Local Company Big Clic Inc. Launches Unique The Weekend Route™ Visitor Attraction Marketing Platform to Boost Great Lakes Tourism Post-Pandemic

Innovation Cluster client Big Clic Inc. has announced the official launch of its new visitor attraction marketing platform The Weekend Route™ (TWR), a user-centric and collaborative marketing tool aiding Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) by utilizing unique and authentic off-the-beaten-track experiences, one-of-a-kind eats, and hidden gems only locals know about. The platform then uses these lures to drive visitation of those living in the Great Lakes into non-traditional tourism communities.

The platform allows people to travel responsibly from region to region, and encourages users to build routes across multiple areas based on their interests – encouraging marketing collaboration across regions.

Users can now curate trips by searching on and adding stops from an array of unique and authentic categories and sub-categories. This allows the small and medium sized communities to work collaboratively to promote themselves to travellers who historically are marketed more ‘touristy’ large centre destinations or experiences.

In a hyper-aware time for responsible travel The Weekend Route™ provides users and the regions they visit, a perfect way to co-exist. 

Adventurers with a destination in mind can make their trips more interesting by adding unique stops along their route and still ensure they arrive on time. Those who have a pre-determined time they wish to spend travelling, yet no destination in mind, can search categories by radius and begin building their routes based on the amount of product that matches their interests. Travellers then share their customized off-the-beaten-track road trips with friends and others in pursuit of unique and authentic adventure. 

“This is the first trip planning tool of its kind,” Big Clic Founder and President, Jon Hill, stated. “No other platform offers this level of curated experiences for users, especially with our time-based mapping, unique categories, and network of Adventurer Club members who work with our editors to ensure the experiences and stops we list are always on brand. We want our users to go places they would not normally go and find interests, history, and the characters just below the surface. We want them to want to share with friends their new discoveries and create relationships with these places they feel are uniquely their own. With new platform features being released each month we’re only getting started.”

Big Clic has launched its platform at an opportune time as the tourism industry on both sides of the border passes the one-year mark of the Covid-19 outbreak. A survey conducted by the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO) found that the overwhelming majority of business owners in the sector experienced an average revenue loss of 70 percent in 2020 compared to 2019.

“Tourism organizations are now under enormous pressure to pave the road to recovery,” stated Innovation Cluster CEO Michael Skinner. “The Weekend Route is perfectly poised to solve that problem while giving communities a tool that is needed right now to start rebuilding. It will not only boost regional travel but also international when restrictions are lifted.”

Leveraging the power of authentic user-generated content that is vetted by TWR editorial staff in each region, The Weekend Route is not only creating new opportunities for people who are looking to explore their backyard, but it is also decreasing marketing costs for its industry customers while providing further value through partner collaborations.

DMO partners can participate in collaborative marketing campaigns utilizing a best-of-breed marketing tech stack to advertise to what is collectively referred to as the Tourism Media Network audiences – comprised of 1st party data provided by partners, generated by TWR and made available across all in-demand digital channels.

Campaign tracking measures the impact the campaigns have on each participating community and an economic impact report summarizes visitation in dollars each campaign generates.

DMO partners also collaborate in the marketing of The Weekend Route via owned media via their sites, social media, newsletters, and visitor guides – as well as in their print and radio advertising.

Partner collaboration across over 100 DMOs and growing forecasts 2021 paid marketing spend at $1.5MM.

The Tourism Media Network’s 1st party audiences are also made available to advertisers, which in turn generates revenue back to the partners.

TWR further delivers insights to economic developers such as how restaurants, accommodations and local experiences are performing YOY, MOM, and compared to those in neighbouring regions.

“Today marks an exciting milestone for our company,” stated Hill. “Like so many other businesses, this past year we have had to adopt new business strategies, and I cannot express enough gratitude to the Innovation Cluster for their mentorship. We look forward to contributing to the rebuilding of provincial and state economies through Great Lakes residents shared passion for exploration and travel.”

Learn more at theweekendroute.com.