Category: Elaine Taylor Letters

Explore Your Yukon

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, June 5th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister of Tourism & Culture

Join Yukon businesses and organizations across our territory in participating in the Explore Your Yukon event, a campaign launched as part of Tourism Week from May 30-June 7.

The Yukon government, in collaboration with the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon, the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, the Klondike Visitors Association and a host of other industry partners and tourism and culture stakeholders, is encouraging Yukoners to visit local attractions and visitor information centres to learn, have fun and become tourism ambassadors for our territory.

Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor visits one of Yukon’s many tourism attractions, the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum in Whitehorse. Shown here with Richard Jamieson, the President of the Miles Canyon Historic Railway Society, which operates the museum.

Tourism and Culture Minister Elaine Taylor visits one of Yukon’s many tourism attractions, the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum in Whitehorse. Shown here with Richard Jamieson, the President of the Miles Canyon Historic Railway Society, which operates the museum.

With more than 35,000 people living here, Yukoners themselves can create tremendous opportunity when they experience all that Yukon has to offer as a travel destination, and then share that information with tourists and potential visitors. During Tourism Week, a number of different Yukon businesses and organizations including museums, cultural centres, hotels, shops, restaurants, tours and events are providing special rates and discounts for Yukoners to take in all that we have to offer. All of Parks Canada’s locations are also participating, as well as our six Visitor Information Centres.

Tourism and Culture Museum Elaine Taylor recently visited one of Yukon’s many tourism attractions, the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum in Whitehorse. Tourism Week is being celebrated in Yukon from May 30 to June 7.

Tourism and Culture Museum Elaine Taylor recently visited one of Yukon’s many tourism attractions, the Copperbelt Railway and Mining Museum in Whitehorse. Tourism Week is being celebrated in Yukon from May 30 to June 7.

Visitors to Yukon contribute $250 million in revenue to Yukon businesses each year. Tourism directly benefits Yukoners by contributing to their economic well-being and overall quality of life.
This year we’re estimating a positive tourism season, thanks in part to increased marketing and awareness here in Canada through the Yukon government’s $3.6 million Yukon Now initiative, the single largest investment in tourism marketing in Yukon’s history. We’re already seeing some positive results with an approximately four per cent increase in visitation overall from January through to April of this year.

The Yukon government and its partners are working hard, through initiatives and investments like Yukon Now and the Explore Your Yukon campaign, to maximize the potential for visitors and Yukon residents to contribute to the tourism sector. More importantly, we are encouraging Yukoners to learn, and have fun with friends and family in our territory throughout our beautiful summer season.

The Tourism Week Explore Your Yukon event is on Facebook, or you can find information on our website: www.tc.gov.yk.ca/tourismweek.

Celebrate Yukon Francophonie Day on May 15

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, May 15th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister responsible for French Language Services Directorate

As Minister responsible for the French Language Services Directorate, I was pleased to pay tribute in the legislative assembly yesterday to the 9th annual Yukon Francophonie Day and to celebrate Yukon Francophones and their many contributions, which enrich the lives of all Yukoners.

Newcomers and visitors to Yukon are sometimes surprised by the strong presence of French in the territory, be it in the private sector, on the cultural scene, or at the governmental level. French can be heard and seen across Yukon.

Since the adoption of its Languages Act in 1988, the Government of Yukon has made great strides in delivering programs and services in French. The French-speaking community has been growing steadily throughout this time, becoming an ever more vibrant sector of Yukon society.

In recent years, the Government of Yukon has worked toward increasing communication with the Francophone community, while creating a more strategic approach to delivering French-language services.
We value our collaboration with the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY), which has contributed to the success of many initiatives. The Active Offer campaign with the new Bonjour Yukon logo is one strong example of our partnership with the francophone community.

Recently, Yukon MP Ryan Leef (on behalf of Shelley Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages), AFY president Angélique Bernard and I were pleased to announce $268,550 over two years in support of Francophone artists and culture in Yukon.

This agreement with the Government of Canada reflects our shared commitment to strengthen the Yukon Francophonie and to support their artistic and cultural expressions through local initiatives and strategic partnerships.

Yesterday I was also pleased to acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the Yukon Francophone Women’s Group, Les EssentiElles.

This group has grown tremendously over the last two decades and so has its capacity to deliver programming, provide leadership in the non-profit community, advise on policy development and support its members.

As the representative organization for French-speaking women, the group has spearheaded numerous awareness campaigns in French on different themes affecting Yukon women’s equality. It has worked toward promoting social justice and the awareness and prevention of violence against women. This work has enhanced francophone women’s involvement in community development and has helped inform other initiatives in the health care sector.

Our government is proud to support Les EssentiElles in their valuable efforts to advance Yukon women’s equality in the social, economic and legal spheres. Congratulations on 20 years of leadership in representing French-speaking women in Yukon. Your dedication makes our territory a better place to live.

Francophones are an intrinsic part of Yukon’s social fabric. They are members of a dynamic community which continues to greatly contribute to the development of Yukon, its quality of life and its uniqueness. Our government is proud to work in partnership with the Francophone community and we look forward to an exciting and prosperous shared future.

Tourism matters in Yukon

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, April 24th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister of Tourism & Culture

Along with industry partners and representatives from around the territory and beyond, I was pleased to attend the very successful Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon 2015 spring conference in Dawson City. The agenda covered topics including everything from cultural tourism, wildlife viewing and culinary experiences, to online marketing and unleashing Yukon’s full potential.

The Yukon government works in partnership with the private and public sectors and non-government organizations to continue to grow Yukon’s tourism sector. This industry accounts for $250 million in gross revenue for business in the territory while more than four per cent of Yukon’s GDP is generated by the tourism industry.

We recognize the importance of this industry to Yukon’s economy, and we are increasing our investment to reflect that. This year’s tourism budget will see an increase of $2 million, primarily in support of the Yukon Now marketing initiative, Yukon’s largest ever investment in the Canadian market.

Television advertising is a major component of Yukon Now, and it is already delivering some positive results. A commercial launched earlier this year has been seen by an estimated 30 million viewers across Canada, in addition to more than 65,000 views on YouTube. In the first month after the commercial was launched, there were more than 22,000 visits to the Travel Yukon website—almost double the website traffic from the previous February.

Yukon’s new television commercials mark a significant milestone in the ongoing evolution of tourism marketing in the territory. This particular marketing effort is helping us maximize opportunities for increased visitation and revenues for Yukon tourism businesses.

As was shared at the recent conference in Dawson, some local tourism operators have already reported an increase in bookings, with some clients crediting the new Yukon commercial for their decision to visit the territory.

The Digital Storytelling Project has a similar purpose – to raise awareness of Yukon as a year-round travel destination by using social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr and Twitter to reach target audiences. The project has called on Yukon content creators to submit their ideas for a series of videos that showcase Yukon as a great place to visit. A number of Yukon videographers were selected and they each produced a series of three webisodes showcasing our territory from a Yukoner’s perspective and promoting it as a travel destination. These projects, along with the commercials, are targeted toward the Canadian tourism market, which has seen a steady increase in Yukon in recent years.

Tourism contributes significantly not only to Yukon’s economy but to the overall well-being and quality of life for Yukoners. I would like to recognise the incredible work by our industry partners and various government departments, much of it done behind the scenes. By working together, we are achieving positive results and contributing to Yukon’s success as the best place to visit, work, live and raise a family.

Delegation looks to grow Asia visitation to Yukon

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, February 13th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister of Tourism & Culture

Tourism is a sustainable, strategic industry for Yukon and a key economic driver contributing $250 million annually to the territory’s private sector revenues. We’ve seen growth across the board over the last several years. This growth is the result of strategic trade partnerships between industry, government and key tourism partners.

Later this month a Yukon tourism trade delegation will embark on a strategic trade mission to Asia to explore opportunities to secure and grow business for group and independent travel to our territory. The Asian markets provide a strategic opportunity for Yukon to increase the number of visitors and spending from overseas markets. China, for example, is becoming the fastest growing market for Canada. From January to August in 2014, there were more than 320,000 visitors to Canada from China. This represents an increase of more than 30 per cent over 2013.

According to the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC), the Chinese market is the world’s largest travel market by a significant margin and travel to Canada is projected to grow significantly over the next decade. Yukon has recorded a three-fold increase in Chinese visitors crossing its international borders since Canada received Approved Destination Status four years ago. The Commission’s studies suggest that priority experiences sought by Chinese travellers include culture, nature, history, outdoor activities and family travel. Yukon offers travel experiences that are appealing to the Chinese traveller – in particular aurora viewing, wilderness, wildlife, iconic drives, vibrant First Nations culture, and engaging people.

Yukon saw an eight-fold increase in Japanese visitors from 2010 to 2013. Japan was Yukon’s fourth largest overseas market with over 3,800 Japanese visitors in 2013, representing more than 9 per cent of overseas visitors. The strong performance and opportunity of the Japanese market is a result of the successful partnerships between industry, government, the CTC and our Japanese travel trade partners. The Yukon River, hiking, canoeing, dogsledding, nature activities and fall colours all represent potentially strong products for Japanese visitors.

As part of Tourism Yukon’s strategic plan, we will be leading this delegation of Yukon tourism businesses to Asia. The Japan component of the mission will include a number of travel trade events in Osaka and Tokyo with Yukon businesses and over 100 key Japanese tour operators. The trip will also include strategic meetings in China between the department, the CTC and more than 20 Chinese tour operators interested in bringing visitors to Yukon. We expect these meetings will yield a number of cooperative marketing agreements.

Yukon businesses are increasing their capacity and interest in hosting overseas visitors, who typically stay longer and spend more than other Yukon visitors. Missions are an opportunity to raise awareness and improve preparedness, professional development, visibility, goodwill and perspective with key target markets such as Japan and China. By partnering together we can increase tourism revenues for businesses resulting in a stronger tourism sector and economy for the benefit of all Yukoners.

Yukon takes tourism marketing to the next level

Elaine Taylor, MLA for Whitehorse West

As submitted to the Whitehorse Star on Friday, January 30th, 2015
by Elaine Taylor, Minister of Tourism & Culture

It is an exciting time in Yukon’s tourism industry and I am honoured to once again work with our partners in my role as Minister of Tourism and Culture. The partnership between the Yukon government and industry over the past 12 years has positioned our territory well as a tourism destination of choice both now and as we look to the future.

Between 2004 and 2012, visitation to Yukon from other Canadian jurisdictions increased by 127 per cent. The total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributable to tourism was also approximately $114 million in 2012, or 4.3 per cent of Yukon’s total GDP. That means tourism in Yukon makes a larger percentage contribution to the economy than in any other province or territory, with the exception of Prince Edward Island.

This past fall, my predecessor Minister Mike Nixon announced Yukon Now, a tourism marketing investment of $3.6 million over two years, jointly funded in partnership with the federal government’s Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency. This investment was identified as a key initiative by the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon to promote Yukon across Canada as a unique and desirable travel destination, through the use of television commercials and other digital technology. Yukon Now represents the single largest investment in tourism marketing in the history of the Yukon government and is in addition to Yukon’s $5.8 million tourism marketing budget.

Yukon NOW

Minister Elaine Taylor with Neil Hartling, Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of Yukon, at the Whitehorse Visitor Information Centre.

Yukon Now is an enhanced marketing initiative that takes an integrated marketing approach, consisting of a range of tools, including the Yukon Digital Storytelling Project, a user-generated content project and new Yukon television commercials to be broadcast strategically in the domestic markets that show potential for even more growth than we have seen over the past decade.

Yukon has invested in television advertising since the late 1990s, including in 2007, 2010 and 2013 with N.W.T. and Nunavut, and in 2014 when Yukon was profiled as part of Canada’s Amazing Race.

The Yukon Now advertising campaign, however, represents the first time an original TV commercial has been developed and filmed by Yukoners in Yukon to market the territory on broadcast television.

These television advertisements are a testament to the maturity and talent of Yukon’s tourism and cultural sectors that have been key industries our government has and continues to invest in as part of economic diversification in the territory. By partnering with industry, we continue to deliver strategic marketing investments that deliver a high-rate of return and high visitation numbers to Yukon.

Yukon Now is a bold new step in marketing Yukon that I am proud of as Minister and that all Yukoners can take pride in.