It reads like a road warrior’s travel diary – more than 100 communities in 28 days, getting by on three hours of sleep a night, itchy eyes from editing reels of daily video footage.

Tourism BC Field Reporter Chris Wheeler received his own gold medal when the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games began on February 12, 2010 – a full night’s sleep in his own bed.

He has seen more of this beautiful province during the relay than most people see in a lifetime as he chronicled each day of the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay through British Columbia.

For all 28 days that the Olympic Flame was in BC during its cross-Canada journey, Tourism BC produced daily online videos featuring torch day stories and profiles of unique regional tourism destinations and experiences along the way.

This is the first time in Games history that a host tourism agency has leveraged the power of social media to connect consumers with the Games experience through the excitement of the Olympic Torch Relay.

“These daily online travelogues have showcased BC’s destinations and tourism experiences to more than a quarter of a million viewers to date and they will remain as an important promotional tool well beyond the Games period,” says Paul Clark, Director of 2010 and Corporate Relations with Tourism BC.

Tourism BC Field Reporter Chris Wheeler travelled as part of the Coca-Cola torch relay convoy chronicling the excitement and inspiring local stories every day the Olympic Flame was in the province.

Each of Wheeler’s video episodes featured up to two destinations or experiences from the region the Olympic Flame passed through that day. The videos were uploaded the same day to HelloBC.com, and linked in to partner sites and other social media channels, such as VANOC’s main site Vancouver2010.com, the Canadian Tourism Commission’s You Tube channel and Torch Relay sponsor Coca-Cola’s Canadian site.

An interactive map on HelloBC.com and icoke.ca allowed people to browse videos by location and immediately get travel information on the local region.

Wheeler gained something of a cult status in the online travel media world, attracting an increasingly large and loyal following of viewers taking in his fresh and engaging travelogues throughout BC’s tourism regions and across Canada. To date (Feb 2010), more than 300,000 viewers have tuned into his cross-Canada pursuit of the Olympic Flame.

The Canadian Tourism Commission, a 2010 Tourism Consortium partner, contracted Wheeler to produce an additional 15 videos from various locations in Canada ( housed at www.youtube.com/2010Torch ). This brings to 43 the total number of Olympic Torch Relay video documentaries that are available for potential travellers to share in the excitement of the 2010 Winter Games.

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