Great Destinations Think Alike

When great destinations think alike, you never know what can happen.

Destination marketing organizations Discover Halifax and Destination Toronto have — separately, but simultaneously — created marketing campaigns built around a Never Have I Ever theme.

Halifax’s Never Have I Ever and Toronto’s Never Have I Ever, TO respectively aim to encourage locals and visitors from nearby markets to get out and enjoy experiences close to home.

Both campaigns also have a focus on supporting local businesses that the pandemic has hard hit.

Clare Tidby, VP, Marketing, Discover Halifax, said: “We’re excited to see our friends at Destination Toronto launch their own Never Have I Ever campaign.”

Tidby pointed out that: “When we started our campaign in June, we knew there was pent-up demand for travel, and we wanted to help locals and visitors alike discover the amazing experiences here in our province. As we near the end of our campaign, we’re thrilled with our results and the added boost that the campaign has provided local businesses. We wish Toronto the same successes.”

Along with partners Halifax Chamber of Commerce, Halifax Partnership, and the Halifax Regional Municipality, Discover Halifax created the campaign to drive new revenue into the visitor economy.

Beginning as Nova Scotia came out its third-wave lockdown, the campaign equipped Nova Scotians with information and tools to help them discover something new in the Halifax region this summer.

Then, as restrictions eased, the campaign extended into all Atlantic Canada.

Encouraging travel in one’s own backyard aligns with a report published by Destination Canada in March 2021, which highlighted how domestic tourism is needed to stimulate the visitor economy.

By keeping their tourism dollars in Canada, Canadians can play a critical role in bolstering the tourism economy, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses.

During the first month of its campaign, Discover Halifax’s website traffic increased by 211%, while the campaign landing page – — has doubled the visitation of any other page on the site. The average time spent scrolling Never Have I Ever content is four minutes.

The campaign included out-of-home, print, radio and digital ads, including video, audio and display. Digital ads have performed exceptionally well, with a social media click-through rate more than doubling industry standards.

A significant part of the campaign has been weekly social media contests with a bundle of local businesses gift cards valued at $500 as prizes. To date, $8000 worth of gift cards has infused cash into local businesses, helping to promote the businesses while driving campaign interest.

Discover Halifax plans to extend its Never Have I Ever campaign into the fall and early winter with the aim of continuing to boost the local economy during the shoulder season.

As well, Discover Halifax is currently also in market with its Reconnections marketing campaign. The $950,000 campaign — the most significant in the organization’s history — aims to attract travellers from national markets, including the Greater Toronto Area and urban Alberta, by positioning Halifax as the ‘elixir’ to the lockdown.

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