Wilderness Tourism RFP Issued

The Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon (TIA Yukon) is an NGO that has been the voice of Yukon’s Tourism industry for over 40 years. The TIA Yukon board of directors consists of representation from each of Yukon’s tourism sectors and the six industry associations (designated organizations) that represent those sectors. Representing approximately 100 tourism-based businesses, TIA Yukon assists its members through programs, workshops, events and advocacy efforts. TIA Yukon works closely with industry stakeholders and their designated organizations to ensure that the territory’s tourism potential remains strong and that tourism operators are able to pursue opportunities as they arise. The Wilderness Tourism Association of the Yukon (WTAY) is a non-profit tourism industry, sector-specific association representing over 70 wilderness tourism operators since 1993. WTAY’s mandate is three-fold, focusing on education, advocacy and marketing efforts for our members. As one of TIA Yukon’s six designated organizations, WTAY works closely with and is an active participant and lead contributor in the advocacy efforts of the Yukon’s umbrella tourism industry association, TIA Yukon. WTAY has been engaged by TIA Yukon to collaborate on and lead this project. On behalf of TIA Yukon, the WTAY wishes to enter into one or two Service Contracts with professional, highly-qualified, multi-disciplinary agencies with tourism expertise and a proven track-record in: conducting primary (quantitative and qualitative) and secondary research on both a national and local level, using appropriate and proven methodologies and providing analysis and distillation of relevant data to help guide marketing efforts of multiple industry stakeholders.

In order to provide consistency in responses and to ensure each proposal receives full consideration, the following format and sequence should be followed. All pages should be consecutively numbered. Completed proposals should not be more than 20 pages in overall length. In the case that the submission is longer than this page limit, only the first 20 pages of the submission will be considered and WTAY will not evaluate any pages that exceed this maximum count.

• Title page identifying the RFP 

• Table of contents, including page numbers 

• A short (one or two page) summary of the key features of the proposal – outlining the proponent’s intention to bid on one or both of the market research projects

• The body of the proposal, i.e. The ‘Proponent Response’ 

• Price for each project one and/or project two with signature of person authorized to enter in to contract

Background:

COVID-19 has greatly disrupted the tourism sector in the Yukon. A very short tourism season, coupled with both international and domestic travel restrictions; as the complete loss of the Cruise Ship season has decimated the industry; leaving many operators unsure of how to survive until a potential 2021 season, and an expected slow recovery. Through funding provided by Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CANNOR) and Yukon Government’s Department of Tourism and Culture (Tourism Yukon), TIA Yukon in partnership with the WTAY, Yukon First Nation Tourism Culture Association (YFNCTA) and Yukon University Entrepreneurship and Innovation (Yukon U, E&I) have developed the Yukon Tourism ELEVATE program. The program consists of two funding streams open to Yukon’s tourism operators directly affected by Yukon’s border closure due to COVID-19 and a number of support projects to aid the industry in the re-opening and recovery efforts over the next six months, including but not limited to: research and policy development to ensure that best practices and the latest trends from around Canada and the world are integrated into the program. This will bolster capacity at TIA Yukon to allow the organization to be able to better support tourism operators, creating efficiencies that save businesses time and money as well as helping their investments in marketing and product to create higher yields. The goal of the ELEVATE program is to create long-term economic benefits that make tourism in the Yukon more resilient with even more direct boost to Yukon communities. This program will be managed by TIA Yukon and delivered in partnership with the WTAY, YFNCTA and Yukon U, E&I.

Scope of Work:

With support from the project’s Senior Advisor (WTAY) and Executive Director (TIA Yukon), the successful proponent(s) will:

Project 1: Conduct secondary market research at a national level to:

• identify travel trends and consumer sentiment/propensity to travel

Project 2: Conduct primary and secondary research at a local level to:

• understand Yukon’s resident sentiment for hosting visitors in the Yukon and measure support of Yukon’s tourism industry, through a series of “pulse checks” and over a specified period of time The results of these two research projects will be shared with Yukon’s tourism partners and used to inform the development of future marketing efforts for Yukon (domestic and local), particularly as the Yukon re-opens its borders to visitors. Other industry stakeholders may be invited to participate in an initial project discussion with the successful proponent(s) to provide expanded context prior to research commencing. In addition, the successful proponent of Project 2: Primary and Secondary Market Research (Yukon) will be expected to advise and work with a separate agency on an on-going basis, using the findings of the local “pulse checks” to guide the development of an industry-lead public relations/marketing initiative. This initiative will be targeted to Yukon audiences to bolster resident sentiment for welcoming visitors and to ensure Yukoners maintain a positive attitude towards tourism in the territory.

• Conduct secondary research, nationally, to document travel trends and consumer sentiment/propensity to travel (domestically); distill insights to determine new considerations with respect to attracting prospective travelers during the (and potentially post) pandemic. 

• Secondary research can be compiled from sources including but not limited to: Destination Canada COVID-19 Research (Impact and Recovery Reports; Resident Sentiment and Travel Related Measures and Event Pulse Checks); Skift; WTO; IMPACT and TTRA. The successful proponent should identify other credible resources as appropriate.

Deliverables 

• Final summary report of data and research findings for national travel trends/consumer propensity to travel outlining key highlights, insights and considerations to guide future marketing efforts. Final report must reference sources and be provided in an easy to read/digest format. Budget Maximum project budget to complete all deliverables for Project 1: Secondary Market Research (National) is $10,000 incl. GST Delivery Date January 15, 2021 Project 2: Primary and Secondary Market Research (Yukon) 

• Conduct primary and secondary research locally to understand resident sentiment for hosting visitors in the Yukon and measure support of Yukon’s tourism industry

• Research findings must provide an overall representation of residents from all Yukon communities with an acceptable sample number

• Primary research methods should consider that some rural Yukon communities have limited internet access as well as limited usage and proponents may have to find creative combinations to obtain an acceptable sample size

• Travel Yukon (Yukon Government) will be conducting additional primary research, separately, specifically with Yukon’s First Nation’s communities – these findings along with other resident sentiment insights gathered from their own secondary research with be shared as they are made available 

• It is noted that local resident sentiment may change over time, depending on Covid-19 infection rates in other jurisdictions in Canada and other events. Because of this, it is requested that the successful proponent conduct a series of “pulse checks” to measure resident sentiment over the next four months so that changes in resident sentiment can be monitored. Proponents should recommend timing for when and how often the “pulse” should be taken and outline their proposed methodology with the considerations noted above 

• It is expected that these research results will help guide on-going creative messaging for an industry-lead, local resident marketing and public relations campaign. Timing for this industry-lead initiative is expected to be December 2020 – March 2021. “Pulse check” results are imperative in this process as we must ensure continued support and understanding from Yukon’s residents for Yukon’s tourism industry; therefore, campaign messaging must be updated and reflective of the findings over time 

• The successful proponent will be expected to advise and work with the agency hired to develop the industry-lead marketing and public relations initiative, to provide updates on changes to resident sentiment that may alter marketing and public relations campaign creative or tactics 

• Proponents should be aware that resident support for tourism has been identified by Yukon’s tourism industry operators as critically essential and is considered an extremely time-sensitive issue.

Deliverables 

• On-going reports based on findings of each “pulse check” that are shared with an agency to guide the development of campaign creative and tactics as outlined above. Number and timing of “pulses” and reports to be recommended by the proponent.

• Final report of summary of all data, research findings and insights from “pulse checks” and other sources of local resident sentiment for hosting visitors in Yukon and local perception/attitude of towards tourism in the territory Budget Maximum project budget to complete all deliverables for Project 2: Primary and Secondary Market Research (Yukon) is $50,000 incl. GST Proponents are asked to breakout the cost of “pulses” in their pricing structure Delivery Dates

• Given that this has been identified as a critical and time-sensitive issue that Yukon operators are currently facing, we propose that the initial “pulse check” report findings be provided by January 4th, 2021 (or sooner, if possible).

• This same consideration should be taken in to account for proposed delivery times of additional on-going reports (between January and March 2021) as it relates to the Proponent’s recommendation for number of “pulse checks” and proposed research methodology 

• Project completion/final report delivery – March 15, 2021

Due Date:

November 26, 2020

  • Address:

Sandy Legge General Manager, WTAY info@wtay.com

Strong PR firms to consider for this assignment include Hunter PR and Magrino PR.

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