FIRST IN CANADA: TOURISME MONTRÉAL AND GOWALLA TEAM UP

MONTREAL, Jan. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - Tourisme Montréal announced today that it has partnered with the location-based social networking platform, Gowalla, to promote Montréal's neighbourhoods, businesses and attractions. The partnership will allow Tourisme Montréal to create a custom branded presence, making Montréal the first city in Canada to officially enter the fast-growing arena of social check-in networks.

"Tourisme Montréal has always been an early adopter of new technologies and with the huge increase in the use of location-based social networks over the past year, we saw this as a great opportunity to enhance the visitor experience and promote our members," said Pierre Bellerose, Vice President, Public Relations, Product Research and Development for Tourisme Montréal. "Gowalla's user-friendly interface and integration of other location platforms makes it easy for visitors to discover Montréal in a whole new light."

Gowalla is a free smart phone application, or "app", that allows users to "check-in" at a location, post a comment and photo, and read tips and recommendations by other users who have been to the location in the past. Winner in the Mobile category at the 2010 South By Southwest Interactive awards, Austin-based Gowalla was the first to integrate check-ins via other popular platforms like Foursquare, Facebook Places and Twitter, meaning that users can stay connected across multiple platforms using just one application. Major brands such as Disney, Cirque du Soleil, National Geographic and the Washington Post have also chosen to partner with Gowalla to create a branded user experience.  

By following Tourisme Montréal on Gowalla, users can see five "Trips" - itinerary ideas - for five different neighbourhoods, with historical facts and trivia for the various places that make up the Trip. If a user checks in at three places in any given Trip, they earn a Montréal-branded stamp.

Tourisme Montréal has maintained a strong presence on social media platforms and launched its innovative "100% Web" campaign in 2009, which included a strong social media component. In fact, 2011 will mark the CVB's third year of active engagement with potential visitors and Montrealers alike on Facebook, Twitter, The Montréal Buzz blog and now, Gowalla and other location-based platforms. Tourisme Montréal worked closely with OPTIMUM Public Relations to optimize this partnership with Gowalla.

About Gowalla
Gowalla (www.gowalla.com) is a social network that inspires people to keep up with friends, share the places they go and discover the extraordinary in the world around them. Like a passport on your phone, Gowalla was born out of a desire to share remarkable places and life journeys in a fun, easy and social way. Since launch, people have visited, commented on and photographed 2 million places in 170 countries with Gowalla. Now businesses, events, musicians and organizations are using Gowalla to reward fans, to build customer loyalty, and to craft memorable life experiences.

Based in Austin, Texas, Gowalla was launched in 2009 by Josh Williams and Scott Raymond. The company is backed by notable investors including Greylock Partners, Alsop-Louie Partners and Founders Fund.

Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.

SOURCE TOURISME MONTREAL

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Pierre Bellerose
Vice-President Public Relations, Product Research and Development
Tourisme Montréal 514 844-2404
bellerose.pierre@tourisme-montreal.org

Tourisme Montréal on Gowalla: http://gowalla.com/Montreal

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TOURISME MONTREAL

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