THE PAS, MB. —The Manitoba government and Travel Manitoba have launched the new Northern Manitoba Tourism Strategy, a five-year plan to increase northern tourism expenditures by $35 million, Growth, Enterprise and Trade Minister Blaine Pedersen and Colin Ferguson, president and CEO, Travel Manitoba announced here today.
“North of the 53rd parallel, Manitoba has incredible natural assets and is rich in Indigenous culture and history,” said Pedersen. “Sharing these experiences with travellers from across the province, Canada and the world is an opportunity to enrich the lives of many and contribute to the economic future of the region.”
The Northern Manitoba Tourism Strategy is based on five strategic priorities that focus on:
- clarifying the roles of tourism stakeholders in the region,
- tourism marketing led by Travel Manitoba,
- tourism product and experience development,
- requirements for infrastructure enhancement and development, and
- ensuring regulatory environments are conducive to tourism business success.
“We know the products and experiences in Manitoba’s north are attractive to our target customers and we know visitors to the region tend to stay longer and spend more,” said Ferguson. “This strategy provides a realistic roadmap as we work to grow tourism in northern Manitoba through product development, marketing and by leveraging community support.”
Extensive consultation with northern tourism stakeholders laid the foundation for the strategy, said Ferguson. A northern tourism advisory committee will work with Travel Manitoba and a local tourism consultant to implement the strategy, he added.
“Growing tourism in Manitoba’s north is not a task for one person or entity,” said Johanna McLaughlan, chair, Northern Tourism Advisory Committee. “Travel Manitoba, along with the committee members and other stakeholders who attended industry engagement sessions, understand the challenges and also the opportunities for tourism in the north.”
Currently, tourism in Manitoba’s north generates $116 million in tourism expenditures from 530,000 visitors annually. The goal of the strategy is to increase this to $151 million by 2022, the minister said. While the region is fifth among six regions (outside Winnipeg) in terms of total visitors, it leads in average per capita spending at $219 per person per visit and is second in terms of the ratio of overnight to day trips.
The minister noted the Northern Manitoba Tourism Strategy supports the Look North Report and Action Plan for Manitoba’s Northern Economy, which calls for strategic alignment among partner organizations in the sector, the building of cultural tourism and authentic experiences, and support for identified growth strategies.
View the strategy online, click here.
Tourism is a $1.5 billion industry in Manitoba, welcoming 10.5 million visitors to the province every year.
Government of Manitoba