Ottawa Tourism has launched a visitor incentive campaign called It’s On Us whereby visitors who book at least a two-night stay in Ottawa receive a $100 Visa Gift Card.
Rooms must be booked before Sept. 30, 2020 for stays before Dec. 31, 2020 at more than 30 participating hotels.
Visa Gift Cards are distributed upon check-in and are encouraged to be spent to enhance the visitor’s stay… for dinner, tickets to an attraction or tour, or souvenirs before returning home.
Michael Crockatt, president and CEO of Ottawa Tourism, explained that: “With more of our tourism businesses opening up with enhanced safety protocols, we’re seeing more people planning staycations in Ottawa.”
Crockatt added that: “If you’re staying in our hotels, let us cover the cost of a nice meal on a patio in the ByWard Market neighbourhood, or a boat cruise along the Rideau Canal, or a visit to the Diefenbunker!”
In terms of Ottawa-area attractions, the Canadian Museum of History and Canadian War Museum have recently reopened (Thursday to Sunday), with free indoor tours (reservations required) and free outdoor activities while the National Gallery of Canada offers free admission (Thursday to Sunday) for the first 25,000 guests.
The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and Canada Science and Technology Museum reopen on Aug. 1, 8, and 14, respectively, and the Canadian Museum of Nature plans to reopen in September.
Outdoor activities such as cycling, paddling, whitewater rafting, hiking, and golf offer many opportunities for fun, while it’s possible to tour Ottawa with a focus on craft beer, cycling, river and canal cruises, culinary delights, historic sites, haunted walks, and more.
This promotion joins other initiatives by Ottawa Tourism to encourage both locals and visitors to explore Canada’s capital region, including:
- The #MyOttawa Pass, aimed at residents and which was expanded on Monday, July 27 to include deals and discounts from more than 75 area businesses, with the expiry date extended until Labour Day, Sept. 7
- A Rural Ottawa campaign to encourage the exploration of Ottawa’s rural regions, either as a day trip or on the way in or out of town
- A weekly emailer What’s Happening in the Ottawa Area that outlines what fun activities and attractions are available over the next week
- The Ottawa Unlocked webpage that amalgamates articles, itineraries, events, and other resources to plan the ultimate Ottawa staycation
Ottawa sees visitor spending of $2.2 billion in a typical year but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ottawa Tourism estimates a loss of more than $1.4 billion of that spend for 2020.
Encouraging spending in tourism businesses — by locals and visitors — means that the industry has a chance to recoup some of that deficit and restore some of the jobs that have been lost (more than 43,000 people are normally employed by the tourism industry in Ottawa).