Ottawa Tourism Launched Locals-first Initiative

Emilie Harris  |  July 30th, 2020

Project Background

The #MyOttawa Savings Pass is billed as the destination’s very own local savings passport. Ottawa Tourism launched this locals-first initiative that boasts an impressive collection of discounts and offers ranging from local cultural exhibits to retail and accommodations. With this range of activities, above all, the DMO hoped to encourage backyard tourism in a time of uncertainty.

“With the #MyOttawa Pass, Ottawa Tourism enlisted the help of Ottawans as the first ones to help get Ottawa’s tourism industry back on its feet. We are promoting the #MyOttawa Pass as a way to rediscover our city and start spending money again at local tourism businesses, particularly at a time when, for them, every dollar counts,” says Catherine Callary, Vice-President, Destination Development at Ottawa Tourism. “Tourism was, after healthcare, the industry first hit, hardest hit, and the industry which could take the longest to recover, but initiatives like this will play an important role in that recovery.”

Canada was scheduled to reopen their country-wide lockdown with a phased approach at the beginning of June. July and August will both transition the country into a new normal with recreational activities reopening during the two months. With these deadlines fast approaching, Ottawa Tourism knew they had to act quickly in order to craft a solution that would help protect and support the local businesses that made Ottawa a special place to live and visit.

Prior to the lockdown, Ottawa Tourism had been working with Bandwango to launch the first of many passes geared to frontline staff having free or heavily-discounted access to attractions for a specified period of time. The DMO decided to pivot towards a local savings pass and spent the time during lockdown onboarding merchants and preparing the pass for the province’s reopening.

Accessibility for French and English Speakers

In addition, one of the key components for this project was ensuring that French residents in Ottawa could access a French-language passport. In order to streamline translation and meet the deadline, Ottawa Tourism worked with Bandwango to translate the more than 60 merchant offers. Bandwango is positioned to assist DMOs with second language needs through a variety of mechanisms, including access to free translation technology with Bablic, as well as in-person translation services for an additional cost, depending on the needs of the DMO.

”We were impressed with Bandwango’s ability to test out both automatic translation as well as the ability to add translation manually to the Pass. This was important for us as we must ensure a quality experience to both English and French speaking users – especially as the Capital of Canada,” says Callary. “At every step of the way, the Bandwango team took our unique needs into consideration and worked with us to address them.”
/assets/main/collections/ottawa Tourism Launched Locals First Initiative Image 1.png


On June 24th, Ottawa Tourism launched locals-first initiative, the #MyOttawa Passport, to a clearly eager audience.

Results from June 24 – July 24, 2020


Sign Ups


Marketing Opt-Ins




Marketing Opt-In Rate

Check it out for yourself


Vérifiez par vous-même


To find out more about launching a Savings Pass with Bandwango, click here. Or check out our blog on the subject here.