Whistler's soon-to-be snowy slopes will benefit from a Tourism BC campaign to attract long-haul visitors to British Columbia's ski resorts.
B.C.'s tourism minister, Pat Bell, launched the campaign in Toronto on Oct. 11 by challenging Whistler 2010 Olympic gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor in a virtual ski race.
The race, a motion-sensored video game, took place in a portable, glass-walled truck in downtown Toronto. Passersby were invited to participate. The winner from each head-to-head contest was presented with a one-day lift ticket to one of B.C.'s 13 ski resorts.
Twelve of B.C.'s 13 ski resorts are in Canada's largest city to attend the Toronto Ski, Snowboard and Travel Show. This is the first time participants in the show from B.C. have co-ordinated their efforts under a single branding: "Ski It To Believe It."
Targeting Ontario, California, and Washington, Ski It To Believe It will focus on the abundance and quality of B.C. snow. The campaign, with special offers and snow conditions at the province's 13 resorts, allows visitors to sign up for an e-version of the BC Ski Guide and compete for a $15,000 ultimate ski vacation.
The campaign runs through March 2013 and has a budget of $1.55 million.
"Whistler Blackcomb is thrilled to be a part of the 'Ski It To Believe It' campaign," David Brownlie, president and CEO, Whistler Blackcomb, said in a release.
"The beauty of skiing in B.C. is the diversity of terrain. By joining forces with our Ski BC partners, we will be able to tell the story of all of the unique experiences to be found in B.C. and work together to continue to grow the ski industry in our beautiful province."
David Lynn, president and CEO Canada West Ski Areas Association, said the organization was excited by the partnership.
"We are very appreciative of the fact that the provincial government is making a significant investment to promote B.C. ski resorts. We are confident that this program will drive tangible benefits for the B.C. ski industry and B.C. tourism generally," he added.
Bell said tourism provides jobs for one out of every 15 employees in this province, and added $13.4 billion to the provincial economy last year.
For more information, visit www.skiittobelieveit.com