An investment by the Governments of Canada and Manitoba will support a three-year international marketing and product development plan by Travel Manitoba aimed at rebuilding United States markets and meeting emerging opportunities elsewhere in the U.S. and in Europe for the province as a tourist destination.
"Manitoba has many world-class attractions, and this investment will help strengthen the economy by ensuring that more international visitors can experience what this province has to offer," said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
"Polar bears, beluga whales, Manitoba’s 100,000 lakes, hectares of unspoiled boreal forests, and worldclass festivals and heritage sites in our cities, towns and villages — our attractions here in the heart of the continent continue to attract an increasing number of tourists from around the world," said the Honourable Peter Bjornson, Manitoba Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade. "Our goal is to continue building on Manitoba’s attributes and take a leadership role in strengthening the $1-billion industry and expand Manitoba’s tourism strategy."
The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are investing more than $5.0 million towards this project under the Canada-Manitoba Western Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA). The marketing and product development strategy will enable the Manitoba travel sector to respond to increasing competition for the tourism dollar through more aggressive and innovative industry approaches.
The plan aims at increasing the number of visitors from international markets to Manitoba and ensuring the sustainability of the tourism industry in Manitoba by encouraging and fostering quality experiences that meet the expectations of international visitors.
"Global tourism is projected to grow four to five percent annually over the next ten years," said Hubert Mesman, President and CEO of Travel Manitoba. "With increased travel demand comes greater competition and it is critical that Manitoba is actively promoted in key international markets. This investment will allow us to be more aggressive in the U.S. and overseas including a proactive approach to the emerging Chinese outbound market."
Travel Manitoba will launch a strategy to assess and enhance the overall appeal of Manitoba tourism products abroad, test brand awareness in its key high-volume markets, and evaluate the potential of emerging markets in Europe and elsewhere.
Specific marketing will focus on strengths of rural Manitoba, including wildlife viewing (polar bears, beluga whales and birding), outdoor adventure and sport fishing.