Toronto Trending Tourism

Toronto Tourism gets trendy with new website

Toronto Tourism has upped its social media presence in the hopes of attracting greater interest in Toronto on the part of prospective visitors to the city. A recently launched website called Toronto Trending uses live Twitter updates and FourSquare check-ins to present an interactive view of the city at so-called street level. Laid over a Google satellite map or live video feeds of select locales, the idea is to show off Toronto as a happening place and to give tourists an idea of what the locals are up to.

"The thing we're dealing with, always, is Toronto is underrated as a destination. It feels a little beige. Average. Nice enough, I suppose," Shelley Brown, CEO of Crispin Porter + Bogusky Canada, told the Globe and Mail. Now the lead marketing agency for Tourism Toronto, CP+B is looking for ways to deal with what it perceives to be Toronto's "obscurity" problem.

Toronto Trending Tourism

Having watched too many one-dimensional promotional videos that highlight multiculturalism as Toronto's one and only asset, I tend to think an initiative like this one is a good idea. It remains to be seen, however, how much traction it'll get. Like any interactive project, it has to rely on some level of participation on the part of residents to really take off. Charting FourSquare check-ins is one thing; getting thousands of people to tag their tweets with #torontotrending might be more difficult.

In light of this, the live Twitter feed on the page also includes updates from prominent Toronto accounts regardless of whether or not that hashtag is used. That makes for a more action-filled user experience, but the information isn't exactly filtered very well, which can make it seem like a bit of an informational mess — not a good thing when your target audience is someone trying to learn about the city.

It'd also be great to see the live camera feeds expanded because they have the potential to be quite stimulating, but just don't offer enough variety right now. But, aside from these first impressions, it strikes me that major criticisms should be held back until the site has a few weeks to get off the ground.

Correction (6:20 p.m.): This article originally stated that CP+B was the "lead marketing agency for the City," when in fact it should have read the lead marketing agency for Tourism Toronto.

Check out the site and let us know what you think in the comments.

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