This is the place for my rants, raves, reviews and just general "stuff". May you be amused, enlightened, and perhaps even a little pissed off.

2.16.2007

Guerilla Tourism Board

I've told this story to many many people, so I thought I would share it with the world.

Early in December my Son and I went to Winnipeg for an exhibition lacrosse game of our favorite team, the Minnesota Swarm. Winnipeg is about 8 or 9 hours and an border crossing away from our home, so it was a non-trivial jaunt for a sporting event. For us, it was a novel adventure. I'll spare you almost all of the details other than it was a wonderful trip and Winnipeg was an awesome place to visit, even in the winter. Everybody we met was really great and especially helpful, which leads me into the actual story. Two other die-hard Swarm fans made the trek up as well. We sat on one side of the MTS Centre and they had seats on the other side. The game was fun, even if we did lose. Once the game was over the other guys stood up from their seats to leave. Someone tapped one of the guys on the shoulder and when he turned around, he asked him "Did you drive up from the Cities just for the game?". His answer was, of course, "yes". The man handed him a twenty, said "gas money", and walked away. To this day I am still astonished by the man's anonymous generosity and can't help but reflect on how that simple act affected the perception of folks from Winnipeg and perhaps Canadians in general. Like I said, i've told that story to many many people and the universal response is "whoa". I'm sure the people that I told have told it to others and so on.

How quickly and thoroughly did that simple act trump any efforts that the local tourism board could have done?

12 Comments:

Blogger JEB said...

Great post and knowing how hospitable Canadians are in a way not surprising.
It's the type of action by a local that a tourism board can only dream of. It's very often the case that those who come into contact with visitors are less friendly than the general population. This definitely counts as an A+

2/22/2007 01:24:00 PM

 
Anonymous Glenn Davies said...

As a Canadian it certainly makes me proud to here this story. As a marketer I would suggest it is a good example of how we approach a lot of things in Canada that, by extension, can help a lot of businesses better serve their customers.

The bottom line is we know we're smaller (in population and power) than most of our competitors on the global stage and therefore we have learned how to use less to do more. In other words, we dream big, one small step at a time. Strangely enough, it works.

Thanks again for sharing this great story.

2/22/2007 02:10:00 PM

 
Anonymous Maki said...

"Whoa!"

The guy who got the money would have gone back home and told everyone he knew, and they would tell some people they knew and it'll spread or remain in their memories for a long time.

Personal gestures that ignore reciprocation are always the most unforgettable and powerful.

2/22/2007 02:44:00 PM

 
Blogger mark said...

Pay it forward! Very nice.

2/22/2007 03:50:00 PM

 
Blogger Edward said...

When my wife and I visited Toronto we got chatting to a couple of ladies in a cafe. They gave us tickets for the tram! That was a really nice thing to do.

2/22/2007 07:08:00 PM

 
Anonymous michael collins said...

I'm a Canadian.
And I have to say, i've never met anybody from winnipeg who isn't nice.

2/23/2007 10:30:00 AM

 
Anonymous Empreendedor said...

I've lived in Winnipeg once and canadian people are really nice. Winnipegers are the great people. When I came back to Brazil I've shared how people in Canada respect law and other people and nobody could believe.

That's why Canada is a developed country and Brazil is not.

Cheers from Brazil
;)

2/23/2007 12:30:00 PM

 
Blogger dtj said...

We didn't get there until the morning of the game, but the other guys got there the night before. The MTS folks were so helpful that I think they comp'd them some Manitoba Moose tickets for the game the night before. We had some very nice dealings with the MTS facilities people, especially Barry, who where very helpful.

In a related story, I wanted to fully partake in the Canadian experience, so I brought a dozen Tim Horton's donuts back with me. At the border the agents laughed, seeing the big box. They commented that it was funny that Canadians go south for Krispy Kremes and Americans go north for Tim Hortons.

2/23/2007 01:03:00 PM

 
Blogger timopp said...

I have met some great Canadians. On my first consulting trip to Toronto, I got off the plane and my host hands me $200 for walking around money. Totally unexpected.

2/23/2007 01:55:00 PM

 
Blogger Agent Wildfire said...

This story really does make you feel good on so many levels. Fanatical pride in your home team, the winter odyssey across the tundra, family bonding and random acts of kindness...love it, love it, love it.

As a Canadian, it makes me proud to hear we have such an altruistic citizen tourism board. Having said that, sometimes us Canadians forget that Americans, by and large, make pretty fine neighbours too.

2/28/2007 07:19:00 PM

 
Blogger Agent Wildfire said...

This story really does make you feel good on so many levels. Fanatical pride in your home team, the winter odyssey across the tundra, family bonding and random acts of kindness...love it, love it, love it.

As a Canadian, it makes me proud to hear we have such an altruistic citizen tourism board. Having said that, sometimes us Canadians forget that Americans, by and large, make pretty fine neighbours too.

2/28/2007 07:19:00 PM

 
Anonymous angie said...

Personal gestures that ignore reciprocation are always the most unforgettable and powerful.

9/25/2007 05:07:00 AM

 

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