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Tourism partners with RTL fleet

Jennifer Obleman
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, August 15, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - A Yellowknife business is hoping a partnership with NWT Tourism will draw more people to the North - to work as well as play.

NWT Tourism spent $28,000 this year to mount four 45-foot by eight-foot photo decals on the sides of two RTL Robinson Enterprises trailers listing a tourism website along with scenic shots of the North.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

RTL Robinson Enterprises driver Sean Praetzel climbs down from the truck pulling one of two trailers advertising NWT Tourism. The trailers, which feature photo decals measuring 45 feet by eight feet listing the tourism website, travel across Alberta, B.C., the NWT and the Yukon on trips to restock Wal-Mart stores. - Jennifer Obleman/NNSL photo

Tim Zehr, president of RTL, is hoping the gorgeous vistas decorating the sides of his trailers will lure not just tourists, but also workers from the south.

"Any time we can draw on the positive perspectives of the NWT, it's good for us," he said. "This is for tourism, but it's going to attract people for labour as well. It opens doors for all of us."

RTL employs 300 people, swelling as high as 600 when the winter roads are open. But it's not always easy to fill all those jobs, Zehr noted.

"We fare pretty good with seasonal help, but finding long-term permanent employees is a problem for us," he said. "The exposure with this will be good for us."

The RTL trailers featuring photos of the Northern lights, Louise Falls and the Mackenzie Delta, hit the road in early July. The trucks will travel major corridors such as Alberta's Highway 2, which connects Edmonton and Calgary, and hit other major centres such as Dawson Creek, Whitehorse and Fort McMurray on trips to re-supply Wal-Mart stores throughout western Canada.

John Bass, communications and public relations co-ordinator with NWT Tourism, is anticipating the portability of the ads will up the impact.

"The mobile aspect of it is a huge advantage compared to trying to pick one static location," Bass said.

"It'll capture lots of attention. People will say, 'Hey, that's cool.'"

The website advertised on the trailers is unique to this advertising campaign and will allow NWT Tourism to track the number of hits the mobile billboards attract. If it proves successful, the campaign may be expanded in future years.

RTL will leave the weather-resistant decals on the trailers up to three years, depending on how long they hold up.