Arizona chooses Connect for Canadian tourism PR

PHOENIX: The Arizona Office of Tourism has retained Connect Worldwide in Toronto to promote the state as a destination to Canadian consumers.

PHOENIX: The Arizona Office of Tourism has retained Connect Worldwide in Toronto to promote the state as a destination to Canadian consumers.

The state chose Connect Worldwide after evaluating it in three areas: experience in the market, method of approach, and cost, said Mary Rittmann, director of trade and media relations in the Arizona tourism office.

The firm was the incumbent on the account. Its new contract is for one year, with four option years, and is worth at least $300,000 with the extensions included. The budget could increase by the contract's end depending on the tourism office's needs, according to a procurement officer.

The scope of work includes creating a campaign that will promote travel to all parts of Arizona, establishing a comprehensive media database, coordinating media tours, and presenting a market overview at the Arizona Governor's Conference on Tourism, according to the RFP. The firm will also develop press releases and a newsletter and attend trade shows.

Canada is Arizona's fastest-growing international market over the last ten years. Between 2008 and 2011, the last full year for which data was available, the number of visitors from the country jumped 36% to more than 700,000, according to state data.

A representative from Connect Worldwide did not immediately return a request for comment.

Last month, North Carolina retained the firm as its Canadian tourism agency. Canadians are the largest group of international tourists visiting North Carolina.

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