Calgarians encouraged to share what they love about the city with #LoveYYC

The annual campaign is a way to showcase local businesses, activities, and events

By Leanne Murray | November 22, 2022 |5:00 am

Tourism Calgary is promoting what people love about Calgary with a month-long campaign.

Photo: Leanne Murray

Tourism Calgary wants locals to renew their relationship with the city this month.

The #LoveYYC campaign is back for another year. It’s an annual event that started in 2016 as a way to highlight what people love about Calgary.

Jeff Hessel, vice president of marketing with Tourism Calgary, says the initiative has evolved over the years.

At one point, #LoveYYC was a single day when Calgarians were encouraged to visit different attractions, events, and businesses.

“It’s expanded and it’s also had to morph and change,” Hessel says, adding this year’s campaign is running for the entire month of November.

A slower time of year

The period between the end of summer and Christmas means a bit of downtime for a lot of businesses and events.

Hessel says that’s why November is the perfect time for #LoveYYC.

“The program’s always been about engaging local Calgarians, encouraging exploration of the city during a slower period of time,” he says, adding the first campaign was meant to support local businesses feeling recession impacts.

“Really trying to build positivity for the city, encourage people to explore the city, and go and check out some local stores, events, attractions, and hotels.”

Similarly now, local businesses are trying to bounce back from the effects of the pandemic, Hessel says.

“Partners do need the exposure and just the awareness that they’re still open, that they’ve got wonderful things, wonderful food, and experiences at their venues. And so this helps get that word out.”

Focusing on prizing instead of offers

In the past, #LoveYYC was driven by offers from local businesses and restaurants, such as discounts or coupons.

However, since many are still recovering from the pandemic, Hessel says Tourism Calgary wanted to do something different.

“We’ve really taken more of a prizing approach this year and allowed our partners the freedom to offer things on their own through social channels,” he says.

“So when you’re searching #LoveYYC on any of the channels, you can actually see all the various postings and deals and just hopefully get inspired by what the city has to offer.”

Each week of November has a different prize package up for grabs via the Tourism Calgary Facebook page.

Hessel says the prize packages are themed to showcase various restaurants and activities in the city, including sporting events, arts and culture, and shopping retailers.

Tools to be a good host

Tourism Calgary is also running the Love to Host giveaway on Instagram this month where WestJet will fly the winner’s loved ones to Calgary for a visit.

Hessel says almost half of Calgary’s tourists come here to visit friends and relatives.

“What [#LoveYYC] is also doing for locals is really giving them all the information that they need to be great hosts when they have their friends and family come to the city and just be really great ambassadors for the city, too.”

With the holidays coming up, there will be plenty of opportunities to show visitors some of the most-loved things about the city.

“We’d love for locals to get out to different restaurants and attractions and events and different things to give their family and friends a really great stay while they’re here in Calgary,” Hessel says.

Sharing the love

Hessel encourages Calgarians to continue sharing the events and experiences they love about the city using the #LoveYYC hashtag.

“We love to hear what people have to say about what they love about the city, which park, which restaurant, which event or festival. What are your favourite things to do in the city and share that love with everybody else that they have in their networks.”

The Tourism Calgary website is also constantly being updated with events and information, Hessel adds.

“It’s a website designed for tourists, but it’s also a great resource for locals if they’re looking for something to do, or if they’re hosting people in the city.”

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Leanne Murray

Leanne is a Calgary Citizen reporter.

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