Marketplaces remain a key way to connect with international travel influencers, media, and trade. Two recent marketplaces show that interest in Manitoba’s unique experiences is growing.

Canada Media Marketplace

Two of the media relations team, Jillian Recksiedler and Cathy Senecal, knocked off 40-plus 15-minute appointments with media and digital influencers from across the US at Canada Media Marketplace held in San Francisco. In addition to Travel Manitoba, three Manitoba partners were in attendance. A handful of media met with more than one of four Manitoba reps, indicating a surging interest in Manitoba, Winnipeg, as well as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and the North.

Manitoba partners, such as Maureen Fitzhenry, media relations manager for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, also found the long-running marketplace beneficial. “We find that Canada Media Marketplace is one of the most effective ways to build awareness about the Museum among the most influential travel writers in North America,” says Fitzhenry. “In preparing for this event, we greatly benefit from the knowledge and experience of Travel Manitoba staff who share insights on how to best engage media and influencers that make the biggest impact in our target visitor markets.”

Highlights of the professional development session included  Travel Manitoba being asked to talk about the hugely successful Tourism Winnipeg-Travel Manitoba media trip last winter as a best practice. Travel Alberta shared a case study about conducting influencer campaigns and the synergy needed between PR/media, social, and marketing.

Travel Manitoba established strong leads with Chicago Tribune, Air Chicago, Midwest Living, Hectik Travels, Ottsworld and other freelancers and influencers. Continued efforts to target influencers will take place at the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX) in Minneapolis and other media events and marketplaces attended throughout the year.

Rendez-vous Canada

This marketplace hosted by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada (TIAC) and Destination Canada brings international buyers to Canada to meet face-to-face with sellers of Canadian products. Travel Manitoba’s Travel Trade team, Dené Sinclair and Cindy Perrett and a group of Manitoba operators traveled to Montreal to meet with travel trade interested in Manitoba’s products. This year’s record setting attendance saw over 1680 delegates representing 1128 companies and 28 different countries engage in 28,400 appointments.

These record numbers carried over to Manitoba, with Travel Manitoba and the seven Manitoba partners sitting down to 414 appointments over the four-day event. Each partner had an average of 59 appointments. Appointment outcomes show that international buyers are interested in fly/drive itineraries for their clients, co-op marketing opportunities, and the always popular polar bear and beluga experiences. Another highlight from the marketplace was the announcement from the Honorable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism, that the government will contribute $50 million to Destination Canada over the next three year for the Connecting America program, the national tourism marketing organization’s return to consumer advertising south of the border. Travel Manitoba is participating in the program at a Silver level.