A First for the TODAY show (NBC): The TODAY show heads to Québec

18 July 2011

New York, NY – For the first time in its history, the fourth hour of the popular American show TODAY will be taped outside the United States. Québec, specifically Montréal, will play host to the filming of two episodes of this daily morning show. The initiatives undertaken by the Ministère du Tourisme, through its Destination Québec office in New York, as well as the Canadian Tourism Commission, in collaboration with Tourisme Montréal, have succeeded in attracting the star hosts, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, along with some 60 members of their production team.

Of the two shows filmed in Montréal, one will be broadcast live from Place Jacques-Cartier on July 14, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The hosts will take this opportunity to spotlight the charms and various attractions that make Québec a treasured destination among American tourists. Guests will also be received on the set to share their passion for Québec with some four million faithful viewers.

“We’re extremely proud that the producers of such a high-calibre program as the TODAY show chose to come to Québec—an exceptional tourism showcase. This is a great example of partnership between the Canadian Tourism Commission and Tourisme Montréal, illustrating that, when we team up, our promotion initiatives on the international tourist scene have an even greater reach,” said Nicole Ménard, Minister of Tourism.

The production team will converge on Place Jacques-Cartier on July 13 to finalize the preparations for filming the shows. Fans who would like to watch the show tapings should arrive at 9 a.m. at Place Jacques-Cartier on Thursday, July 14 and social networking buffs will also be able to track what the two hosts have to say because they interact regularly with their viewers on Facebook and Twitter while shooting.

“This type of large-scale media visibility is a factor that often spurs viewers’ interest in a tourist destination. Welcoming such an esteemed production team is part of our vision of how to creatively connect with target tourism markets,” said the Honourable Charles Lapointe, President and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Montréal is a highly accessible city for American travellers and a gateway to Québec’s other regions.”

The arrival of the TODAY show in La Belle Province is all the more important in that the United States represent Québec’s primary international market in terms of tourist volume and revenue. In 2010, the number of American tourists in Québec increased by 4.4% compared with 2009, according to preliminary data from Statistics Canada. And between January and April, 2010, flights taken by Americans to Québec jumped by 5%.