Next week is Tourism Week in Canada, coinciding with the launch of Travel Manitoba’s near-market campaign that entices visitors from Saskatchewan, northwestern Ontario, Alberta, North Dakota and Minnesota, and encourages Manitobans to visit their own province first.
Globally, tourism has become increasingly competitive and is one of the fastest growing sectors.
In Manitoba, tourism increased by 5.8 per cent from 2009 to $1.26 billion in 2010, accounting for 2.92 per cent of Manitoba’s GDP and $492 million in export revenue.
“Although there are certainly challenges facing the global tourism industry, the overall stability of Manitoba’s economy and the strength of our tourism attractions and products continue to create demand for tourism in the province,” said Travel Manitoba president and CEO Colin Ferguson.
The Conference Board of Canada recently revised Manitoba’s tourism growth forecast for 2012, from 3.5 per cent to 3.7 per cent in total overnight expenditures.
Much of Manitoba’s tourism industry is comprised of small or medium-sized businesses which play a vital role in the communities in which they are located. In 2010, the total number of tourism and hospitality-related businesses in Manitoba was more than 5200, meaning jobs and investment in local communities.
In Manitoba, the tourism sector sustains in excess of 24,800 direct, indirect and induced jobs, across all economic levels.
To attract more visitors, Travel Manitoba has distributed 230,000 copies of its Summer Vacation Guide to households in the near provinces and U.S. states.
This will be followed by an extensive print campaign which partners with industry operators and highlights attractions throughout the province, from the Gimli Icelandic Festival to kayaking with beluga whales in Churchill, to tubing in the Asessippi Parkland.
A campaign directed at American visitors will involve a chance for them to win one of two grand prize packages for a weekend in Winnipeg.
The total number of visitors to Manitoba in 2010 was 8.5 million, with Manitobans travelling throughout the province accounting for 85 per cent, other Canadian provinces for 10 per cent, the United States for four per cent and one per cent from overseas.
Research shows that visitors are often surprised by what they find in Manitoba, highlighting the fact that our province is a diverse and exciting destination.
New attractions, such as the future Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the re-development of Assiniboine Park will lead to Manitoba becoming a more competitive, quality tourism destination.
Beginning on Monday, visitors and residents alike can visit Travel Manitoba’s Facebook page to share their favourite place to take visitors and have a chance to win a Gimli getaway package.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 12, 2012