Vibrant images welcome international visitors to Toronto Pearson
International Airport

TORONTO, Nov. 13 /CNW/ - It's never too early to make a great first impression! International visitors coming through Toronto Pearson International Airport are getting a warm welcome and a sneak peak at Ontario's great tourism experiences almost as soon as they step foot on Canadian soil.

With the launch of the Welcome to Canada initiative at Canada's busiest airport, more than 26,000 international passengers a day will enjoy images of Ontario's travel gems as well as inspirational Olympic and Paralympic messaging to support awareness of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as truly being "Canada's Games."

The Welcome to Canada program is an unprecedented partnership between the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and provincial tourism marketing organizations. The activation at Toronto Pearson International Airport was completed in partnership with the Ontario government and the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA).

"This innovative partnership is a creative and compelling way of promoting Canada's extraordinary tourism experiences to international visitors," said the Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism). "It will also help to create awareness of the upcoming 2010 Winter Games."

"With less than 100 days to the 2010 Winter Games, CBSA staff across the country are eagerly working to ensure that we are ready to meet the demands of this significant international event," said Norm Sheridan, CBSA Director of Passenger Operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport. "Here at Pearson we are thrilled to have the opportunity to play such an important role as the 'first face' to Canada as we prepare to welcome the world to the Games."

"Tourism is an important economic driver in Ontario; it creates jobs and strengthens the economy," said the Honourable Monique Smith, Ontario Minister of Tourism. "Not only will these new images provide travellers from around the world with some great travel ideas, it will also encourage them to extend their visit in Ontario and experience why "There's No Place Like This."

"The GTAA is pleased that the Welcome to Canada program is in place at Toronto Pearson and will serve as a greeting to the more than nine million international passengers that travel through the airport each year," said Lloyd McCoomb, President and CEO of the GTAA. "It's exciting that passengers arriving in Toronto will be welcomed by these images that will inspire them to discover our great province and all that it has to offer."

The CTC and the CBSA are partnering together on the Welcome to Canada initiative to showcase Canada and profile its tourism industry before, during and after the 2010 Winter Games. This initiative is also an excellent opportunity to enhance the overall look of the CBSA's public areas in selected ports of entry and add to the visitor arrival experience.

Earlier this year, the program was officially launched at Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport, and will soon find its way into select other major Canadian airports and British Columbia's busiest land border crossings.

About the CTC

The CTC is Canada's national tourism marketing organization. Our vision is inspiring the world to explore Canada. With our partners in the tourism industry and the governments of Canada, the provinces and the territories, we advertise and market Canada in 12 countries around the world, conduct industry research and studies, and promote product and industry development. For daily updates on CTC initiatives, subscribe to CTC News, available through RSS feeds and by e-mail.

    
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SOURCE Canadian Tourism Commission

For further information: For further information: Jitka Licenik, Corporate Communications Advisor, Canadian Tourism Commission, (604) 638-2482, licenik.jitka@ctc-cct.ca, www.mediacentre.canada.travel; Trish Krale, Media Advisor, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, (416) 776-3709, patricia.krale@GTAA.com, www.GTAA.com; Patrizia Giolti, Manager, Communications, Canada Border Services Agency, Tel: (905) 803-5218, Patrizia.Giolti@cbsa-asfc.gc.ca; Lisa DiLollo, Minister's Office, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, (416) 325-4543; Mark Thompson, Communications Branch, Ontario Ministry of Tourism, (416) 325-8391

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Canadian Tourism Commission

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