Hotel searching for Tulip Festival marketing
Businesses rely on festival's tourists to fuel local economy during May
The Canadian Tulip Festival's 60th anniversary is already set to break tradition, but the local hospitality industry is also worried the event has not advertised enough for the 2012 event.
This year's festival will not hold any events on National Capital Commission land, which is where the tulips created a picturesque view along the Rideau Canal at Dow's Lake.
Organizers have said, instead, they are making arrangements with local business improvement areas. Other businesses told CBC News they have not heard a peep about plans for the two-week festival that begins May 4.
One hotel spokesman said he is wondering where the publicity and marketing has been for the festival, calling this year's approach an "experiment".
"I don't think what people in Ottawa appreciate is the amount of advertising that takes place off-shore, in Europe and other destinations to bring people to our city to see the Tulip Festival," said David Smythe, general manager of the Lord Elgin Hotel.
"This year, we will find out if they're going to be disappointed. Some of the most major tour companies in the world send tourists here specifically for [the Tulip Festival]."
The event's website has yet to reveal details of the upcoming festival. Last year, they waited until March 21 to unveil the festival's 2011 theme.The Tulip Festival honours Canada’s role in freeing the Dutch during the Second World War. The tulip was a gift to the Canadian people for providing a safe harbour to the Dutch Royal Family during the war.