on City programs and services, visit ottawa.ca or call 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401). You can also connect with us through FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

  • 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.