A tongue-in-cheek website set up to lure Americans wary of Donald Trump to Cape Breton is worth millions of dollars in free advertising, according to Destination Cape Breton.
"If we had a $25-million budget we would have been able to try and create this kind of international attention," Mary Tulle, the CEO of Destination Cape Breton told Maritime Noon.
Tulle's organization is the island's official marketing website. The website "Cape Breton If Trump Wins" was set up by Sydney, N.S., radio announcer Rob Calabrese.
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The site urges Americans to move to Cape Breton before the U.S. election in November and avoid living in a country where Trump might be president.
The site highlights Cape Breton's scenery, affordable housing, and the open and friendly attitudes of the people who live there. Calabrese said as of Wednesday morning, 650,000 people have visited his website.
"We paint a very nice picture of Cape Breton and life in Cape Breton on the website and that's certainly intriguing to a lot of people, but also I think there is a bit of a genuine concern this election," said Calabrese.
Huge jump in traffic to marketing website
Tulle said thanks to a link on Calabrese's site, Destination Cape Breton's web page has received 225,000 extra visitors.
She said a campaign using Google advertising, for instance, would cost the agency more than $2 million, "and the international press is something we would never have been able to actually target."
Destination Cape Breton closely tracks movement on its website and Tulle said it can confirm that most of the new traffic is from the United States.
"We know the numbers that have actually hit the book-now button to operator sites," said Tulle.
"We definitely are seeing the interest in packing up and moving and what we've done is created a landing page similar to Rob's landing page with the frequently asked questions."
The first question visitors to the site always ask is how they can immigrate to Canada, said Tulle.