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Japanese getting eyeful of Whistler


Stewardess Cops filming locally

Whistler is still number one in some parts of the world thanks, in part, to Tourism Whistler efforts.

The organization has been wooing the Japanese this year and has hosted several key Japanese media visits. The result has been top rankings and special promotions in Japanese publications which have reached an audience of about 27 million people.

Japan’s Bravo ski magazine has rated Whistler the number one ski resort world-wide for the second year in a row and the country’s Blueguide Ski ranked Whistler as the top international destination for the 12th consecutive year.

This winter Kansai TV brought a crew of 17 plus four celebrity hosts to Whistler to produce an 85-minute special called Race to the Canadian Northern Lights. The program included 28 minutes of footage on Whistler’s winter activities, shopping, village amenities and spa treatments. It aired in March to an audience of approximately three million people and carried an estimated public relations value of about $2 million.

More Japanese celebrities will be seen in town this fall as Tourism Whistler continues to pursue "celebrity opportunities" in Japan. The highly-popular television show, Stewardess Cops will be shooting a two-hour special on location. This program will air on the Fuji network in early January of 2002 to an estimated audience of 22 million viewers.

A recent issue of Agora, the in-flight magazine for Japan Airlines, also featured Whistler as a result of a hosted visit last summer. With a circulation of 260,000, Agora is distributed to JAL's first-class passengers world-wide.

JJ magazine, one of the most popular women's magazines in Japan, will be producing a feature article on special travel packages to Whistler for affluent 20-something women. The article, to be published in October 2001, will showcase skiing and snowboarding facilities, afternoon tea parties, spa treatments, shopping and accommodations.

JJ magazine has a circulation of 700,000 and the Whistler article will have a PR value of $184,000.

In addition, staff from three travel publications which are a cross between magazines and books, called mooks, came to Whistler this season: Bravo Ski Mook, Skier Family Mook, and Enjoy Ski More! These special large format travel magazines are produced twice a year, and will showcase Whistler as an excellent snowboarding destination and comprehensive family holiday choice. The Enjoy Ski More edition is targeted at middle age and senior travellers – a key demographic with huge potential for the resort, according to Tourism Whistler.

Whistler's audience reach in these travel mooks is estimated at 600,000 with a PR value of $280,000.

As well, a special Web site promotion with the Canada Japan Journal gave Tourism Whistler members an opportunity for further exposure in the Japanese market. The Web site ran a promotion for three months, from October to December, featuring Whistler winter vacation activities. Several Whistler properties offered a three-night stay, in exchange for the exposure on the Web site.

A similar program, currently running from March through May, was offered to members featuring summer vacation activites.

Also to focus on the warm season, a special radio spot was included on FM Yokohama to launch the summer program, and create awareness in the Japanese market.