Fishing F-H SummitTravel Manitoba held its fifth annual Fish/Hunt Summit on April 24, 2015. Twenty-one representatives from the fishing and hunting sector along with Travel Manitoba staff met to discuss marketing strategies for this important part of Manitoba's tourism industry. 

This was the first opportunity for Travel Manitoba's new Fish/Hunt Influencer Ryan Suffron to share his goals for the sector. These include YouTube campaigns, blogging and updating, as well as increasing the content on social media outlets to promote both Manitoba's fish/hunt experiences as well as Manitoba's Master Angler program. 

"Complementing the digital platform with a content experience is key," Ryan told the group. "He who puts more out there, wins."

The influence of digital media on advertising is certainly growing, as many operators cited that customers' decisions are being affected by a variety of factors. 

"When you ask a customer where they heard about you, it's no longer black and white," said Pit Turenne of Aikens Lake Wilderness Lodge. "It's Travel Manitoba's job to be a component of that mix." 

And Travel Manitoba will be a part of that mix through Ryan's online and social media efforts, as well as advertising on specialty channels, media relations group and individual trip support, plus participating in a pilot program with the Canadian Tourism Commission targeting the US in 2016. Travel Manitoba will also, based on the feedback of the group, revise the existing format of the Fish/Hunt Guide, as its listings and Master Angler records are available online. 

The Minister of Tourism, Culture, Heritage, Sport and Consumer Protection Ron Lemieux brought greetings, highlighting the importance of this sector to the tourism industry. He urged those in attendance to be advocates and seek out conversations with members of government at a municipal, provincial or federal level.

"When you talk to elected officials, it's important to reinforce how important [this sector] is to our culture, to our financial well being, to our way of life." 

And while many in the room are in direct competition with each other, there is a belief that the collaboration inspired by the summit is beneficial.  

"We need to make Manitoba an epic destination," said Aaron Wiebe of the locally-shot Uncut Angling. "And we all need to work together."