Small Business BC “Business Start-Up Award” – First Place: James Shearer, Peragro Media

By Peragro Media  

James Shearer, 27, grew up in the Scottish Highlands in his mother’s hotel. Once out of high school he started what would become the largest online provider for hotels in the UK. He sold the business in 2002 and embarked upon a journey coast-to-coast journey across Canada, keeping a diary/blog along the way. Two significant things came out of this journey: Shearer met his wife (a Canadian) and emigrated to Canada in 2004, and he turned his diaries into what has become the largest on-line travel guide to Canada, Trail Canada, www.trailcanada which boasts over 2.1 million visitors per year, 15,000 registered members and 10,000 newsletter subscribers. Shearer also started Canada Events, www.canadaevents.ca, a website dedicated to Canadian events and entertainment.

“I took a unique approach,” says Shearer. “Instead of trying to outpace the competition, I partnered with provincial and federal government tourism boards to help publicize the areas they were trying to promote.” Currently Shearer is busy generating capital investment in two new Trail Canada features which will go live in March and summer 2008. His new idea will enable small accommodation providers such as B&B’s, RV sites, Campgrounds to advertise on Trail Canada for a nominal fee. Shearer explains, “It’s an extension of the system we already have; this will allow the small businesses to have a presence on a site where people come to do travel research. I know from my experience in the UK it can generate an astonishing amount of revenue in a very short period of time.” The other feature will encompass a sustainable travel and tourism feel with a variety of different mediums including the internet and television.

Shearer was awarded Small Business BC Business Start-up Award (First Place) at a red carpet ceremony on 26th February.

Contest Information: http://www.bizplancontest.ca/
Peragro Media: http://www.peragro.com/
Trail Canada: http://www.trailcanada.com/

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