VisitMTL launches in style

You would think that a world-class city like Montreal wouldn’t need any help attracting tourists, having pulled in over 9 million tourists in 2014 alone. But there’s one company that begs to differ and has taken upon themselves to put Montreal on the map as a top destination in North America, VisitMTL.

On a warm, rainy November night, high up in a Ritz-Carlton Residences penthouse, VisitMTL hosted a launch party to celebrate the debut of its website of the same name, an ambitious project aimed at enticing more people to come to our wonderful city. Founded by President Jack Fattal, along with Reese Turner and Katelynd Kuhar, and born out of his passion for Montreal, their mission is to make sure the world knows how extraordinary Montreal is, and in particular showcase its great cultural and linguistic heritage to our neighbours to the south.  Fattal, along with the others at VisitMTL, think that despite Montreal being a unique and incredible city, it doesn’t get the fair share of attention that it deserves compared to other North American cities. As such, they’ve decided to rebrand Montreal into something that will extend beyond the big international festivals scene.

VisitMTL President, Jack Fattal

During the speeches segment of the evening, Fattal explained how VisitMTL is aimed toward millennials and plans to use viral videos among other things to market and promote Montreal to the world. It wants to showcase passion and creativity, the unique culture that Montreal and its residents have to offer, as well as showcasing the values that appeal to the educated, open-minded, and insatiably curious millennial generation.

Editor, Shawn Katz, spoke at the launch and emphasized that VisitMTL’s staff of writers, photographers, and editors are there to bring quality over quantity,  content of deep and meaningful substance rather than clickbait and listicles. The content contributors run the gamut of underground scenes and the vastly diverse cultures and communities that make up Montreal. They intend to provide honest, fun, and fascinating content that doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence but piques their curiosity instead.

Montreal journalist and playwright Marianne Ackerman also briefly spoke about her enthusiastic support for the project.  Rucsandra Calin, Director of Residences, Ritz-Carlton Montreal, shared some stories of her love of Montreal and the importance of informing the world about the city. She mentioned going to  Los Angeles and learning about how people are of unaware Montreal’s ubiquitous French culture. VisitMTL hopes to offer a place to educate with a younger, hip and engaging image.

Dan Derkson aka VisitMTL's Mr. Montreal

Dan Derkson aka VisitMTL’s Mr. Montreal

And who would be the spokerperson to present that image? None other than Dan Derkson AKA, Mr. Montreal, who is the “mascot” of VisitMTL and the star of their promo video. The launch was also the premiere of their promo video, starring Mr. Montreal himself in a well-produced, fast-paced, funny video that’s perfect for the YouTube generation. While it can’t possibly cover all of what makes Montreal so amazing, it does hit the right notes to get the viewer’s attention. not only has articles, photography, and other unique content, but also a practical system designed for tourists with a 5-stage setup of “Get Here. Eat. Sleep. Play. Buy Stuff.” It is a veritable, one-stop-shop for any potential tourist to book travel and accommodation, find restaurants, activities, and shopping venues all in one convenient online location. And the website is not just for non-residents; discounts with local businesses are offered for Montrealers as well  so everyone has a reason to get in on the action.

Nothing sums up VisitMTL’s attitude better than it’s cocky, in-your-face slogan of “Our city is better than yours.” Through a passionate collaboration between individuals, businesses, and organizations, VisitMTL is born and we are all excited to see where this new company will go and how it will help put Montreal on the map more than ever before.

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Lifelong Montrealer, amateur stand-up comic, opinionated, feisty, with a touch of classy yet punchy wit.

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